Failing to enter God's rest
Failing to enter God’s rest
In the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.” So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:5-7 NLT
From the text, what the writer of Hebrews did was to remind the readers that there are those as God said, “will never enter my place of rest.” This passage was repeated several times (see 3:11, 4:3). This passage is a quotation from Psalm 95:11, “‘So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’” God’s purpose is to bring us to the place of rest. But this desire of God can be thwarted by man’s disobedience. What the writer of Hebrews wants to convey is that it is God’s rest that will be given. It is a rest that is not simply a relaxation of tension but a rest that God Himself enjoys. God’s rest is the ideals of all rest for it is joyous and satisfying. When God confronted Job, He provided him an image of angels celebrating in the presence of God showing how joyous it is to be when one experiences God’s rest. “As the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). God does not offer us just any kind of rest for what He provides is His rest. It is ideal because it comes from the Almighty and it is an expression of His love. But we can fail to enter His rest when we do not heed His invitation. “God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today.” No matter what kind of circumstances we are in, we can respond to God and enter His rest. This is what the Israelites missed when they failed to enter God’s rest because they thought that God’s rest is not available when one is in difficult circumstances. So, the offer of God stands, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” The only way that we fail to enter His rest is when our hearts are filled with distrust and a disdain shown to Him through disobedience. Let us not miss God’s offer and while there is still time, let’s enter His rest by surrendering our lives to Him and make Him the Lord and Savior of our lives.