SERIES: The Book of Hebrews
TEXT: Hebrews 4:1-13
“For leaders like Apple CEO Tim Cook, who wakes up at a ridiculous 3:45 every morning to get a head start on the 700-800 emails he receives a day, sleep gets in the way of staying on top of their mountainous responsibilities. While some billionaires are genetically fortunate to require only 3-4 hours of sleep, others force themselves to sleep less, and others sleep the typical 8 hours a night. Is sleep worth it? For people who run global businesses, should sleep be sacrificed for the sake of being productive? …Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, is known to sleep 4 hours a night so that she can allegedly crank out a 130-hour work week. However, in 2014, she missed an important dinner with chief executives due to an overdue nap, after being awake for 20 hours. It’s a good reminder that unnatural behavior has its consequences.” – David Schools
Psalm 127:1-2 says…“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” – Hebrews 4:9-10
“The spiritual rest, which God particularly intends in this Commandment, is this: that we not only cease from our labor and trade, but much more, that we let God alone work in us and that we do nothing of our own with all our powers.” —Martin Luther
TEXT: Hebrews 4:1-13
And so, what does today’s text tell us about the rest of God? (1. Where do we find rest? 2. When do we rest? 3. How do we rest?)
- Where do we find rest? (v. 1-2)
“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.”
“God’s rest must be defined as a spiritual reality in which one ceases from one’s own work.” — George Guthrie
“The caution in 4:1-2 pertains to those of the community whose response to the gospel parallels the faith-vacant response of those who fell in the desert when offered entrance into the land of Canaan.” — George Guthrie
- When do we rest? (v. 3-8)
“For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.”
“Commentators have noted that in Genesis 1-2 the first six days of creation have an end, or evening; the seventh day, however, is an “open ended day,” which has no end…God’s rest must be seen as a present reality.”
— George Guthrie
- How do we rest? (v. 9-11)
9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
“Imagine that you have no job, no money, you live cut off from the rest of society in a world ruled by poverty and violence, your skin is the “wrong” color—and you have no hope that any of this will change. Around you is a society governed by the iron law of achievement. Its gilded goods are flaunted before your eyes on TV screens, and in a thousand ways society tells you every day that you are worthless because you have no achievement. You are a failure, and you know that you will continue to be a failure because there is no way to achieve tomorrow what you have not managed to achieve today. Your dignity is shattered and your soul is enveloped in the darkness of despair. But the gospel tells you that you are not defined by outside forces. It tells you that you count; even more that you are loved unconditionally and infinitely, irrespective of anything you have achieved or failed to achieve.” – Miroslav Volf
- Are you restless?
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
- What are your true “rests?”
“My thoughts do not go to my God. They don’t go to the one who gave me my life and sustains my life every day, and who has endowed me with every mercy and pleasure I’ve ever enjoyed, to whom I owe everything and at least my highest love and allegiance. My mind does not go there at all…It goes to my real rests, my real trusts…which is either my career or my aches and pains or my comforts or what I hope to do with my vacation or the people who like me and what they said to me recently. You see? My real rests.” – Timothy Keller
- Do you believe that you’re limited?
- Do you believe Jesus ultimately secured your rest?