Receiving that Rest

Dan Sullivan   -  

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 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. 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.

Hebrews 4:8–13 ESV Read More

After a hopeless 400 years, the Hebrew slaves of Egypt were delivered and given their freedom. They then spent 40 years in which only 2 1/2 people out of a million or so were hoping for a Promised Land. (I count Moses as that half because he was hoping for the Promised Land but messed up his own access.)

For the wanderers in the desert, the Promised Land was heaven. A land flowing with milk and honey meant you were stable and safe enough to grow crops…to feed cows or goats…that would grow healthy enough to milk. For honey, don’t even get me started! You need flowering plants to grow, places for bees to build hives, all kinds of stuff.

Stuff you wouldn’t find out in the wilderness.

The idea of a Promised Land was like the dream of so many refugees in our modern day to live in a cozy suburb with a lawn someday. It seems out of reach – mythical even.

But that is what they got when Joshua finally took that generation into the Promised Land. There were buildings and cities (after they fought off everyone living there anyway) already set up for them to live in. For the first time in 440 years, they were somewhat independent.

But that wasn’t the real Promised Land. There is some kind of rest beyond that place. A rest that Joshua couldn’t give them.

But Jesus can.

The Sabbath rest / Promised Land that God offers is full deliverance from the vain works of trying to make God let us into the Promised Land! We can rest from our works and enjoy God’s creation just like He did. We no longer have to strive in fear of sin and death because Jesus defeated them both.

That is the Sabbath rest we can experience and look forward to. Not like the millions that fell in the wilderness (and Moses) but like Joshua and Caleb. They knew a real rest was coming and that God was fully able to give it to them.

That is what it took for them to receive it, and they did.

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9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, on a blue background