There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Hebrews 4:9-10
The generation of Israelites who were delivered from bondage in Egypt, never entered into the rest they were promised to enter into, because of unbelief and disobedience. This generation, which Moses led, became distracted by things of little eternal value, like onions and leeks; they also looked back into the idolatry that they learned in Egypt. So much so that while Moses was receiving the word of the LORD written for the first time ever for humankind, they seduced Aaron into making a golden calf and they worshipped an idol made by hands in the wilderness. After that, they continued to murmur, complain and disobey the word that was revealed to them.
As such, they provoked God to wrath — Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ”although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” [Hebrews 4:1-5]
When we hear the gospel and respond with faith, we enter into God’s rest, just as He promised when hearing is mixed with faith. Faith is a verb, in that it is demonstrated by action. We show forth our faith and how much we believe the word that is preached, by our willingness to be doers of the word and not just hearers only. In fact, the more we do as the word says, the more faith is infused into our hearts. Because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. We do well when we walk in obedience before the LORD who knows what is best for us, because He made us, and created a path for us to walk from the foundation of the world. Before we were created, our destiny was mapped out, in order to show us the way to enter His rest. Why do so many stray from the path that has been prepared for them? Free will empowers us to choose good or evil; truth or lies; life or death, and many choose the way that is broad which leads to destruction. In some ways, many people remain impressionable children who follow the ways of popular culture — which is why the children of Israel continued to seek the culture of Egypt in the wilderness where they were free.
Why is the wrath of God aroused when we do not believe? We can get some insight when we look closely at Hebrews 4:3 — For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ”although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. The works of God concerning your life and mine were finished from the foundation of the world. Before you and I were created, our works were established — For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:10]
It is the will of God that we enter His rest. The way we do this is by walking in and finishing the work that has been prepared for us beforehand. When we stray from the path of righteousness that has been prepared for us, the wrath of God is aroused because He knows that the path we are on leads to destruction. That is why Jesus said I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. and again “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”
Let us enter His rest through the door of obedience. God has planned every detail of our lives so that the work He has given us leads to rest. Just as God rested on the seventh day, there remains a rest for the people of God — enter His rest.
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