Entering God's Rest
Topic: Jesus is Greater Passage: Hebrews 4:1–4:13
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: Hebrews 4:1-13
Just like the physical human heart, our “spiritual” hearts are complex. Only God is able to help us diagnose the problem and then solve it. The text today makes a connection between hardness of heart and spiritual rest. God was and is leading his people to a place of rest, but many in the days of Israel’s wandering refused God’s ways. They pursued wrong forms of rest and were never fulfilled. However, God still promises rest but it requires heart surgery.
Rest requires the surgeon’s scalpel.
Hebrews 4 references the rebellion at Meribah. This is the Hebrew word meaning quarreling, and it became the name of the place in the wilderness described in Numbers 20. The people quarreled with Moses and with God. Even Moses got weary and fell into sin. Like all of us, they were tempted with false forms of rest. In their case, the specific forms they preferred over God’s ways were death, comfort food, and venting anger. This brought God’s wrath upon them. “I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest!” (Ps. 95:11).
There are two initially frightening verses in our text, but when we know God’s plan and character they are comforting. Hebrews 4:12 speaks of God’s word as being shaper than a two-edged sword. The next verse reminds us that all are exposed to God’s eyes. Jesus is the Surgeon who must operate on our hearts. His plan is to make us like him. And his character is gentle and humble of heart (See Matthew 11:28-30). Therefore, be honest before God with your heart so he can lead you to true rest. He knows your heart better than you do and, for those who believe in Christ, there is no condemnation.
Taking it home: Discuss with your small group additional ways in which people seek God’s rest apart from him. Which ones are most tempting to you?