As the promise of entering God’s rest still stands, let’s make sure we don’t fail to enter it. For we, like our ancestors, have been given this good news. But what they heard didn’t do our ancestors any good, because they didn’t accept the news with faith. Now, those of us who do accept the promise with faith can enter his rest.
But, regarding the others, God warned, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my rest.’”
But God’s work has been finished since the creation of the world, because it’s written: “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.” Plus, he gave that warning, “They will never enter my rest.”
Since there’s still an opportunity for people to enter this rest, even though those who first heard the news failed to enter because of their lack of faith, God has set another time for entering his rest – and that time is today. He announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”
If Joshua had given the Israelites rest, God wouldn’t have spoken of a day of rest that’s still to come. So there is, then, a day of rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who enter into God’s rest have ceased from their own labours, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, do all we can to enter that rest. Don’t let us fail, like the Israelites failed, because of their lack of faith.
Remember that the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any sword, dividing soul from spirit – joints from marrow. It reveals our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing at all is hidden from God. Everything is uncovered and exposed to the gaze of him to whom we’re accountable.
However, since we have a great high priest who has entered into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us keep tight hold of the faith that we’ve been given. For this isn’t a high priest who can’t understand our weakness. No, he faced all of the temptations that we do, but didn’t sin. So let us come confidently to God’s throne of grace. There we’ll find mercy, and enough strength to help us in our time of need.