God’s Rest

Psalm 81, Isaiah 60, Hebrews 4:11 – 5:14

I started my quiet time this morning with the words to the hymn When Morning Gilds the Skies.  It’s such a beautiful song, and the first verse expresses something I had been thinking about yesterday —

When morning gilds the skies,
My heart, awaking, cries,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evening shadows fall,
This rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

I love that our praise begins in the morning and continues throughout the day.  Unfortunately, this is something I ‘ve been lacking lately, so I wanted to begin the day with that reminder.

Isaiah 60 deals with the new Jerusalem, the end times, the future, however you want to put it.  With the thoughts from The Seraph Seal (the Booksneeze book I’m reading) fresh in my mind, I read this chapter with a heightened awareness and a new interest.  I can’t imagine how the end times are going to play out, but what a day that will be when the Lord will be my everlasting light, and my God will be my glory (Isaiah 60:19)!

When I turned to Hebrews,  I found myself back again at those familiar verses of chapter 4: 11-13.  Just so I’m clear in my own head what I think God is saying, I’ll write it out again.

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest,

The writer uses two other rests as examples — 1.) the rest that would come when they entered the Promised Land, and 2.) God’s Sabbath rest that came with completion of His work of creation.  Ultimately, he talking about the rest that comes in understanding what Jesus has done for us.  This he goes on to explain in Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10.

so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

The disobedience has to refer back to the disobedience of the Israelites.  They didn’t believe.  They rebelled against Moses.  They feared the sword of the people then dwelling in the Promised Land more than they believed the promises of God.  God was so angry with this that He spoke these words to Moses in Numbers 14

“How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

The writer of Hebrews, I think, is warning the Hebrew people not to make that same mistake.  He reminds them of the sword that should strike fear into their hearts and it’s not one wielded by man —

12For 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.

These verses are a call to repentance, to belief in Christ, to understand the Messiah.  Through Him, we enter the rest that God so longs to give us.  To this weary heart, those are dear words.

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