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A BETTER REST

Daily Devotional Hebrews 4:1–11


A famous saying goes, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Hebrews 4 makes a similar observation, pointing to Israel’s history as a warning not to miss God’s promise.


Anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

HEBREWS 4:10


The example of those Israelites who failed to enter the Land of Promise serves as a cautionary tale for subsequent generations. Their lack of faith kept them from experiencing what God had promised them. The author quotes Psalm 95:11 in verse 3 to show that God’s rest comes only through faith and that a refusal to believe is disobedience. The fact that the Exodus generation did not find rest in the land indicates that “the promise of entering his rest still stands” (v. 1). Those who contemplated rejecting Christ and returning to the Law of Moses seemed as if they might fall short of obtaining Christ’s promise of rest (Matt. 11:28–30).


When we come to Jesus in faith, we acknowledge that we cannot make ourselves right with God by our own effort. Instead, we rely on the finished work of Christ and enter into His rest. As verse 10 says, “anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works.” The writer will go on in the book of Hebrews to explain how this is possible, emphasizing the finished nature of Christ’s sacrifice (Heb. 7:27; 9:12; 10:10). This does not mean that we are inactive. We love and serve God. But we don’t accomplish this in our own strength or as an attempt to earn a righteous standing. The failure of Israel to believe God’s promise is a warning to those who refuse the grace God offers through Christ. In a play on words in verse 11, the author urges his readers to “make every effort to enter that rest.”


Go Deeper


What does it mean to “enter” God’s rest? How do we follow our desire to please God by serving Him and still refrain from putting too much emphasis on our own self and our own ability?


Pray with Us:


How do we find the perfect rest? Hebrews gives an answer: in Christ, in His work He’s already done for us. God, lead us on this road of giving up our ambitions, achievements, and goals that are not from You and entering Your rest.

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