Hebrews Highlights #2: Better Rest

Better Rest: Hebrews 4:1-4:13

This section is one that really made me ponder.  Hebrews 4:1 tells us that we have a promise of entering His rest. I was led all over the bible about rest and what kind of rest this is talking about.

In six days, God completed all of creation and on the seventh day, He rested from all His works.
In the covenant God made with His chosen people He commanded them to rest from their work
and keep the Sabbath on the seventh day of each week. He also commanded them to rest the land
every seventh year. But what does it mean to enter God's rest? Is it just a physical rest on one
day out of seven or is it more?

One of the Ten Commandments that I haven't ever fully understood is keeping the Sabbath. What
does that really mean. Is it just physical rest? We all have personal opinions on what would be
acceptable in this area. But what is acceptable rest to God and what is He asking us to do once a
week? We aren't under the old law anymore but according to Exodus 31:14, God takes this
seriously because He said whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.

I remmber as a child hearing that it was wrong to mow your yard on Sunday because that
was considered work. Off and on I have felt confused about what is real rest on the Sabbath. Is it
a sin for me to cook dinner for my family because that is considered work? What if I go out to eat
and cause others to work so I don't have to? What if your job requires you to work on Sundays?
I heard of a tragic story about a church gathering for a meal after morning church. The person
made it ahead of time on Saturday so she wouldn't work on Sunday and ended up causing
food poisoning resulting in a death of a child. Was that pleasing to God?

I still don't have all the answers but I feel that God doesn't want us to be legalistic about it. The
religious leaders in Jesus' day also got tripped up on this very issue. They reprimanded Jesus for
healing someone because it was on the Sabbath. God gave us the example by resting Himself, not
because He was tired and needed a break, just like Jesus didn't need to be baptized because of His
sin. It was a model for us to follow. I feel that we are to take the day to reflect on Him. God said
to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

Is the Sabbath rest just resting on one day of seven? The writer of Hebrews encourages us to be
diligent to enter that rest so that no one will fall. In my study, Kay said there are three commonly
held views of this rest:
    1) The faith-rest life. This is the realization that we are simply to rest in faith and trust in the
         promises of God, not to strain to please Him by our own efforts or works.
    2) The millennial rest. The time when Christ will rule on earth for 1000 years and the nation of
         Israel will finally receive all that was promised under the New Covenant. Israel will live at
         rest in the promised land while Christ rules as King of Kings.
    3) The new heaven and new earth. After the present heaven and earth are destroyed, peace will
        reign forever in a new heaven and new earth.

The context of chapter four says that another rest lies beyond the one that Moses and Joshua could
provide. The last verse of Hebrews 4 is familiar to many

Our rest is more than a literal "day off' to rest from our physical toil. It is also a rest from
working to earn salvation or God's favor. Our rest is to rest in grace. We are called to do good
works because faith without works is dead. Our works reveal our faith, proving our faith is more
than words, but our works don't earn our salvation.


  1. This reminds me of Deeper Still!

  2. Amen. I've heard a lot of messages on the Sabbath over the last year or two and the things that stick out to me are...

    1. Sabbath comes from the word Shabot, which means to cease...Priscilla Shirer talked about this and how God knows how desperately we need to cease all our regular work so we can have a day of both physical and spiritual rest, which ties into number...
    2. We aren't just to cease working for physical rest, but for the sole purpose of focusing on God. We are to use the Sabbath as an opportunity to focus on God without the distraction of our normal routine.


  3. Hi! Does the frequency of updates of your website depend on some thing or you create blog articles when you have an inspiration or spare time on that? Can't wait to hear from you.

  4. Thank you for your comment. I just post about whatever is going on at that particular time in my life. I write about my bible studies that I am doing at the time, about my kids, and about homeschooling.