Tuesday, February 26, 2019

2019.02.26 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 4:1-13

Questions for Littles: Who did not enter God’s rest according to Hebrews 4:6? During whose time was there another chance to enter that rest (Hebrews 4:7)? Therefore, who had not given them rest (Hebrews 4:8)? What continues now (Hebrews 4:9), as long as some have the opportunity to enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10)? What is required for us to enter that rest (Hebrews 4:11a)? What would make us fall (Hebrews 4:11b)? What living, powerful thing do we need to respond to now (Hebrews 4:12)? Whom are we before, during preaching, and what will we have to give before Him later (Hebrews 4:13)?
This week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Confession of Sin all came from Hebrews 4:6-12. Here, we can see a glorious component of God’s original purpose for the Sabbath: to hold before Adam the promise of something even better than Eden. This is part of the covenant that Hosea 6:7 tells us that Adam broke. Not only had God given Adam that life in the garden; God also used the Sabbath to set before him the promise of an eternal life that was so much better that it could be called God’s own rest.

Sadly, it’s possible to know about and see God’s salvation, and be a member of His church, and still miss out on God’s glorious rest. It may be difficult for us to see this in Hebrews 4:3, which is quoting again from Psalm 95, “So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.”

We might at first think that God was talking about their missing out on entering the land that had been promised to Abraham. But Hebrews 4:8 makes an important point. The children of that generation did possess that land. But still, 500 years later, God is warning them in Psalm 95 to listen to preaching in corporate worship so that they will enter His rest.

This brings us back to the point of the Sabbath. Hebrews 4:4 sounds silly at first. God rested? Did creation make Him tired? He could have created billions of universes, in an instant, with His Word. What does it mean that God rested? It means that God gave the Sabbath as a way of inviting man into the fellowship of God’s rest. God’s rest was not for God; it was for us.

As glorious as the Sabbath itself is, Hebrews 4:5 proceeds to tell us that it is a taste of something to come, a rest that is yet to enter into. When does a man enter that rest? When our work, our time, in this life is done (Hebrews 4:10). Until then, we are to keep the weekly Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9, the word ‘rest’ is a different word than through the rest of the passage, that specifically means a rest every seventh day).

And how are we to keep it in a believing (Hebrews 4:3) and diligent (Hebrews 4:11) way? By being softhearted toward Christ’s razor sharp, piercing, discerning Word, as He addresses us, week by week, in the worship of God (Hebrews 4:12). As we sit before Him on earth, He addresses us in glory.

Whenever we are sitting there, let us remember that one day we must leave this life behind and stand before Him who sits on the throne of glory. If we really trust in Him, and believe in Him, then what we do with His Word will show it!
What do you do during the sermons in church? What can you do to listen more carefully? What has your interaction with the Lord looked like during services? What should it look like?
Suggested songs: ARP19B “The Lord’s Most Perfect Law” or TPH153 “O Day of Rest and Gladness”

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