My wife is a member of the U.S. Sleep Team. And she works out regularly. Every night she puts her head down on a pillow and six, seven or eight hours later, she is done with her work out. She is in serious training for the Sleep Olympics held every four years in Neverland.
Scripture speaks about rest . . . a rest coming to God’s people. Yes, it is a bit of a stretch from natural sleep to spiritual rest, but cut me some slack please.
Hebrews 3 and 4 urge people to find rest through faith in God. These two chapters focus on four things: rest, unbelief, today and the sympathetic High Priest, Jesus Christ.
Rest Today on the news, I saw a mayor who is being overwhelmed by (legitimate) criticism. She was under enormous pressure and it showed in her darkened eyes. Thinning hair, bags under each eye and dark circles around both eyes – this woman needed genuine rest – not the temporary kind from a pill, but long-lasting, God-given rest.
Oh to know and experience emotional, mental and physical rest. The driven people of our world long for rest. In-the-middle-of-the-pack people of our world long for rest. And the forgotten, no-body people long for rest. Refreshing, renewing, rejuvenating rest. Rest that flows out of being right with God. Rest, appearing 13 times in our text, is obviously a major theme of Hebrews 3 & 4.
Unbelief is also a major theme, sharing with Jesus Christ, the bulk of the print in Hebrews 3 and 4. “ . . . do not harden your hearts . . . so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness . . . and to whom did God swear that they would never enter His rest if not to those who disobeyed . . . so we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief . . . and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in [to rest], because of their disobedience (3:8; 3:13; 3:18; 3:19; 4:6). “They shall never enter My rest” appears four times, making it clear that some lost out. Lack of faith on the part of Israelites was costly.
Today But the offer of peace is still available to you today. It is like thinking a coupon had expired, but being told that it was still good. Like the boss telling the whole company, “All vacations are canceled because we have a huge order,” and then being told quietly by the boss, “You can still go on your vacation.”
“Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands . . . today, if you hear His voice . . . it still remains that some will enter that rest . . . .” (4:1, 3:15; 4:6)
Today! Yes, peace and grace and love are available for you today. Now. Forgiveness for sins! Peace of mind! All available for the believing.
The Sympathetic High Priest, Jesus Christ In 3:1-6 we are told that Jesus Christ is greater than Moses. Even though Moses enjoyed a huge following of diligent, legalistic followers – Jesus Christ was / is more worthy.
In 4:12 & 13 we are told the written Word (the Bible) is powerful and discerns the motives and attitudes behind the actions of people. While this scapple is frightening, we are assured in 4:14-16 that the divine Doctor, the Lord Jesus Christ, who operates on us, is sympathetic with our weaknesses and needs. Because He has been tempted just like we have (and yet never yielded to sin), He understands our weaknesses, which encourages us to come confidently to Him for our needs.
Today is a good day to have a good day. A good day to join the Sleep Team.