The author of Hebrews encourages us to not just hear God’s word, but to take it in, to unite with it, to be one with it. When we hear God’s word, we are to unite with it, take it in to become a part of us, and not harden our hearts. Just as God rested from His works, so are we to be diligent to rest from ours. God’s word is alive and well, sharp and probing, not to hurt us but rather to expose us in thought, word, and deed to God’s sight and judgment. This can be scary, but we have a High Priest named Jesus, and He can sympathize with, and understand, every single thing we go through, because He has been tempted just as we have been. Because of that we can draw near to God in confidence, knowing that because of Jesus we have mercy and grace.
Just hearing something does not necessarily change us. Rather, we need to take it in like food, digest it, unite with it, become one with it, let it impact us. And so it is with God’s word. The Bible is full of examples of people who heard the word of God, but did not let it impact them, change them; they did not internalize it, and therefore were barred from Heaven. In verse 10 it says “for the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” How many of us, even after hearing God’s word and taking it in, are still trying to “earn our salvation” by our works? Give it up; we can’t do it. Rather, we are to rest from our works and rest in God’s plan of salvation for us through Jesus. Jesus, fully man, was tempted in all ways as we are. Jesus, fully God, never gave in to those temptations. He perfectly understands and sympathizes with us and our weaknesses, and as the perfect High Priest goes before God’s throne to intercede for us with God. Jesus paid the price for all of our sins, and we can’t add to that. Therefore we are called to rest from our works, and rest (trust) in God’s works (His plan of salvation in Jesus for us). Stop our striving and be still.
Father God, thank you that from before the foundations of the world were laid, you knew us, loved us, and knew that we would need a Savior. Thank you for your provision for us and for our salvation in Jesus. Thank you that Jesus paid the price for our sins, so that we don’t have to, even if we could. Thank you that we can rest from our pointless efforts, and rest in your everlasting grace.
Please forgive us when we still try to earn our salvation, thereby minimizing the sacrifice your Son made for us. Forgive us when we work ourselves into a frenzy of “good works” for you, when really what you desire is for us to rest from those works and rest in you.
We love you and praise you for your provision of Jesus as our perfect High Priest. Help us to cherish time spent resting in your word, taking it in, and placing our trust in Jesus as the Living Word.
Posted on Thu, October 1, 2015
by Brian Landers