4
The Israelites failed to enter the place where they would rest; we must be careful not to act like them.
Hebrews 4:1-5
The Israelites did not enter the place where they would rest. But God has still promised us that we can enter the place of resting in heaven eternally. So we must beware of the possibility that God may consider that some of you have failed to enter the place of resting eternally as the Israelites did not enter the place where they would rest. We have heard the message about Christ, just like the Israelites heard what God promised. But just like the message did not benefit most of those who heard it because they did not believe it as Joshua and Caleb did, it will not benefit us eternally if we do not keep believing it. We who have believed in Christ are able to enter the place of resting eternally. We know there is a place where we will rest eternally because God said,
Because I was angry with them, I solemnly declared, “They will not enter the land where I would let them rest.”
God said that even though he ceased his work of creating things after he created the world. What someone wrote somewhere in the Scriptures about the seventh day after he had spent six days creating the world, supports that:
Then, on the seventh day, God rested from his work of creating everything.
But note again what God said about the Israelites in the passage that I quoted previously:
They will not enter the land where I would let them rest.
The Scriptures support the claim that there is a time when God's people will rest eternally.
Hebrews 4:6-10
Some people experience entering that place of resting eternally. But those Israelites who first had the good message preached to them {first heard the good message} about what God promised them did not enter that place of resting, because they refused to believe God. But God appointed another time when we may enter that place of resting. That time is now! We know that is true because much later than when the Israelites rebelled against God in the desert, he caused King David to write what I have already quoted,
Now, when you understand what God is saying to you, do not stubbornly disobey him.
If Joshua had led the Israelites to enter the place of resting, God would not have spoken later about another time when we could rest [MET]. So we know God was speaking about another time when some people would enter that place of resting eternally. So, just like God rested on the seventh day after he finished making everything, there remains a time when God's people will rest eternally. 10 Specifically, whoever enters God's place of resting has ceased doing things to gain God's favor, just like God ceased doing his work of creating everything.
We must be careful not to be insincere about trying to enter the place of eternal rest.
Hebrews 4:11-13
11 God severely punished the Israelites because they disbelieved his message. So we must strive to experience entering that place of resting eternally, in order that he will not severely punish any of us for not believing his message. 12  Beware of being insincere about doing this, because the message God has given us very powerfully penetrates our thinking more than a two-edged sword penetrates flesh [MET]. It penetrates deeply into our souls and spirits, as a sharp sword can penetrate into our joints and marrow. That is, by his message God [PRS] discerns all that we think about, and he discerns all that we desire to do [MTY] (OR, His message exposes to us all our thoughts and all our desires). 13 God knows everything about everyone. Everything is completely exposed [DOU] to him, and he is the one [SYN] who will say whether he approves of what we have done.
Let us come boldly to Christ, our Supreme Priest, to receive his gracious help.
Hebrews 4:14-16
14 We have a great Supreme Priest who ascended through the heavens when he returned to God's presence. He is Jesus, ◄God's Son/the man who is also God►. So let us firmly profess what we believe about him. 15 Our Supreme Priest can indeed [LIT] compassionately deal with us who tend to sin easily, because he also was tempted to sin in every way that we are tempted to sin, and yet he did not sin. 16 So, let us come boldly to Christ [MTY], who rules [MET] from heaven and does for us what we do not deserve, in order that we might experience his acting mercifully toward us, and in order that we might experience his helping us in a kind way whenever we need help.