God’s Perfect Rest
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.Hebrews 4:8-11
God chose Israel to be the vehicle to carry out his plan for all the world. What is recorded in the Old Testament is glimpses, types, and shadows of that plan. God promised Abraham the father of the nation of Israel that He would give his offspring the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. This promise was only a small part of God’s plan. Through the leadership of Moses and Joshua, God fulfilled that promise. This is but one thread of God’s complete promise.
The writer of Hebrews takes that thread to make a comparison of God’s original covenant with Israel and a better covenant for all of mankind. Moses represented God in both the first covenant and the law but they were only a shadow of God’s eternal plan. The land that God promised His people was a picture of spiritual rest just as the Sabbath was a picture of rest. Both Moses and Joshua could not provide rest because they were centered around man’s own works. Spiritual rest can never be achieved by our works.
God’s better covenant, rest from works, was carried out and completed by Jesus at Calvary. Jesus did the work of God to redeem mankind. It was unbelief in God that prevented Israel from their rest and it is the same unbelief in God that prevents us from an eternal rest. God provided a way for us to rest from our works of trying to be good enough to get into heaven. Jesus did all the work by taking man’s sin upon himself and paying the judgment for sin. Because Jesus died and conquered death by His resurrection, we can have eternal life in heaven apart from works.
This week, let us take some time from our busy work and think about the perfect plan of God. The promise that removes all of our efforts to try and be good enough to please God. Instead, let us rest in Jesus and submit to His work because that is the only work that pleases God.