The Book of Hebrews: 3:11-15 (NLT)
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The Book of Hebrews (NLT): This Book argues for the superiority of Jesus Christ over the Jewish law and traditions, showing that He is the ultimate high priest and the perfect sacrifice for sin. The author emphasizes the need for perseverance in faith, warning against falling away from the truth and encouraging the readers to hold fast to their faith in Christ. The Book of Hebrews is located in the New Testament containing 13 chapters and a total of 303 verses.
Author: Attributed to the apostle Paul, but its true author is anonymous.
Theme: The superiority of Jesus Christ as the ultimate revelation of God and the fulfillment of the Old Testament law and prophecies. The new covenant that Jesus brought is superior to the old covenant under the law and faith is superior.
Timeline: Believed to have been written between AD 60 and AD 70 before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
Structure: A New Testament letter written to Jewish Christians.
Recipients: Jewish Christians.
Importance: The book of Hebrews is considered authoritative scripture and provides important teachings on the person and work of Jesus Christ, as well as the superiority of faith and the new covenant over the old covenant. It is also considered profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, as stated in 2nd Timothy 4:16.
God was angry at the rebellious and hardened hearts of His people that He swore an oath to Himself that they would “not enter into His rest” (KJV) or His place of rest (NLT). What is God’s place of rest or what is entering into His rest? For the Israelites, it was entering into the “promised land” filled with milk and honey. It was a beautiful and bountiful land that produced large crops that even one cluster of grapes had to be carried on a pole between two men (Numbers 13:23). Joshua and Caleb saw the same thing that the other 10 spies saw, but they had their trust and belief in the God that delivered them from Egypt with signs and wonders. The other 10 leaders/spies looked at the size of the inhabitants (descendants of the Anak giants) and said that they were too strong for them and they viewed themselves like grasshoppers compared to them.
Out of 12 leaders, only 2 had faith. When the people heard the evil report they were filled with fear and agreed with their leaders that they should not go into the land of Canaan, the “promised land.” They were so fearful that they wanted to get rid of Moses and get a new leader to take them back to Egypt. They preferred going back into bondage and slavery than trusting in God that they could defeat their enemies and enter into the “promised land.” The land had been prepared for them. Once they occupied the land they would have abundance and provision. God had their enemies do all the work in preparation for them.
How many times have we as Christians allowed fear to stop us from moving forward into God’s promises? What are the giants (financial, health, relationship…challenges) in our lives that we focus on rather than believing and trusting in God? God, who is so loving, patient, merciful, and wants the very best for us wants us to enter into His rest. We enter through faith in God and not through confidence in ourselves (Hebrews 4:9-12). When we rely on ourselves and our strength and not on the God who loves us so much, it’s easy to allow fear, doubt, and unbelief to creep in and alter our destiny. No matter the giants/challenges we face, trusting and having faith that God is able to perform is our resting place.
We are instructed to encourage one another to stay in faith and not allow the sins (rebelling against God’s ways) and distractions of the world to harden our hearts. When we hear God’s voice through His Holy Spirit, be open, be obedient, and trust Him.
Heavenly Father, I pray for the grace to enter into your rest today. I often find myself weary and burdened, trying to find peace and fulfillment in my own efforts and works. But I know that true rest can only be found in You. So I ask for Your help in letting go of my worries and concerns, and simply resting in Your love and care. I trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and I receive his peace and joy as my own. Thank You for the promise of entering into Your rest, and for the gift of salvation through faith in Your Son in Jesus name, Amen.
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