The Promise of Rest

One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoye … More


In this passage we find the word “rest“ mentioned nine times (vv. 1-11).  God has provided a “rest“ and that “rest“ can still be known today. The reference to Jesus also involves Joshua of the Old Testament (v. 8). The two words, Joshua and Jesus, in Hebrew and Greek, are the same. Here the author suggests there must be a permanent and better rest for the people of God than was realized in Joshua’s day. We see that this rest is compared to that of God’s rest following creation, so we might also think of this rest being a present blessing of God (v. 4). There is also an eternal rest which is in the future (v. 9). We find this refers to Christ who has finished His work for redeeming us, and like God the Father has entered His rest (v. 10). We are told to be diligent to enter God’s rest and not miss what God has because of unbelief (v. 11).

From this passage we see the need for the gospel to be preached, faith to be exercised by those who hear, and rest provided for those who believe.

Six Aspects of Rest:

  • Creation rest, broken by sin Genesis 2:2
  • Redemption rest, secured in Christ Zeph. 3:17
  • The sinner’s rest, by coming to Christ  Matt. 11:28
  • The saint’s rest, in communion with Christ Mark 6:30
  • Paradise rest, present 2 Cor. 5:1-8
  • Eternal rest, future Heb. 4:9


Do I have fears and worries? God provides rest. All I need to do is trust Him and allow Him to work.

Hebrews 4:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest,'" although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." And again in this passage he said, "They shall not enter my rest." Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." 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.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »