Resting Day 5 Created For Rest: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out today’s other Journey Study, Created For Rest!

Hebrews 4:1-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

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, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

The Questions

1) What is “His rest”? What does the author mean by “His promise of rest still stands”?

2) What “disobedience” keeps us from entering the rest?

3) What is the “day later on” and why is it contrasted with Joshua?

4) What is meant by “striving” to enter His rest?

The Findings for Intention

1) What is “His rest”? What does the author mean by “His promise of rest still stands”?
“His rest” originally referred to the Promised Land of Canaan. The nation only had to obey the Lord their God. Of course, the nation rebelled and proved exactly why we need a perfect Savior to take our punishment because we can never attain to righteousness on our own. Even in the Old Testament, after Israel lived in the Promised Land of rest, God used prophets to keep pointing farther down the road to a “future rest”. This rest would be perfect, untainted by sin. This is the reward of eternal life in a new heaven and new earth, forever unblemished because sin will have been eternally banished. This “future rest” is what the author refers to when he says that it “still stands”. As long as we have breath in this life, we have the opportunity to be forever sealed for that promised “future rest” by asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior.

2) What “disobedience” keeps us from entering the rest?
Using a cross reference we look at Hebrews 3:19, which points out that the only disqualifier for entering this rest is “unbelief”. Failure to accept the gift of salvation by refusing to believe that Christ is the atonement for our un-payable debt of sin, will result in eternal separation from the loving Father.

3) What is the “day later on” and why is it contrasted with Joshua?
Joshua, whose name is also “Jesus” in Greek, was the one who led Israel into the Promised Land, the land of inheritance and rest, but this “rest” was eventually corrupted by sin and rebellion. The nation was even exiled because of their disobedience, which is why the author here points out that true rest couldn’t be attained by a sinful man, Joshua, despite how great he was. The “day later on” is when eternal life would be offered through Christ’s sacrifice for our sin by offering up His perfect life for our sin-wrecked ones.

4) What is meant by “striving” to enter His rest?
Another cross-reference leads us to look just a few verses earlier to 3:12, where the author explains that the “striving” is to make absolutely certain of our faith and not allow false teachings or peer pressure to sway us from the absolute truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The “striving” is not accumulating a checklist of righteousness, it’s a careful inspection of one’s own soul.

The Everyday Application

1) What is “His rest”? What does the author mean by “His promise of rest still stands”?
The author of Hebrews urges his readers to choose the offer of rest while it’s still available. We are all vapors, and like mist, our lives are brief and fragile. Is your eternity secure? Have you chosen His Rest? And even if you are certain of your eternal destination, are you choosing to rest in that security for your everyday? An eternal perspective of knowing that we not only know exactly who holds our future, but that all of our days between now and then are held in the palm of a Father who loves us passionately and deeply is more than enough reason to cease our strivings and allow us rest!

2) What “disobedience” keeps us from entering the rest?
It’s tempting to begin thinking legalistically when we read that there is a disobedience that keeps us from being saved, but this isn’t about a list of do’s and don’ts, but rather about the most central factor of the entire Bible, an authentic relationship with God. His love has been pursuing each human heart from the moment Eve’s lips touched that forbidden fruit. Are you embracing that love and calling it your own? Is He your God and are you His own beloved?

3) What is the “day later on” and why is it contrasted with Joshua?
Salvation through faith in Christ offers our hearts rest and peace while we are on earth, a cessation from striving for unattainable perfection. Later, in the new heaven and new earth, we will finally have perfect rest! Where are you working so hard to attain perfection, either for your own immovable standards, or in an attempt to please a seemingly un-pleasable God? God created rest for us that we might stop working so hard, both physically and spiritually, just as God Himself rested after His work had been completed.

4) What is meant by “striving” to enter His rest?
As we make certain of our own faith, as we are urged to do in Hebrews 3:12, it compels us with the same desperate urgency to “exhort one another” with this saving gospel. Be held accountable as you live everyday life making sure it matches up what the gospel preaches and hold other fellow Christians to be accountable as well. Also, be active in sharing this gospel with those around you. Be diligent in holding out truth and grace as you know full well that there will come a day when the offer of salvation is null and void, either when Jesus returns or our earthly bodies fail. Today is the day of salvation! Choose Jesus now!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, Created For Rest!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Resting Week One!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Resting!