“And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those that were disobedient?”
Verse 11 contains the oath that they would not enter the promised rest. The following verses make it clear who this applied to. Why does the author go to such great lengths to make his point? We think it is because he was afraid for the Jewish brethren to whom the letter was written. He was afraid that they were slipping into the same kind of disobedience.
We are reminded that this was not the common disobedience that occurs with a particular sin but rather a rebellious disobedience. A disobedience, if you will, that went beyond the sins they had ample provision to remove but rather a disobedience so deep inside that the sacrifices of the law did not apply. This disobedience was a complete rejection of the will of God. In truth, these people stood up to God and told Him “NO.”
As our writer will tell us in the next chapter, the promise of rest is still in effect. That means that we can still claim the rest of God, and it means that we can still be denied that rest if we show the same disdain for the commands of God. Those Israelites did not trust God, and in the book of Hebrews, great emphasis is placed on the need for trusting in God. We are using trust in the sense of a faith that acts. If you have true faith, you will act upon that faith because you trust that God is God.
Task for Today: Claim the rest of God today. To do that you need to have faith that moves you to be obedient. Just believing that God exists is not enough. The Israelites knew He existed, but they didn’t trust Him. Trust God with your life, both physical and spiritual, but especially spiritual. When we trust and obey, we claim God’s promised rest.