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Hebrews 4 : We can go in to rest if we believe

v1 God promised his people a place where they could rest. And that promise is still true for us. So we should be very careful. We want all of you to arrive there. We do not want any of you to fail. v2 Certainly, we have heard the good news, just like the people with Moses heard it. But they failed to believe what they heard. So the message did not help them. v3 We who believe that message will arrive in that place. And then we will rest with God. It is as God said:

  ‘I am very angry with them.

  So, I promise this and it will not change:

I prepared a place for them to rest.

But they will never arrive at the place which I prepared for them.’

[Psalm 95:11]

God said that. But he had finished his work when he made the world. v4 In the Bible God has spoken about the seventh day.

  ‘God rested from all his work on the seventh day’, the Bible says.

[Genesis 2:2]

v5 As we saw before, God also said later:

‘I prepared a place for them to rest.

But they will never arrive at the place which I prepared for them.’

[Psalm 95:11]

v6 Those people who heard the good news first, refused to obey God. So they did not go to rest with him. But God’s promise is still true for other people. Other people can go and rest with him. v7 So God chose another special time and he called it ‘today’. He spoke by David a long time after Moses. As we have already seen, he said:

  ‘You must listen when you hear God speak today.

Do not refuse to listen to him.’

[Psalm 95:7-8]

v8 Joshua did not bring the people to the place where they could rest. So God had to speak again later. He had to speak about another day. v9 There is still a place ready for God’s people, where they can rest completely. They will rest like God rested on the seventh day. v10 God rested after he had finished his work. And it is the same for everyone who goes to rest with God. They will rest after they have finished their own work.

Verse 8 After Moses died, Joshua led *Israel’s people. (See Joshua 1:1-2.) He led them into the country that God had promised their parents. *Israel’s people lived there, in their own country, for several hundred years. But that country was only like a picture of what God wants to give us. He was not really talking about a place on earth where we could rest. He wants us to rest with him always, after our lives on earth. Also, he wants us to rest inside ourselves, even during our lives here on earth. He wants us to be without trouble inside ourselves. We can rest like this if we really believe God.

v11 So we must do everything possible to receive that rest with God. Nobody should copy the example of those people who refused to obey God. Then none of us will fail to go in. v12 Every word that God speaks is alive and powerful. His word is sharper than any long knife that has two sharp edges. Just as that knife can cut deep, God’s word goes very deep into us. His word can even cut between our human nature and our *spirits. It is like a sharp knife that can cut between our bones, or even through our bones. God’s word shows what we are really thinking. It shows what we really want. v13 There is nothing in the whole world that can hide from God. He can see everything completely and clearly. And we will have to explain to him everything that we have done during our lives.

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