Hebrews 4:6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience.
(This is the fourth of a series of articles about entering God's rest. You may subscribe free and get these in your email by clicking here).
The Children of Israel failed to enter the Promised Land because they did not believe. It is amazing in a way, because they had seen the plagues that had overwhelmed Egypt, and they had seen the sea split in two for them to cross it on dry land. They had also seen that same sea destroy the Egyptian army.
They had lived in the Desert for some time and God had provided food and water each day. Surely, the God that brought them out of Egypt could finish what He had started.
Yet, they stood on the banks of the Jordan River and refused to go into the land even though God had promised them victory over every enemy. Fear of the unknown, perhaps, overcame their faith.
Today we have the same challenge that they did. We have been born into God’s kingdom (brought out of Egypt) and we have been given promises. Not the least of which is victory over sin and the peace that surpasses understanding.
We saw in verse 5 that they failed to enter because they did not combine the promise with faith. They had the good news (the gospel) preached to them, but because of their disobedience, they failed to enter the land. The word translated “disobedience” might better be translated “unbelief” as the King James Version translates.
The word is from the Greek APISTIA, from which we get our word “apostasy.” The Greek word PISTEUO means belief. The only difference is the negative prefix. It also has the idea of an obstinate attitude, not only disbelief, but blatantly refusing to believe.
Today lets not be like those people, who were overcame by their fear. Rather, let us believe in God, and enter into his rest. This is not a reference to salvation, for the “rest of God” can only be entered by those that are already Children. The rest is a state where we do not rely on our own efforts, having rested from them, but we rely on the Lord, who has promised to give us victory.
Whenever we face obstacles, especially spiritually, we should focus on faith in God’s promises – His rest – instead of the obstacle.