Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. Hebrews 4:1-2
The Book of Hebrew is full of warnings and promises, as well. We find a promise in verse 1, that there is “a promise remains of entering His rest.” Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!!!
Rest is a many dimension word for there is rest in the here and now, rest of salvation, rest in heaven, etc. and we will discuss later. For today, it is sufficient to say that rest requires belief and obedience. We will be wise to hear the Lord’s warning in regards to rest, “let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it (verse 1).”
The writer speaks of two groups: 1) the Israelites during the time of the Exodus and 2) the writer and the Jews he is writing to at this time. He tells his readers that both groups were preached the gospel, one group profited and one group did not. We are not left to wonder why one group did not profit from the Word as verse 2 informs us, the Word was “not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”
Here is God’s instruction to the hearer of His Word. The Word must be mixed with faith. Now, I must admit that the NIV translation is my favorite for Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is having absolute confidence, absolute trust, and absolute assurance that God is Who He says He is and He does all that He says. Every bit of the Word is true. That’s Gods’ story and I’m sticking to it because I know without any shadow of a doubt that He is! Amen!
The Word brought no profit because it was not mixed with faith. The Word had no value to the hearers. There is no profit because the Lord warns us in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.“
I am reminded of the Parable of the Seed Sown in Mark 4. I will only post the meaning Jesus gave below but you can find the entire parable here.
“Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:13-20
“But those [the seed, Word] that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold (Mark 4:20a).” The fruit of rest – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).“
In these chaotic, toxic, tumultuous, love waxing cold, tickling ear days- The Word is where we find Truth that offers the rest, the comfort, the peace, the strength, the joy, the hope our souls need. In Hebrews 4:1-2, the LORD gives us a clear warning and a clear promise, “a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
Father, What an Awesome, Mighty God You are. We bow before You to bless You and give you honor and praise. Thank You, for giving Jesus that we would know rest in this world and in heaven. Thank You for the privilege of casting every care to You as we trust in You and Your Word! “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” In Jesus Name, Amen!