Sabbath, Canaan, and the Son of David

November 10, 2013 Evening:
Title: They Shall Not Enter My Rest
Old Testament Passage: Psalm 50:1-2 – Our great God shines forth out of Zion.
Gospel Passage: Mark 14:17-21 – One of you will betray me.
Sermon Text: Hebrews 4:2-7 – More thoughts on Psalm 95 and Genesis as they relate to faith and rest.
Sermon Point: The rest that we need to enter is God’s rest. We enter that rest by a living faith in Jesus Christ.
2 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. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
The wilderness generation received the good news of God’s kingdom through the Word of Moses. They were told to enter the land of rest, the Promised Land. That message did not benefit them because they did not believe the Word that was preached to them.
We have heard the Word of Jesus through His servants. This Word invites us into a far better Promised Land. We have believed the Word of God and have been brought into the church, the heavenly kingdom of God throughout the earth.
The first wilderness generation died in the desert. They did not enter God’s rest on earth in their day, the land of Canaan. They were afraid to do so. They believed a bad report regarding the inhabitants of the land. They would not believe the Word of God.
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,
They shall not enter my rest.”
Speaking of God’s rest, Canaan was not the first biblical picture of the eternal rest that God has provided for His people. Rest was spoken of in Genesis 2:1-3. The first Sabbath day was a rest. It was not a hammock rest for God—He did not need that kind of rest. It was a throne rest—a ruling rest as the God who reigns over everything.
God rested from His works on the seventh day for our benefit. The opening chapters of Genesis call us to enter God’s rest for us in the Sabbath day. We are supposed to cease from our own works, believe Him, and then to enter His rest by remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it separate—holy from all the other days of the week.
6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 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.”
Long after Moses, David wrote in Psalm 95 about the rest of God. By the time of David it was a well-established fact of history that the first generation in the wilderness had been unwilling to enter the rest of God. Yet David wrote for us, urging us to enter a better rest, to hear God’s call with a ready heart, to hear the voice of His anointed King, the Son of David, and to enter His rest in the church, no matter how frightening the adversaries might seem who would seek to stand in the way of God’s people resting in Him. This is still God’s call to us today. Jesus is our rest—a better rest than Sabbath or Canaan.