Read for This Week’s Study: Genesis 15:13–21; Hebrews 3:12–19; Hebrews 4:6–11; Hebrews 4:1, Hebrews 4:3, Hebrews 4:5, Hebrews 4:10; Deuteronomy 5:12–15; Hebrews 4:8-11.
Memory Text: “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9, NKJV).
Hebrews 1 and 2 focused on the enthronement of Jesus as the ruler and liberator of God’s people. Hebrews 3 and 4 introduce Jesus as the one who will provide rest for us. This progression makes sense once we remember that the Davidic covenant promised that God would give the promised king and his people “rest” from their enemies (2 Samuel 7:10-11). This rest is available to us now that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.
Hebrews describes the rest both as a rest that belongs to God and as a Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:1-11). God made this rest, which was His, available to Adam and Eve. The first Sabbath was the experience of perfection with the one who made that perfection possible. God also promises a Sabbath rest because true Sabbath observance embodies the promise that God will bring that perfection back.
When we keep the Sabbath, we remember that God made perfect provision for us when He created the world and when He redeemed it at the cross. True Sabbath observance, however, besides first and foremost pointing us back to Creation, offers us a foretaste, in this imperfect world, of the future that God has promised.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 29.