9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. – Hebrews 4:9-11
Yesterday, I spoke about the Sabbath and the need for rest. The writer of Hebrews said some things about God’s rest as well. He reminds us that there is rest of a sort here, but that the ultimate rest that we all look forward to is yet to come. And it sounds somewhat strange to our ears to hear someone tell us to “strive to enter rest.” What does that mean anyway?
For those who don’t practice a Sabbath in the same manner that those who first got this letter did, the phrase seems odd. Even today, Jewish people (and others) who observe a weekly Sabbath take great pains to get everything prepared ahead of time; because the moment the Sabbath begins, there is no more time to prepare. All work must cease. This is true in life as well. We are given this life to prepare for eternity, where God offers us rest in Him. We cannot wait until eternity has begun to try and prepare for that time of rest. We must prepare now. Knowing that the rest is coming, makes it a little easier to work extra hard in the push to see it realized in its time.