Yeshua’s Rest Is Superior To That of Moshe and Y’Hoshua ~ Part 2

Messianic Jews 3:12-19
Letter to the Messianic Jews

In my last post, we began an introduction to the topic of Yeshua Rest Is Superior To That of Moshe and Y’Hoshua.  In this post, we continue to explore that concept of the necessity of persevering faith to enter Yeshua’s rest contained in Messianic Jews 3:12-19.

12 Watch out, brothers, so that there will not be in any one of you an evil heart lacking trust, which could lead you to apostatize from the living God! 13 Instead, keep exhorting each other every day, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will become hardened by the deceit of sin. 14 For we have become sharers in the Messiah, provided, however, that we hold firmly to the conviction we began with, right through until the goal is reached. 15 Now where it says, “Today, if you hear God’s voice, don’t harden your hearts, as you did in the Bitter Quarrel,” 16 who were the people who, after they heard, quarreled so bitterly? All those whom Moshe brought out of Egypt. 17 And with whom was God disgusted for forty years? Those who sinned — yes, they fell dead in the Wilderness! 18 And to whom was it that he swore that they would not enter his rest? Those who were disobedient. 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of lack of trust.” ~ Hebrews 3:12-19 (CJB)

I have previously dealt with the subject of apostasy in my series on Eternal Security and would refer you back to Eternal Security Part 4; Part 5; and, Part 6.

In urging his readers to keep exhorting each other, the author is exemplifying the principle that the Messianic life pattern is not one in which the vast majority of passive believers let a few “ministers” do all the work. Rather, Yeshua gives His followers leaders whose task is “to equip God’s people for the work of service that builds the Body of the Messiah” (Ephesians 4:11-16). He will reiterate this point in Messianic Jews 10:24-25.

In effect, the author is saying, “While there is yet time, while you can still speak of ‘today’ give God the trust and the obedience that he must have.” For the individual “today” means “while life lasts” and the author is saying, “While you have the chance, give God the submission you ought to give. Give it to him before your day closes.”

There are three significant warnings here. [1]

  • God makes humanity an offer. Just as He offered the Israelites the blessings of the Promised Land, He provides us the benefits of a life which is far beyond the life that we can live without Him.
  • To obtain the blessings of God two things are necessary.
    • Trust is necessary. We must believe that what God says is true. We must be willing to stake our lives on his promises.
    • Obedience is necessary. In any realm of life, success depends on obedience to the word of the expert. God is the expert in life, and real happiness depends on obedience to Him.
  • There is a limit to God’s offer. That limit is the duration of our life here on earth. We speak easily about “tomorrow” but for some of us, tomorrow may never come. All we have is today. Someone has said: “We should live each day as if it were a lifetime.” God’s offer must be accepted today; the trust and the obedience must be given today ~ for we cannot be sure that there will be a tomorrow.

Here we have the excellent offer of God, but it is only for absolute trust and full obedience, and it must be accepted now, or it may be too late.

In my next post, we’ll explore Messianic Jews 4:1-13 containing a warning against missing Yeshua’s rest as typified by Canaan rest.

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[1] Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT) by William Barclay.

Yeshua’s Rest Is Superior To That of Moshe and Y’Hoshua ~ Part 1

Messianic Jews 3:7-11
Letter to the Messianic Jews

In my last post, we explored Messianic Jews 3:1-6. That passage relates to Yeshua as Lord is better than Moshe as a servant. In this post, we begin to explore that concept that Yeshua Rest Is Superior To That of Moshe and Y’Hoshua.  This post deals with an introduction to this topic.

7 Therefore, as the Ruach HaKodesh says,  ‘Today, if you hear God’s voice, 8 don’t harden your hearts, as you did in the Bitter Quarrel on that day in the Wilderness when you put God to the test. 9 Yes, your fathers put me to the test; they challenged me, and they saw my work for forty years! 10 therefore, I was disgusted with that generation ~ I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, they have not understood how I do things’; 11 in my anger, I swore that they would not enter my rest.” ~ Messianic Jews 3:7-11 (CJB)

The writer of Messianic Jews has just been striving to prove the unique supremacy of Yeshua, and now he leaves argument for exhortation. He presses upon his hearers the inevitable consequence of this exclusive supremacy. If Yeshua is so uniquely great, it follows that complete trust and complete obedience must be given to him. If they harden their hearts and refuse to provide Him with their obedient faith the consequences are bound to be terrible.

Today, if you hear God’s voice is a quote from Psalm 95:7 which is also used in a famous midrash about when the Messiah is to come:

“Rabbi Joshua ben-Lʾvi met Elijah and asked him, ‘When will the Messiah come?’ ‘Go and ask him!’ ‘Where is he?’ ‘At the entrance [to Rome], sitting among the lepers.’ So he went, greeted him, and asked, ‘Master, when will you come?’ ‘Today,’ he answered. Upon returning to Elijah, Rabbi Joshua said, ‘He lied to me. He told me he would come today, but he has not come.’ Elijah replied, ‘What he said to you was: “Today if you will hear his voice.”‘” (Condensed from Sanhedrin 98a) [1]

So it is with the real Messiah and with all the greater poignancy. Yeshua will come today to anyone who will hear His voice and not rebel as the Israelites in the wilderness did.

Don’t harden your hearts, as you did in the Bitter Quarrel on that day in the Wilderness when you put God to the test. This is a reference to two stories told in Sh’mot 17:1-7 and B’midbar 20:1-13. These passages tell of a rebellious incident in the pilgrimage of the children of Israel. They were thirsty in the desert and railed against Moshe, regretting that they had ever left Egypt and forswearing their trust in God. In the B’midbar passage God told Moshe to speak to the limestone rock and water would gush forth. But Moshe in his anger did not speak to the rock; he struck it. The water came forth, but for this act of distrust and disobedience, God declared that Moshe would never be allowed to lead the people into the promised land.

My take away from this passage is that you must put all your trust and confidence in Yeshua. But you must do it now because the Lord may return at any time.

In my next post, we’ll explore Messianic Jews 3:12-19 where we begin to examine the necessity of persevering faith to enter Yeshua’s rest.

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[1] Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern.