The writer to the Hebrews believed that there is a rest for the people of God. God invites all to enter his rest if they will hear his voice and not harden their hearts in rebellion against him.
The Hebrew writer shows that this hope of Heaven is based on three oaths which God made. He could hardly find a stronger foundation, could he? We have this hope as an anchor of the soul.
Hebrews 7:21, Psalms 110:4
¶“1The LORD says to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. 2From Zion the LORD sends forth your mighty scepter. Rule amid your enemies! 3On the day of your power your people will present themselves to you in the beauty of holiness. From the womb of the morning you will have the dew of your youth. 4The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:1-4).
Christ the Son of God is presented in Hebrews as our great high priest. His credentials are rock solid. The Hebrew writer discusses these credentials around a Messianic prophecy sworn as an oath by God, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:4)..
The Hebrew writer explains in great detail, that Christ is vastly superior in his priesthood. The arguments in favour of this proposition are stunning.
In a coming lesson, we will examine this oath in detail. For now, we observe that only through this Son and High Priest can anybody enter into God’s heavenly rest.
Hebrews 6:13-14, Genesis 22:17
¶“15And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven. 16The angel said, 'By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD. Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you. I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of Heaven and as the sand on the seashore. And these your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.'” (Genesis 22:15-18).
The Hebrew writer points out that God swore an oath when he made his promise to Abraham that in his seed all nations would be blessed (Genesis 22:15-18).
This shows the unchangeable purpose of God, and we can look foward to its fulfillment with strong encouragement, for it is impossible for God to lie in two unchangeable things, his promise and his oath. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul".
Hebrews 3:11, Psalm 95:11
¶“6O come, let us worship and bow down! Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker, 7for he is our God, and we are the people in his pasture, the sheep led by his hand. Today, if you will hear his voice, 8harden not your hearts as in the rebellion, the day of trial in the wilderness 9 when your ancestors tested me even though they saw my work. 10For forty years I was grieved by that generation. I said, 'These people go astray in their hearts and do not acknowledge my ways'. 11So I swore in my anger, 'They shall not enter my rest' ” (Psalm 95:11).
God swore in his wrath "They shall not enter my rest" (Hebrews 3:11). The Hebrew writer turns that bad news into good news.
Since the promise of entering into God’s rest was denied them, it remains to be fulfilled. And it will be fulfilled for any who will listen to God’s voice and soften their hearts to his will.