Thursday, August 6, 2009

Going Deeper (Week 5)

Going Deeper (Week 5 Day 2)

The author of Hebrews repeated some words and phrases in verses 7-19. Can you pick up those words and phrases that are repeated more than three times, and explain why, in your opinion, the author emphasizes them?

Word or phrase [Meaning]
Today (v7, 13, 15) [The author wants the readers to take heed of the warning immediately. Don’t wait.]
Hear, heard (v7, 15, 16) [The author wants the reader to listen to God.]
Angry or anger (v10, 11, 17) [God is serious and ‘angry’ with our sinfulness, rebellious, and unbelief!]
Heart(s) (v8, 10, 12, 15) [The key problem lies in the hearts of men.]

You may find some other words or phrases or even ideas which are repeated over and over again. This exercise is to help us to read the Bible in a more careful manner, so that we can pick up what the Lord really want to speak through the author of the Scripture.

Going Deeper (Week 5 Day 3)

There are basically three senses of the use of the word rest: 1) Promised Land rest (Temporal, earthly rest promised by God), 2) Sabbath rest (Physical rest from work on the seventh day), and 3) Eternal rest (Spiritual rest provided and sustained by Jesus).
Identify where the word rest appears in vv. 1-10 and explain is in its context.

Rest [Meaning]
V1 [Spiritual rest]
V3 (x2) [Spiritual rest]
V4 [Physical rest]
V5 [Spiritual rest]
V6 [Promise Land rest]
V8 [Promise Land rest]
V9 [Physical rest]
V10 [Spiritual and Physical rest]
V11 [Physical rest]

What is your conclusion from this observation?

Pastor Keith mentioned in his sermon that there are Past-rest, Future-rest and Present-rest. If we translate that to my terminology of Sabbath rest (Physical Rest), Eschatological rest (Promise Land Rest) and Soteriological rest (Spiritual Rest); it corresponds respectively.

My observation is that all these three kind of rests have to be kept in perspective. We cannot neglect physical rest, neither lost sight of the future-eschatological rest; and we cannot forget our Present-Spiritual rest which is available to us now through Christ.

Going Deeper (Week 5 Day 4)

There seems to be a disconnection of ideas between verse 12-13 and the previous verses. Verses 1-11 or even from 3:7 is talking about rest and verses 12-13 is seemed to be talking about the Word of God. What is the single idea that strings 3:7 to 4:13 together? How would you explain it? (You can start by studying Psalm 95, where the author quoted from).

I also find it interesting that the Preacher ends of his section of sermon on rest with the idea of the living word of God. I don’t think he is telling us that the place to really find rest (all three kinds) is in and through God’s Living Word!

Psalm 95 correlates creation and redemption, with a special emphasis on redemption. The Preacher uses the conduct of the Israelites as a means of challenging his audience to a closer walk with God. There was a promise in the OT that God's people would enter into rest. The Preacher sees this promise as fulfilled—not in anything in the OT—but in Christ. In drawing attention to this, he shows from another angle that Christ is God's final word to mankind.

You are welcome to share with me or leave your comment if you have other insight of this passage.

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