Ezekiel 5:1-6:14; Hebrews 4:12-16; Psalms 104:8-23; Proverbs 22:17-19
NT: “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:12-16 CSB)
Hebrews chapter 4 mentions three main topics: 1) promised rest, 2) the word of God, 3) the throne of grace. When we read this chapter, we are probably inclined to think of those three topics as three distinct subjects – so in our understanding, we compartmentalize them apart from each other. But they are all connected, and the common connector is our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ.
In the first part of chapter 4, the author wrote that Joshua (who lead Israel into the promise land) was not successful in leading God’s people into true spiritual rest – but the true promised rest of God is available through faith and obedience to Christ. That led the author of Hebrews to write, “Let us then make every effort to enter that rest…” What is the effort that we engage in to enter rest? Faith and obedience to the word of God. That charge then leads to this section of scripture on the living and effective word of God.
As we read in John 1:1-14, Jesus Christ is the living Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us. The Greek word used for ‘word’ is logos, which means the full and complete word of God… all of His sayings, mandates and decrees. The logos of God is compared here to a double-edged sword. When we picture a double-edged sword, we most likely picture a large and unwieldy broad battle sword. The Greek word used here is actually machaira, which was smaller dagger-like sword that was extremely precise and used in close-contact hand-to-hand combat. Obeying the words of God and the Word of God, Jesus Christ is more powerful, precise and effective in addressing our shortcomings and knowing our inner-most thoughts and intentions than a machaira is at pinpointing a target and disposing of an enemy.
Jesus Christ has ascended into heaven and entered into true rest, and can lead us, who follow Him, into true rest as well. We follow Him by submitting fully to Him and His words… submitting fully to the sanctifying process of His word and His Holy Spirit completely. When Jesus ascended, He took His place of rest on the throne of grace, beside God the Father in the heavenlies. He didn’t approach the mercy seat inside the earthly temple on our behalf. He entered into the very throne room of heaven and sat down on the throne of grace and abides there constantly. In order for us to enter into true spiritual rest… in order for us to fully obey the word of God and allow it to have its full work in us, we need mercy and grace. Christ, who fully understands and sympathizes with all of our weaknesses and shortcomings, and the temptations we face, is now seated at the very source of mercy and grace and is willing and able to give us all the mercy and grace we need to live the life He has called us to. Rest, sanctification, purification, mercy and grace are all found in Christ as we place and maintain faith in Him, and obey His word, will and ways.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Your word and Your words which are powerful and effective in molding me, refining me, and sharpening me into the man You have called me to be. I thank You, that through You, all the mercy and grace that I need is readily available to me at all times and at any time. Help me to remain rooted and grounded in You as I keep my faith in You and endeavor to obey Your word, will and ways by the grace that You give me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.