1. Introduction

I  was listening to the song, “There remaineth a rest,” from the album “Best for last” by Donald Lawrence.  As I did, I began to ponder on the meaning of  THE REST.  Apostle Paul, in a paradox, told the Hebrew believers that they must “labor therefore to enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4: 11).

Apostle Paul had actually made a cross-reference with Psalm 95: 11 where the Father said of Israel, “Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.”

In order to better understand the Apostle’s statement, I examined Psalm 95 which began with a call for the nation of Israel to worship God as His people/sheep. The Psalmist implored the people not to harden (qashah) their hearts as in the DAY OF PROVOCATION (Psalm 95: 8).

When a person’s heart is hardened, he or she:

  • is obstinate – Deuteronomy 2: 30
  • is stiff-necked and unyielding to God – Deuteronomy 10: 16; 2 Chronicles 30: 8; 2 Chronicles 36: 13; Nehemiah 9: 17; Jeremiah 7: 26
  • speaks fierce words – 2 Samuel 19: 43
  • sins greatly against God, more than their forefathers – Jeremiah 7: 26

 

2. What was the Day of Provocation?

Provocation (mĕriybah) means strife. It comes from the root word riyb  which means to strive or contend with someone, to chide them, complain, adversaries of the Lord.

The provocation was two-fold. It began officially on the day when ten of the twelve spies said that the Jews could not inherit the land of Canaan because the inhabitants were giants and would be difficult to conquer. All except for two caused the nation to enter into unbelief. The nation of Israel near rioted – striving with Moses and cursing him for bringing them out of the “safety and security” of Egypt.

Father God was so provoked by their unbelief that He sent a plague among them and said that those 20 years and over would die in the wilderness. They therefore had to wander in that same wilderness for 40 years until that generation died – except for Joshua and Caleb who had brought back a good report.

Meantime, I hear the Father say, during the 40 years, that Israel was the most miserable set of people you could ever see.  They could not enter into the Promise of Canaan, because as Father said of them:

“It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways” (Psalm 95: 11).

Err in the scripture means to wander, stagger, be deceived, go astray. We therefore see that TO BE IN UNBELIEF IN THE WORD OF GOD is TO BE IN ERROR.

God said that those who err in unbelief do not know His ways.  One can see miracles and know God’s hand, yet not know His ways. That is why we must teach His ways to this generation so they can learn to love God.

 

3. Application of REST (mĕnuwchah) in the Old Testament Scriptures

I was curious, so I examined the meaning of mĕnuwchah,  which is the Hebrew word for REST. Mĕnuwchah is also used to mean resting place, rest and to the inheritance/getting your inheritance, conquering your enemies with ease, a woman finding rest with her husband.

Mĕnuwchah  is also used to mean receiving all of the Promises given by God, man of rest, house of rest/place of worship, still waters, Presence of God, rest for the weary, quiet resting places, a quiet Prince/peaceful.

What a wonderful God! He wants us to freely enter His Promises by FAITH and to REST.

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