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by Wayne Blank
"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest"
The English word rest is used to translate a number of Hebrew and Greek words of the Scriptures. The first recorded "rest," that of God after He completed the work of creation, is the Hebrew word (pronounced) shaw-bawth, which means to cease; hence the origin of the word Sabbath. As Bible History progressed, "rest" became analogous for a state of being and a place where God's people could rest, not meaning that they would be idle in the "promised land," but that they would live in peace from that which troubled them, if they obeyed Him. Unfortunately, most of them didn't, but the physical promised land was used as a foreshadow of the spiritual promised land anyway. Even those who made it there then really haven't made it there yet (see When Will You Be Judged?).
The physical "promised land" was a place where God's people could "rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety." Their "rest" was a state of being in more ways than one; it was a sovereign political state, but it was also a state, a way, of existence.
"But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which The Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; Then there shall be a place which The Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto The Lord" (Deuteronomy 12:10-11 KJV)
The physical promised land did not last because too many of the people were carnal-minded ("the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" Romans 8:7 KJV), but the physical promised land was intended only as a model for a future spiritual promised land, a state of rest for Believers that will begin after The Return Of Jesus Christ (see also Scenes From The Millennium).
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
Fact Finder: What did Jesus Christ say about that "rest"?