Man's Condition and God's Compassion
Like an old deteriorated classic automobile or a historic building in need of restoration, we are all in need of God’s restoration. He can see every part of us that is broken and corrupt and He is compassionate about restoring His fallen ones.
Need of Restoration
Need of Restoration
Be Diligent - The KJV uses the word “labor” it comes from the Gr. -spoo-dad-zo, which gives us the emphasis of “use speed”.
The writer has previously given the example of the Israelites wandering in disobedience or “unbelief”. Theirs was a failure to believe the good report of the spies who had surveyed the Canaan land and told them that it was a land of “milk and honey” and thus the promises of God. Instead they believed an evil report of giants in the land and were intimidated and thus did not receive God’s promise of rest in the promise land.
And now he says, “Labor or be diligent to enter that rest.” (Be prompt, use speed, do not delay) Back in verse 9 the scripture says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”
“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (3:6)
Rest is the root word of restoration. When you and I get worn down, sick and tired the best thing for us to do is rest and that will bring restoration. We’ll be revived for the next task or the next battle.
That’s what the word of God is saying here. Enter into His rest and be restored! Be diligent about it! Run to God who is willing to forgive, to heal, and to restore you!
The Divine Expression
The writer points to the word of God for us to be examined under its divine authority. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharp and able to expose the deepest most destructive sin of our being.
Like a surgeon has to be able to decide in an instant what to do for the afflicted patient. So God’s word as His all seeing eye sees the secret lurking doubt and unbelief “of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. And like the surgeon carries a bright and powerful light for every dark crevice to see exactly what needs attention and a sharp knife for all the removal of the puss revealed by the light so that the physical body can heal properly. There is a powerful picture here drawn of what can happen as we are exposed to the word of God.
In comparing the word of God to a sword, the writer is not suggesting that God uses His word to slaughter the saints! On the contrary God is all about the process of restoration so that we can live healthy lives for His glory. The word of God cuts the heart of sinners with conviction and defeats the works of Satan.
, (ESV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (vs. 13)
We get a further picture of how God sees and knows all about us. God’s microscope can lay bare the smallest microbe of doubt and sin. Both body and soul are naked before the eye of God. He sees right through us. Nothing is hid from Him “with whom we have to do.” He is the one we will all give account!
“Texts like this and that says, “His understanding is infinite,” remind us that God’s understanding is limitless, that His knowledge is perfect, and that there isn’t a creature anywhere in the universe that isn’t plainly visible to His sight. Nothing is shut before the eyes of God. This is what is called divine omniscience, one of the attributes of God. An attribute is something which God has declared about Himself. (A.W. Tozer)
Surely every servant of God needs to gaze into this all revealing mirror and be honest with himself and God! We need to say like David did, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
In studying this I was thinking about a project that me and my neighbors are working on. We have some aggressive weeds growing in our yard. These are weeds that if we don’t kill them, they will take over and ruin our lawns. And so we’re killing parts of our lawns to get rid of these destructive weeds. When the killing is done we’ll have to restore our lawns with some good grass seed, fertilizer, water, and care.
So it is with us in the church. There are some weeds of unbelief and sin that need to be killed so that God can begin the process of revival among us. He can restore to us what the devil has destroyed!
Let us then run to Our Compassionate Great High Priest!
Seeing then - now that we recognize that we are in need of restoration, of renewal, of revival let run to Jesus for victory!
The great theologian Warren Wiersbe says. “The central theme of Hebrews is the priesthood of Jesus Christ, what He is now doing in heaven on behalf of His people.”
Consider these facts about Jesus Christ from the word of God in the next couple of verses.
Jesus Christ Has a Superior Title
In the Old Testament Aaron was a “high priest,” but Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest. No Old Testament priest could assume that title. But in what does our Lord’s greatness consist?
Jesus Christ is both both God and man. He is “Jesus, the Son of God.”
The name Jesus means “Savior” and identifies His humanity and His ministry on earth.
“Son of God” affirms His deity and the fact that He is God.
In His unique person, Jesus Christ unites deity and humanity, so that He can bring people to god and bring to people all that God has for them.
2. Jesus Christ Has a Superior Position
Not only in His person, but also in His position, Jesus Christ is great!
The priests of the Old Testament ministered in the tabernacle and temple once a year entering the Holy of Holies. But Jesus Christ has “passed through the heavens” (vs. 14) When He ascended to the Father, Jesus Christ passed through the atmospheric heavens and the planetary heavens into the third heaven where God dwells according to ().
How much better is it to have a High Priest who ministers in a heavenly tabernacle than in an earthly one!
But there is another aspect of His position. Not only is He in heaven, but He is enthroned! His throne is “the throne of grace” ().
In Old Testament times only the high priest went beyond the veil, and only on the Day of Atonement.
We who are believers have been invited to enter into the Holy of Holies and come right to the “throne of grace where we may obtain mercy and grace to help in the time of need.”
Mercy being that we don’t receive what we deserve because Jesus has taken our judgment and punishment. And grace because Jesus is compassionate toward us and wants to restore us and bless us.