“Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day” ( Hebrews 4:7-8 )
An important truth to understand when reading the Bible, is that in the New Testament we see the literal and spiritual fulfillment of the events that happened in the Old Testament. This example from Israel’s past in their pursuit into Canaan is something we must pay close attention to because this was a foreshadow of entering into the true promised land of God.
In fact the writer of Hebrews calls to our attention that this passage is not even speaking about entering into Canaan, it is speaking about entering into the rest that David saw and prophesied about in Psalm 95. This rest comes through faith in Christ Jesus. David looked forward to the time of Christ and called us blessed because he saw the righteousness that Christ awards through faith. “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him” ( Romans 4:6-8 ).
When David saw this, he instructed under the influence of the Holy Spirit not to let hardness of heart numb this amazing truth. He warned against being like Israel during their time in the wilderness; hard and insensitive to God. Rather, when we hear His voice and His offer of life we are to respond in faith accepting the good news of Christ which has the power to save ( Romans 1:16 ).
The writer cites these scriptures from Psalm 95 over and over in Hebrews 3 and 4 emphasizing the importance of the condition of our heart. Israel is the example, but the offer of entering into this rest is still available today. David talked about another day because Joshua didn’t give them the true rest that comes from God. It was a mere shadow of Jesus. As believers we have another opportunity of securing this rest through faith in Christ Jesus. Everyone who believes enters into this rest ( Hebrews 4:3 ). Thankfully this offer is still available today! The only requirement is faith; faith placed in Jesus. He is the true and complete Sabbath rest that God promises His children.