It is that time of year when our bodies are beginning to yearn for entering into some rest.
For many of us the picture above represents an ideal form of restfulness that we could so easily engage in right now!!!!!
Hebrews 4 has a lot to say about rest:
Hebrew 4:9-11 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
Did you know that in Hebrew the same word is used for "rest" and "Sabbath"?
It is the Hebrew word sha-bat and the word picture behind this word is "return to the covenant".
So, try reading Hebrews 4 again and every time you come across the word "rest" insert "return to the covenant".
Of course my curious mind immediately wants to know what the word picture for covenant might be!!!
Are you curious too???
Well I will not keep you in suspense, here is the word picture: "the sign (cross) of my son".
One of the very early pictures of the Cross we have discovered together is that of Noah's ark.
Remember? Wood, blood and obedience.
Genesis 6:18 “But I will establish My covenant (rest) with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.
You will also recall that not only is the ark a picture of the Cross it is also a picture of grace: "the fence that protects life".
True rest is found when we return to the covenant and enter into God's grace (the fence that protects life) and abide there.
destroy the house!!!!
Did you know that the Hebrew concept of salvation is attached to the idea of moving house?
I'm sure the owners of the house in the picture above had to consider whether moving house was the best option for them.
Which brings us to the flood and Noah's ark.
We have spoken previously regarding the connection between Noah's ark and the Cross. Do you remember the three elements?
First, we have the wood. Both the ark and cross were made of wood.
Secondly, the ark was lined with "pitch" a word that shares the same root meaning as atonement (blood). The cross was covered with the atoning blood of Yeshua.
Thirdly, the ark was constructed through Noah's obedience to the voice of God. Yeshua hung on the cross in obedience to the Father.
So, it isn't all that difficult to see these links to salvation or what we might call being born again. Nevertheless, there is still a missing piece here. What do you think it might be?
Salvation is preceded by repentance.
Okay where is the picture of repentance in the account of Noah's ark?
Thanks for asking!!!
The word picture in Hebrew for what we refer to as "repent" is "destroy the house".
I do not know about you but when I became a follower of Yeshua nobody said anything to me about moving house. Nor did anyone tell me that the old house is to be destroyed!!!
The flood "destroyed the house" that humanity had been living in, but only Noah and his family "moved house" into the ark (Cross) enabling them to transition into God's new for them.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
I for one find myself standing with the Jews Yeshua was addressing. I think there are things about what it is to repent and what it is to be saved that I have not yet fully understood.
Time to ponder and apply!!!
In our everyday lives we would assume that someone has heard what we have said if they are able to repeat the statement back to us.
This is not the case in Hebrew!!!
The evidence that you have heard what I have said is inseparable from what you do.
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’
“He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.
“Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you."
“For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him."
Responding to what we hear with a heart of obedience is a major theme throughout Scripture, but sadly as in the parable Jesus told we miss the power of it.
The word picture meaning for the word obedience in Hebrew is "to see the name".
The first son had a "mental lapse" he forgot for a moment who had asked him to work in the vineyard that day. But then; he remembered his father: his character, his great love demonstrated through years of hard work and sacrifice for the family and in that moment he "saw the name". Having seen the name afresh he obeyed what his father had asked of him.
Sawubona is a Zulu greeting which means "I see you".
What sort of impact would it have on my life and your life if we went through everyday using this greeting in our relationship with our God, our family, our work mates and people we might meet in passing.
I believe this greeting carries a powerful message: 'I honour you, I value your God given purpose and I am ready to serve (obey) beside you to the best of my ability.'
I see you!!!!!
You may recall that our conversation about grace commenced with Noah and the Ark.
There we discovered that the word picture for grace is "a fence that protects life". We then made the connection that the ark was a big "fence" protecting all the life left on planet earth.
Also, we noted the connection between "pitch" which was applied to the ark and the word associated with blood atonement.
Finally, we made the important link between Noah's obedience and the building of this "fence that protects life".
We then posed the question: Where else in Scripture do the three elements associated with the ark; wood, blood and obedience occur?
Our answer was the Cross.
But there is also another answer to this question.
Exodus 12:7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
Exodus 12:13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
When God established the Passover with Israel he incorporated the same three elements: wood of the doorposts, blood of the lamb and the obedience of the people.
Which means the Passover is also a 'fence that protects life".
The Hebrew word for house means "inside the covenant".
The ark was such a house, so too were the Hebrew homes in Egypt that had the blood applied to their doorposts.
Yeshua became the fulfilment of this picture on the cross and the oft used term in the New Testament "in Christ" is actually a reference to living inside the covenant.
One final thing we can note is the theme of the door. In Hebrew it is "the door that controls the covenant".
Noah and his family had to enter through the door of the ark.
The Israelites had to enter into their homes through the door where the blood had been applied.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)
How cool is that???