For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest…
In these verses we have the gradual development of the idea of rest, which begins with the sabbath rest, in which God saw that all that he had made was very good, and he blessed the work of his hands. To keep this fact before the minds of Israel he ordained the celebration of the weekly sabbath, in which, as the Lord of time, he required his people to remit their daily labors, and acknowledge him as the Creator of heaven and earth. The next advance in the illustration of the idea of rest was the prospect of Canaan after the wandering for forty years in the wilderness. Many through unbelief fell short of its attainment. The next stage of progress in the unfolding of this thought is that in which the psalmist addresses the men of his day, who were taught to look forward to another and higher rest. This would have been unnecessary if the entrance into Canaan under the leadership of Joshua had exhausted this Divine thought. There remains, after all these illustrations of the promise of rest, something yet to come. This is the method of Divine wisdom and mercy to go from one stage of revelation to a higher, until the types and facts of the past find their completeness and perfection in the blessings of the gospel. "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual" (1 Corinthians 15:46). All Divine thoughts find their highest realization in our Lord, who said, "Behold, I make all things new." At first there was the tabernacle of the Divine presence, then the material temple built by Solomon, and then appears at last the spiritual and mystic temple against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. Amid all the changes of the present life this truth of the future rest shines with a steady and cheering ray. It is for the people of God, by which phrase we understand a brief description of such as have undergone a spiritual change which forbids them to seek repose in the world, and have found true peace in Jesus Christ. They have acquired a spiritual habit of faith and hope, and are looking for a "city that hath foundations, whose Maker and Builder is God." "We who believe," saith the writer, "are entering into rest, and moving towards its enjoyment, because it is an enterprise authorized by our Lord, gives dignity to our present life, and turns our brief earthly course into a preparation for eternal joy. They have ceased from their own works, which originally were dead, and consisted of outward ceremonies, and were wrought without that faith which alone makes them acceptable to God; for they that are in the flesh cannot please him. Being regenerated, their new works are prompted by the Divine Spirit, flow from love to Christ, and are filled with spiritual life; for 'if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, and all things are become new.'" - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
WEB: For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.