Hebrews 4:2 continues the writer’s discussion about God’s rest. He uses the phrase “good news” as a synonym for “God’s rest.” He writes, “For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” I believe he’s still talking about the rest promised to the children of Israel when Moses led them out of Egypt into the wilderness. They came to the borders of the Promised Land and sent in the 12 spies. Joshua and Caleb came back with a great report about the quality of the land and confidence that God was going to give it to them. But there were 10 other spies who agreed that the land was most desirable but didn’t trust God to give it to them. Instead of focusing on God’s promises and remembering all His miracles on their behalf, they looked at the enemy and the challenge before them. Even though they were the chosen children of God and had followed Moses out of Egypt, they did not get to enjoy God’s rest in the Promised Land. They simply did not trust God’s work on their behalf. They looked at themselves only and missed the joy of God’s rest in the land of milk and honey.

Now, the same “good news” was preached to us according to this verse. We call this “good news” the “Gospel.” It’s referred to throughout the New Testament as “God’s Word” as well. It’s the message of God’s love demonstrated for us on Calvary. God’s love for us, expressed on the cross, was God doing for us something we could never do for ourselves. God Himself, in the perfect humanity of His only begotten Son, became the perfect sacrifice for our sins in order to destroy our enemy and acquire “God’s rest” for us who believe. In Genesis, God finished all His work and He “rested.” The seventh day, the Sabbath, was God’s rest that the fourth commandment calls us to remember as well. We should not work on that day because the work has all been accomplished by God.

Just as God completed all His work in Genesis and said on the seventh day, “It’s finished.” So too did Jesus accomplish all the work necessary for salvation saying “It is finished.” The most important work of God was done through the frailty of His son. The law which condemns us all has been satisfied by His perfection. But like many in Caleb and Joshua’s day, we don’t reap the benefit of God’s work on our behalf because we’re still focused on ourselves. We’re grasshoppers! The sad thing is, we like to be reminded that we’re grasshoppers. It feels good to be convicted of our failures. We like to be told we’re missing the mark so we can try harder. We’re Christians alright but in our flesh we listen to all the voices around us reminding us of how we should try harder and become more dedicated and do more for Jesus. Jesus did not say, “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you something else to do!” No. He said “come to me and I will give you rest.” Don’t listen to the plethora of voices reminding you that you’re grasshoppers! Hear, listen to, and keep your hearts focused on the good news of God’s love for you once and for all demonstrated on Calvary.