For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God's goal for us, we need to be careful that we're not disqualified.
We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn't do them a bit of good because they didn't receive the promises with faith.
If we believe, though, we'll experience that state of resting. But not if we don't have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, "They'll never get where they're going, never be able to sit down and rest."
Somewhere it's written, "God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,"
but in this other text he says, "They'll never be able to sit down and rest."
So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient.
God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David's psalm, centuries later than the original invitation: Today, please listen, don't turn a deaf ear . . .
And so this is still a live promise. It wasn't canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn't keep renewing the appointment for "today."
The promise of "arrival" and "rest" is still there for God's people.
God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we'll surely rest with God.
So let's keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)