Come Over Into CanaanBro. David Chancellor
5/7/2006 6:00 PM
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
The writer was writing to those who were familiar with God’s dealings with the Jews and their experiences. He used a type of them passing over into the land of Canaan. Canaan represents the fullness of the experience of salvation. It is a type of the rest that is found in sanctification. He used this to warn the people that they didn’t want to settle for less than what God had for them. The Israelites wouldn’t accept that God would provide what he said he would provide. They listened to the 10 discouraging spies and it prevented them from obtaining what God had for them. You don’t hear much about the 10 discouraging spies, but Caleb and Joshua are well known. We need to be like Joshua and Caleb. They recognized the challenges, but they said, "With God, we can make it." Caleb suffered the 40 years with the rest, but when the time came, he was still ready to go get it. The one he was counting on wasn’t hindered by Caleb’s age. The others missed out because of unbelief and sin. They wouldn’t go when God said go, and then wouldn’t wait when he said wait. The Israelites were only able to overcome when they had the help of God. When they tried to go in their own strength, they failed. We should go forward when God says go, but realize that it requires God’s help to go and do. On our own, we can’t make it. We can’t overcome the world in our own strength, but we can be overcomers by the grace of God. We don’t want to harden our hearts, but be sensitive to the dealings of God.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 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. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
He makes a point that there is still a rest for the people of God. There is more than the literal land of Canaan. The land of Canaan was to have been the land of their rest, but because of what they allowed, it wasn’t very restful. There was another rest beside this, and we want to be sure that we enter into it. Because of unbelief, the Israelites missed it. We don’t want to look at what God has provided and think we’re unable to have it here and now. We can have this rest in this life. We want to believe what God has told us. God has a real walk with him for his people.
In verse 8, the word translated "Jesus" is the Greek word for Joshua. Jesus came to lead us into the rest of the soul. This rest allows us to live and walk with God and dwell in his presence. This rest doesn’t cause us to look forward to a millennial reign. We can have this rest now. We can enjoy the fullness of what God came to provide. Our lives with God can be such that others desire to have the same experience that we have.
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." It is good when we can cease from those works and the fruits of carnality are no more. We can live our lives to work the works of God. This labor is not a hard and bitter struggle, working hard to come to the rest of God. It’s more like Joshua saying to the people of Israel, "Let’s hasten and go forward." When the Israelites crossed Jordan, it was in flood stage, but it opened up when they began to cross. When God spoke, it was time to hasten and go in. It won’t be an unbearable battle and a terrible struggle. On the day of Pentecost, they didn’t struggle to bring God’s Spirit down. He said, "I will send." The Israelites’ first battle in Canaan was won by walking around the city. They didn’t have to sit and sharpen their swords or make shields. There has to be a desire and commitment, but God is the one that does the work. He’s done the work; we just need to enter in. This rest is needful for us to have. If you don’t enter in you’ll fall and be disappointed. When you come to the knowledge that there is a rest and you can have it, hasten to enter in.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." We have one leading the way that is better than all the weapons of war. We can win because he is leading the way. Christ won’t be ambushed. Nothing slips by him and this is why he can give us this rest. He can deliver us from every holdout. He encourages us to hasten on in. He’s able and we can come boldly to him. Our "Joshua" is the one that spoke to that Joshua back then. The first Joshua was able to take Canaan because he listened to the one who came to give us rest. The first Joshua wouldn’t have been fooled by the ones who came in rags with moldy bread if he’d been the leader that we have now. Jesus can see through the devil’s tricks that would try to keep us from having this rest. God has provided a rest for us, and Jesus can see through anything that would keep us from having it.
Jesus is able to help us in our time of need. We can have this rest now. We can be overcomers now. We don’t have to be beaten down by the devil at every turn. We can have what we need in Christ to be an overcomer now. We can have this pure and holy life, this perfect love, this close walk with God. Don’t let the devil prevent you from having it. Don’t allow yourself to be talked out of it. Come boldly to the throne of grace and get it.
These were experiencing persecution and were being told to throw away all that was told them about Christ. Don’t let unbelief cheat you out of what God has provided. The rest isn’t to shrug it off and go on in your troubles and sins. The trip from Egypt to Canaan pictures the journey from the deliverance of sin to the wonderful things of God. We can be delivered from all that and have this rest in God. God sent his Holy Spirit to enable us to live, and to overcome the trials and troubles we face. You can enter into this rest if you’ll get behind Jesus and let him take you in. He’ll take you to the completion of the experience that God will work in the heart. The Israelites stopped short, but they didn’t have to do it that way. They allowed themselves to be discouraged and turned down what God offered and missed out on many good things and experienced many trials. Many people stop short of what God has for them, and consequently experience much heartache that they could have avoided. The experience of sanctification is needful, desirable and attainable. We can have this and live a godly life here, knowing the power and love and joys of God. You have to enter in to get it. Follow Jesus in. Come boldly to God in faith and you can have the experience of sanctification. The carnal nature has to go, but the land can be yours. Let Jesus lead you and open the way. Come to God and claim what he has for you.
Come Over Into Canaan
J. W. Byers and A. L. Byers
I came to Jordan’s sullen stream; with trusting heart I there had been
Directed by my Savior’s hand, tow’rd Canaan’s bright and blessed land.
My many sins were all forgiv’n, my heart was clear with light from heav’n
And yet I longed for deeper grace in Canaan’s blessed resting place.
I saw the death I had to die, a death in which my soul did cry;
The fright’ning waves my heart did chill, but I must yield, ‘twas Heaven’s will.
O second grace! I find it sweet! God’s holy will is now complete:
The Father, Son and Spirit reign; all inward foes are surely slain.
Cover over into the Canaan land, come over into the Canaan land
Where figs and grapes so plenteous grow, where milk and honey freely flow
Come over into the Canaan land.
(The fruits of the Spirit abound, and strength and sweetness are found in the life of the one dwelling in this land.)