The focus in chapter 4 is not so much on the unbelieving Israelites who refused to obey God as it is on the believers who in faith enter God’s promised rest. The unbelieving desert travelers failed to listen to God’s voice and died on the way to the land God had promised. The Christian who lives by faith enters into God’s rest, the Sabbath-rest for the people of God. And this entrance into rest can be accomplished only by listening obediently to the gospel.
The first thirteen verses of this chapter form an introduction to the author’s discussion about the high priesthood of Jesus the Son of God. Already in 2:17-18 the author introduced this subject, which in succeeding chapters he fully develops and explains.