SHORT OF THE REST

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Biblical insight
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One of the main themes throughout the Bible is Moses leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. I won’t rehearse the whole story here, but I would like to look at what this means to us.

In the 3rd and 4th chapter of Hebrews we read about the promised rest for the people of God. For those that don’t know, or maybe just don’t remember, let me say this. It was only the children born in the desert that entered the land. All of those that originally came out of Egypt made the decision to not go in because of unbelief. God had promised them the land but upon their scouting it out they became aware of giants living there. Rather than trusting God to give it to them they trusted only in what their eyes saw and their own supposed ability to take the land.  They failed to enter into God’s promised rest but it wasn’t because he didn’t offer it to them. It was simply because they didn’t believe God’s report and believed their own.

Hebrews 4:1-2 tells us we too may fail to enter for the same unbelief they had. “For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” So we see this promised rest hinges on our faith or, to put it another way, our willingness to receive what is promised.

Rest seems to be God’s plan throughout the whole Bible starting on the seventh day of creation. We are told God created man on the sixth day and on the seventh he rested. It seems his intention all along has been for He and us to enjoy this rest together. Adam’s very first day on the planet was a day of rest. God finished his work and rested but this rest has eluded most of us because of disobedience.

God raised up leaders throughout history to lead his people into this rest. Of course each of them was in fact only a shadow or picture of the one and only real rest-giver Jesus Christ. Of course Moses didn’t lead them into rest because he himself wasn’t allowed to enter. If we aren’t enjoying this rest we can’t lead anyone else either. After Moses we see that Joshua did in fact bring them into the land but not the promised rest. There is a Sabbath rest for the people of God. We that have entered the rest know it is Jesus Christ. Jesus’ invitation to enter his rest still stands he simply says “come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and you will find rest for your soul.”

The rest I’m talking about isn’t necessarily a physical rest but it is rest none the less. The Hebrews writer is teaching us about rest inwardly even in the face of upheaval and trial outwardly. He explains to us that the Word of God is what divides the two. We can have rest in our spirit even when our outer man is wasting away.

God gave the Israelites vineyards they didn’t plant, wells they didn’t dig and houses they didn’t build. Although I believe this in a literal sense I think there is a spiritual implication for us. In Christ we have sustenance or prosperity (vineyards) we didn’t work for, living water (wells) and a mansion in the Father’s house. God has the same requirement for us as he had for Israel and that is to receive his promise by faith. There is a rest for the people of God and it is only found in Christ. I pray you don’t miss it.

Written by Louie

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