“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8)
God sees and heard and He is deeply attentive to His children’s needs and actions. Unlike the uncaring gods of neighboring people, Israel’s God was worshiped as an involved and concerned Creator. His actions in individual lives become revelatory events. The messenger of God represents God Himself camping near His children.
Refuge or rest is a prominent meaning of salvation in the Old Testament. God is a safe refuge for all who will turn to Him. Nor source of security is as sure as our good Lord.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You are and always have been our refuge. In You we find rest and peace of mind in the midst of whatever may be going on in our lives. We always feel safe and sure, when we turn to You, and You are always there waiting for us to You for rest and assurance that all things would be alright. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“In trying times beloved—-don’t quit trying!”
“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not continue it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, So I declared an oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest. And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: ‘And on the seventh day God rested from all h is work.’ And again in the passage above he says, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David as was said before: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews4:1-11)
Rest as the end of work and labor describes God’s salvation. It was the goal God reached on the seventh day of creation (Genesis2:2-3). It was Israel’s goal after possessing the Promised Land (Joshua 21:44; 23:1). It represents satisfied enjoyment of what God has planned and accomplished. This one definition of salvation. We enter rest by faith in the gospel, giving up our works as the way to salvation. The opportunity to enter His rest remains open. This salvation rest will e fully realized only in the resurrection life. Life’s greatest failure is the failure to enter the rest God provided for us. I pray you all understand this.
“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes’ says the Spirit, they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow their labor, for their deeds will follow them them.’” (Revelation 14:13)
God’s salvation includes a final resting place for the dead in Christ—-heaven (Revelation 21:1 – 22:5). “Rest” here probably means final release from sufferings, tortures, and death, as well as cessation of physical work and toll. This is the second of seven beatitudes in Revelation given to comfort those faced the prospect of martyrdom because they confess their Lord (1:3). The dead who die in the Lore are blessed. God’s salvation blesses His people from the cradle to the grave, and indeed from before time to after time.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew11:28-30)
Beloved, God’s salvation is rest. This is in some respects comparable to the Old Testament understanding of salvation as refuge. Jesus invites the weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest for their souls.
The yoke He puts on persons is much easier than that of the legalistic religion taught by the scribes and Pharisees. His burdens are lighter than the burdens others may put on us. Especially can He give us rest from the heavy burden of sin.