Friday, June 2, 2017

resting place

“My people have become lost sheep;Their shepherds have led them astray.They have made them turn aside [to the seductive places of idolatry] on the mountains.They have gone along [from one sin to another] from mountain to hill;They have forgotten their [own] resting place."  Jeremiah 50:6

The LORD had this accusation against the house of Israel. They had forsaken their resting place and turned to seductive places. The heritage of God had become lost sheep going from one sin to another. The next verse clearly shows, by so doing, they had become prey to be devoured. Their enemies felt no guilt as they oppressed them for they knew, they had sinned against God their true habitation of righteousness and justice. Even God the confident hope of their fathers. This is exactly what happens when we abandon our resting place - the place of Grace, the place of Mercy, the place of abundant supply, the place of His presence, the habitation of righteousness and justice. Outside the place of rest, we suffer injustice, our enemies devour us, we suffer loss, defeat, reproach, weariness and there is none to help!

Quickly, let me remind you that God always has a place prepared for His people. This is our resting place. 

The Land of Goshen

Remember, when God was striking Egypt with plagues, he made a special place for His people, the land of Goshen.

But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. Exodus 8:22
The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were. Exodus 9:26

Elijah in the Drought Season

This man of God announced to King Ahab there will be drought in the land for 3.5 years. But God had a place prepared for him. The word of God came to Elijah telling him to go eastward and hide by the brook Cherith , which was east of Jordan River. This was an appointed resting place for Elijah. In this place he will not suffer what the rest of the land was suffering. In other words, he will be hid from all the suffering taking place else where. 
You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to sustain you there [with food]. 1 Kings 17:4
As Elijah obeyed, the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening and he never thirsted. The rest of the places suffered drought. Men, women, children and animals died. But in the appointed resting place, God provided, God sustained, God hid his man through His unlimited means. Even when the brook dried, God had prepared another resting place; never mind it was a widow with only one meal to go before she submits to death. In the resting place, God always performs a miracle.
“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 1 Kings 17:9

Jesus Christ our Resting Place
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” Mathew 11

Jesus Christ calls us to Him assuring us of rest. In all other places, beside Him is weariness, burdens, lack of peace and unbearable yokes. Just like Elijah, will you obey? Are you troubled and in the midst of chaos. Jesus Christ will take you with Him to a resting place.
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:11
 There remains, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God. We must make very effort to enter that rest, not following after disobedience. Disobedience will keep you away from the place of rest. 
for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his Hebrews 4:10
This is what Christ was alluding to in Mathew 11:28. When He gives you rest, you will cease from your works. It is no longer about you. For 3.5 years it was the business of God to feed Elijah. And He did not fail because He is able, He did not stop because he is faithful. God will take care of us is a certain place he has prepared. 

The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. Revelation 12:6

His presence will also be there.
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,    in secure homes,    in undisturbed places of rest.  Isaiah 32:18
May we find and dwell in our resting place. Shalom.