2006-11-25 - Rest for Your Souls
Jeremiah 6:16, "Thus says the Lord, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls,' but they said, 'We will not walk.'"
Rest is a wonderful thing. Rest is given us by God (Joshua 1:13). We look to our true rest not here on Earth, but we wait for a Heavenly rest to come. Here we labor and strive to conquer sin, engage righteousness, and labor to see lost sinners come to saving faith. Here is not our rest. But it is not as if we have no rest here on our Earthly pilgrimage. If we hold to the truth as revealed to us in Scripture, we shall truly find rest for our souls. Such rest is not found in Earthly comforts or things. On Earth, we are in a wilderness - as Israel was when wandering in the desert. But we are not without hope. There is a rest to come, and there is also a taste of that rest even now.
We have a rest from gadding about from one truth to another. In Christ, we have truth and we need not wander every time some new doctrine, teaching or philosophy comes down the pike. We have truth as revealed to us in God's holy Word. Let us find ourselves firmly grounded in His Word, so that we are not blown here or there by every idea that someone "wise" has gathered from his/her own wisdom. It is only in the Lord and His revealed wisdom that true wisdom has any life. In Christ, there is certainly enough wisdom to find our rest.
We have rest from those who seek our undoing. "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies," Psalm 23:5. When we find our rest in Christ alone, all those things that encroach upon or about us become of no account. Our worries melt. Our heart can remain steadfast in middle of great trials and temptations. When we place our trust in the Lord, we understand that there are more of the Lord's hosts on our side than there are those that are against us. We can rest securely.
This rest gives us a confidence. We rest in Christ for everything. He who has all things, will His supply run short of our need? Is God not all knowing, all caring, all loving, all powerful? If He cares for the little bird, will He not care also for His children? It is when we start to look to ourselves that hope diminishes. When we fix our eyes upon ourselves, frail as we are, we are bound to find no rest. But in the all embracing arms of Christ there is security and we can find rest for our souls. Let us ever be mindful of what David said to Goliath. "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel," 1 Samuel 17:45. Even in battle, David knew that his security, his peace, his rest, was well founded in the Lord.
Finding rest for our soul does not mean we labor less, but rather that in our labors, we have a place of rest. The security of that hope is the only place were we will ever experience what the prophet here speaks of finding in this verse, rest for our souls.
Soli Deo Gloria,