Posts Tagged ‘Rest’


Exodus 33:1-3,5,11,13-14,17-20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way”… For the LORD had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you’”… The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent… If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”… And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

God’s anger is intense as is evident from His instructions to Moses regarding His presence with the sinful Israelites on their journey to the promised land. It is a righteous anger and scares the living daylights out of the Israelites who have taken God for granted this far.

However Moses, who seems to share a wonderful relationship with God, continues to find favor in God’s sight and grows in love and respect of God. Is God so biased towards those who love Him and what then would become of those who don’t know Him or love Him yet?

One of the great realities of God is the fact that He does not go back on His promises. God kept His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as we know from History and therefore is faithful to His word.

We can hold God to His word but can God hold us to ours? We make great promises in times of strife with the hope of getting out of our painful situations but when things come to pass, we are quick to forget and slow to acknowledge God’s hand of favor in our lives.

The Israelites who were there witnessed God’s favor on Moses and realized their guilt and put away their ornaments to show God their mournful hearts.

Is it not such a reflection of our lives when we live in the path we believe we know best and often stumble, are picked up, claim to learn from our mistakes and get back on the same path only to stumble again?

Brokenness is such a reality of our lives that we don’t see an issue with being broken. Our sinfulness has grown to a point where we are comfortable in our brokenness and can explain it away as just a yin in the yang of life!

Today it seems easier to make an idol and appease a God more to appease the inner need in ourselves to make peace with this unknown God. Is that the God we follow and can we find favor with God as Moses did?

With the unpredictability of life these days, death is the only constant we live with and that is not comforting. Would we rather live in the painful certainty of death or do we want hope that is beyond this physical life itself?

Jesus Christ, the only son of God is the hope God gave us. He lived among us, led a pure and sinless life, was betrayed, flogged and killed, was raised up from the dead to live again and all of this was for the sole purpose of bringing us back to God again.

God provided through Jesus a way back to Him and all we need to do is humble our prideful selves before Jesus, submit our sinful lives to Him, ask for His total forgiveness and the rest is His work in our lives.

Like Moses, every person who submits themselves to Jesus Christ is transformed by God for His glory and used to transform the lives of others by leading them to the cross.

Are you transformed by God’s love and leading others to this ocean of love or are you still trying to live life blindfolded?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

If you would like to know about Jesus, then please click here.

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Exodus 31:1-6,12-13,16-17 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you… Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy… The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.’”

How beautiful is it when God reveals His desires for us? After God described the beautiful dwelling place He will live in to be with His people, He reveals that the materials are provided to the Israelites, as are the skills and the calling.

God certainly has shown total and perfect control in all He does and He has a beautiful way of using His people to achieve His objective. What then happens to great men like Moses and what is this about the Sabbath?

One great challenge we face as humans is our pride. Pride has served as a great stumbling block to many in their walk and continues to be among the greatest battles we face daily.

We today deal with challenges such as lack of self-confidence, low morale, poor esteem, low self-worth, etc. as issues that affect our personality and we try to work hard against it.

Children are taught from a young age to take charge, be leaders, be individual and confident in their presentations, we reaffirm them, motivate and inspire them, etc. to help them work away from the issues of low self-esteem.

With God, things seem to be very different. First God chooses a man who stammered, who had no face among the Egyptians or Israelites because he murdered and ran away, who was just a shepherd tending flocks and lived under the grace of his father in law Jethro.

Moses was that man and God used him to accomplish the great task of shaming the great Egyptians and freeing the Israelites from 430 years of bondage and slavery, all without an army or wealth or physical strength.

As Moses leads this great nation of over two million people across the sands of the desert to the promised land, God then establishes other men from among the nation to take up other responsibilities.

Clearly God is not in the process of making one man superstars but rather works on using each of His chosen ones to do His work when they are willing and ready.

When we are transformed by God’s love, we are each called to serve God and some may be called to be the face while others may be called behind the scenes but no single person’s role makes them any less important to God.

Further, God makes it clear to the Israelites that they were to keep the Sabbath without fail and the consequence of not keeping it was death! Seems a bit stiff as an expectation, you might wonder.

When we contrast those words of God to the words and actions of Christ in the 4 gospels, you are left shocked as were the Jews of Jesus’ day because we see that our understanding of God’s words are not complete and Jesus reveals the meaning and purpose of God’s word.

Read these passages from the gospels and think about Jesus’ response: Matthew 12:1-16; Mark 3:2; Luke 6:1-5; Luke 13:10-17; John 6:2-18; John 7:23.

On the sabbath day, Jesus healed people and ate grain from the fields and this stirred up the keepers of the law who lived by this commandment in Exodus 31:16-17 and Deuteronomy 5:14.

Jesus responded to them asking them how they felt about David’s actions when he and his companions were hungry and went into the temple and ate the consecrated bread. It was unlawful for them but not for the priests.

Furthermore, priests work on the sabbath day and that is certainly unlawful as per the law, yet they are considered innocent. The problem here was not the action but that God desired mercy, not sacrifice.

Sabbath was the day of rest from regular work but it is a day to celebrate God’s goodness to us. We are called to spend the day worshipping God. No law must be understood so as to contradict itself. Jesus Christ is the Lord of the sabbath and the day is to be dedicated to Him for His glory.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Genesis 18:1-8 Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. “Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will bring a piece of bread, that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes.” Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and choice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it. He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate.

Each chapter in the book of Genesis is so ripe with meaning and application that it is a challenge to decide what section to focus on. Praise God that His spirit reigns in us and directs us as per His will.

I chose the passage above because of the significance of God’s visit. God was passing by Abraham’s tent in human form along with two other men on their way to Sodom and Gomorrah to punish them for their sins.

Abraham recognized God and asked him to stay for some rest and refreshments. This was customary of those times except that Abraham treated them like royalty knowing that He was being visited by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What an honor!

The question that lingered in my mind was how Abraham recognized God when he has not previously seen Him and are we expected to feed and comfort God, the one who feeds us? (more…)