Real Rest Joshua 15-21 Focusing on Joshua 21:43-45 & Hebrews 4:8-10
When is the last time you felt truly rested? I am amazed at how tired people, including myself, feel on a regular basis. Why does the world wear us out? One answer is that there is no place to really, truly, fully, rest. The struggle against everyday pressures to achieve and temptations to sin against God are relentless. But God does in fact offer us real rest and peace in Jesus. Jesus told His disciples before He went back to heaven, “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you. Not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). The rest that Jesus offers us is not one you can discover by studying the ways of this world. You cannot find true peace in wordly success.
The rest Jesus offers is the rest that Joshua gave a type of in our text in Joshua 21. Once Israel had taken possession of the land, we read in our passage that God gave all their enemies into their hands. They had no one left to fight, they could simply enjoy the promised blessings of God. There is a problem though, true peace never lasts in this world. There is always another enemy, another temptation, another battle to be fought. This constant struggle is what the author of Hebrews is pointing out for us in Hebrews 4:8. On the day that God finished creating the world he could truly rest because He had no more work to do. The rest that God offers in Jesus is the same rest God experienced after He finished creating the world. He could truly stop His work because there was nothing remaining for Him to do. Joshua could not offer this sort of rest to Israel, because they would always have to stay on top of things to keep hold of the land they lived in. There was always more work for them to do.
Jesus offers us real rest though through His finished work on the Cross. He did our work for us. There is nothing left for us to finish when it comes to having a right relationship with the Father. He said, “It is finished,” and it was truly over. In Christ we have a fully completed righteousness with nothing to add to it. We can know that we are truly loved and accepted in the beloved because Jesus the Son invites us into the Father’s presence through His death burial and resurrection. He gave us His right standing with God in exchange for our futile efforts and sinful hearts.
The peace Jesus offers is not like the peace the world offers because the peace Jesus offers never ends. It can never be taken away from us. We are His and He is ours forever and ever. The home in Heaven will never be taken away, there is nothing anyone can do to take it from us. Jesus has finished the battle, the war is over we are called to simply rest in Him.
Everything else we get this side of Heaven is just the cherry on top. So rather than viewing the world as a place that has something that will give you joy and happiness, look at it as the place where you can find things to enjoy on your journey Home to your great King Jesus. If you miss out on that Black Friday deal, so what, you are headed to Heaven where that thing will be worthless whatever it was. If you miss that promotion, no sweat, you are a child of the most High God there is no greater status in the universe, that person stops being your friend? Find comfort in knowing you have a friend that sticks closer than a brother and will never leave you!
Find real rest today and enjoy the life that God has given you.