Scripture: 2 Chronicles 15:12 (King Asa and the people of Judah) entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and with all their soul. 13 Whoever would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced over the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around.
Observation: God’s people had spent many years struggling due to their infidelity to God. They were defeated repeatedly in battle. They lost territory. Their towns were plundered. Finally they humbled themselves before God, destroying their idols and altars to false gods, and called on the Lord to save them. This God did. He restored them in fantastic fashion. And after all this, our passage says the Lord gave them… rest.
Application: Those of you who know me are aware that I’ve been making a concerted effort to honor God’s commandment for Sabbath rest – which is a very strange thing to do in our modern world. I’ll admit, it’s hard. I get anxious sometimes thinking that by resting I’m letting things fall through the cracks. There’s important stuff I’m not doing, which is probably true.
But the word that grabs me this morning is the word “rest”. Rest isn’t just a ceasing of activity, it’s a spiritual reality. It’s a calming of the spirit, a respite from the anxiety to perform, to accomplish, to be productive. Today is my day of Sabbath rest. I’m going to focus on the internal dimension of rest today, not just rest from visible activity. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
Prayer: Lord, this morning I pray for rest. Internal rest. Real rest. Even peace. And I trust that, as I seek after you today with my whole heart, you will cover whatever things are left undone by my inactivity. Give me grace to not fear, for I am only honoring your commands. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.