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CHRISTIAN LIFE: Rest Awaited

Our promised inheritance…..

Wb.324

“For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you” (Deuteronomy 12:9).

Most of the book of Deuteronomy consists of addresses that Moses gave to the people of Israel as they journeyed to Canaan, their Promised Land. Knowing that his time was short, Moses was concerned to remind the people of God’s past faithfulness and to instil in them a sense of seriousness as they prepared to cross the Jordan without him. In the verse quoted above, Moses reminded them that their rest was a future one. Their inheritance lay ahead of them, over Jordan, in the land which the LORD was giving them.

 

 

As we consider these words, surely there is an application here for Christian believers today. We are told in the New Testament that “there remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God” (Heb.4:9). Like the Israelites of old, we have not yet reached that place of rest. We, too, have an inheritance given to us by the Lord our God. Peter tells us that this inheritance is not an earthly one. Rather, it is “incorruptible and undefiled, and … fadeth not away,” and is “reserved in heaven” for us (1 Pet.1:4). Not only is the inheritance kept safe, but as believers we are daily kept safe too by the power of God. We may well experience trials in this life, but God will sustain us and will give us the strength to go on until that moment when Jesus Christ appears and we enter our heavenly inheritance (1 Pet.1:5—7).

 

 

CERTAIN PROMISES

Our Saviour, who died for us upon the cross, has promised to return. His resurrection from the dead provides us with a living hope — the hope of seeing Him face to face and being with Him for all eternity. Although we have not yet reached the place of our rest or taken possession of our heavenly inheritance, these things are promised to us. Perhaps He will return this year, and we shall enter into the full blessing of all that is ours!

 

 

Moses wanted the Israelites to focus upon that which lay before them and to adjust their lives accordingly. No idols must be tolerated; the Lord must be worshipped supremely, and His commands must be obeyed. Our response should be the same. God seeks the first place in our lives. He looks for our obedience and devotion to Him. If only we could grasp something of the wonder of the inheritance that is ours, it would produce in us a greater desire to please the Lord and be utterly committed to Him.

 

 

NOT YET!

Two further words from the text need particular emphasis — “not … yet”. Like the Israelites, we have “not yet” reached our Promised Land. A time of rest is coming, but it has “not yet” come. The Lord has left us here to serve Him in His absence and to spread the message of the gospel. Rest will surely come when the day of opportunity is over, so let us not think of resting now! Rather, let us press on tirelessly in our labours for the Master until we reach our promised inheritance.