Tag Archives: times of refreshing

Entering Into His Rest – The Promised Land

Up in the North woods of Wisconsin, life is a little more simple than in the hustle and bustle suburbs. The sky is so blue, the trees are so green and sunlight just loves to dance through through the leaves as they move in the breeze.

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There is no high speed internet. We do get dial-up through the phone but it is so-o-o-o-o slow. It is just enough to write the blog and publish it. If I want to spend more time on line, I can run into town and go to a local cafe that has wifi. I did just that once this week and ended up having a wonderful conversation with a beautiful Christian. I am reminded that there is fruitful living outside the walls of my own firewall.We do have television, but we only get 4 and all of them are local channels. Local channels don’t provide the speculation and theories that cable TV provides with non-stop news coverage.

In Genesis, the great men and families of God had places of rest, places like Beersheba, Bethel, and initially the garden of Eden. These were places of serenity because these men were able to enter God’s rest because of what He revealed to them.  Wherever God is is a place of rest.

Throughout Genesis, the topic of migration comes up several times with the patriarchs. Abraham went to Egypt due to a famine. Egypt was not the promised land God spoke to Abraham about. Isaac was also faced with a famine and God told him not to go to Egypt and he prospered. Jacob asked God whether he should join Joseph in Egypt during another famine and God gave him the nod and they ended up settling down in Goshen for quite a while. Israel’s families prospered there for a while.

Places are a temporary provision of God at various times. Goshen was ideal. The Israelites were shepherds, they needed ample fertile land for their livestock. Goshen provided that. It is located on the Northeastern side of the Nile. The Nile river flowed northward into the Mediterranean Sea. It provided a rich delta at its outlet. Egyptians looked down on the shepherding profession so by camping out in Goshen, the two cultures were kept separate. There had been problems with this in Canaan as some of the children of the patriarchs took Canaanite wives. The rich heritage of Israel was preserved living there.

Goshen was located closer to the land God promised the Israelites than any other part of Egypt. Egypt afforded the new young Israelite nation protection against marauding kings of other lands. God’s promise to Jacob that He would make them a great nation could bud into fruition.

“Location, location, location” is not an absolute.  Eventually, things changed in Egypt and there came a time to exit. God has no specific place, but He can utilize geography to bless  His people at various times.

For us today, we have truly entered into his rest when we we accept His grace. In Acts 7:49-50 it is recorded:

Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?

One can be in the midst of hustle and bustle and be in God’s rest. It can also be said that quiet and stillness can be restful, but it can cause unrest too.

Hebrews 4:9-12 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

It seems like a contradiction to read ‘hath ceased from his own works’ and ‘Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest’ but when the Word of God is read and worked by a spiritually-minded person, rest is the result even if you are in the middle of a busy life. God is the place of our rest wherever we are.

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Under The Shadow Of Thy Wings

Recently, we flew to New England for the holidays. After all the hustle bustle of the week, sitting way up miles above the earth flying seemingly suspended and motionless, it was like somebody had pressed the mute button on the clatter of the holidays. Flying is something I enjoy. Amazingly you can fly through the skies (in this case the friendly skies) with a pilot that puts it all in motion and a fuselage that protects one from the elements and balances the pressure so we don’t explode as we climb into areas of thin air.  The pilot gets direction and instruction from the airport tower ( I like to listen to the pilot channel on the head phones during flight to hear the conversation back and forth between the pilot and the tower). It is really a great analogy on God’s provision for us in providing His son the pilot and indwelling spirt of God. Not that the inside of the plane is exactly like the throne room of God ( many people would definitely disagree) but it offers a relatable analogy.

It really was through God’s provision of His son that we can claim the wings of God.

In Acts 3 Peter explained it to the Judeans what was  newly available from God from the day of Pentecost.

Acts 3:19 (Amplified Bible) So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;

The same thing is true for us today.  When we acknowledge the final sacrifice for sins in Jesus Christ and that the victory of that sacrifice emerged as  he rose from the dead, we are ushered into the times of refreshing in the presence of a very loving God that we love to turn to. Like the psalmist said in Psalm 36:7:

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

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