Isaiah 28:12— “Here is rest, give rest to the weary and here is repose,” but they would not listen.
The “rest” of God comes through obedience to His will. The Assyrian army was a growing threat to Israel’s safety and peace. What Israel had known under God’s protection was on the verge of disappearing. Once again, Israel, which had known the deliverance of Jehovah’s great power, was about to be taken into bondage and slavery by a people who spoke a different language. This people also had a different world view than that of Israel. Israel confessed faith in Jehovah and His redemptive power, but lived like the heathen nations around them. As we have seen in previous devotions, they mocked the word of the Lord and the Lord’s messenger.
The height of Israel’s rebellion and arrogance came during the times of Jesus. The religious leaders mocked Jesus and rejected the deliverance Jehovah was offering through His Son. As in the past when they killed the prophets, they planned the murder of Jesus, and later the murder of God’s apostles. In Peter’s first sermon, he warned Israel when he testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40-41)!
There are three words that are important to consider as we speak about the rest God has provided for His people. The first word is to reflect. God sends His word and allows circumstances in order to get our attention. Many times obstacles are allowed by God to draw us toward Him. In those times, we need discernment. The second word to consider is the word received. The Lord sends His word and it is important to take a posture of receiving His word. I like the use of the word embrace because it speaks of getting close. It is possible to agree with God’s word in terms of doctrine, but not embrace His word as relevant to my circumstance. Our third word to consider is the word respond. Responding is obedience to God’s word. James expressed it this way, “Prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22).
Ask the Father, in Jesus’ name, for the help of the Holy Spirit to discern words spoken to you and the circumstances that surround your life. Ask Him to give to you grace to embrace the word of God and apply it appropriately. Finally, set your heart to obey God’s word and all of its implications to your situation.