Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 15, 2015

So, we continue to labor, but we trust and rest that it is God Who is at work in us.

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua 1:10-18.

“10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, to possess it.’”

12 To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’  14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, 15 until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them.  Then you shall return to your own land, and possess that which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

16 They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.  17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you;  only may the Lord your God be with you as He was with Moses.  18 Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”  Joshua 1:10-18.


There are two senses and tenses of rest in today’s Scripture and also in our lives. 

There is the present tense of rest as is in verse 13:    ‘The Lord your God gives you rest”.  God gives us trust in our hearts in His words:   “I will be with you;  I will not fail you or forsake you.”  Joshua 1:5.  God also gives us the fruit of His Spirit: peace in our hearts.  Galatians 5:2.  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29.  God also causes us to trust in His work to accomplish righteousness for us and to not trust our own works to accomplish righteousness from our works.  “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,”  Romans 4:5.  “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”  Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:27-29.

But, there also is a future tense of rest as in verse 15:  “until the Lord gives your brothers rest”.  The earthly fulfillment of this Scripture was in Joshua 22:4:  “And now the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them;  therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan.”  But, more importantly, there is that future rest that we will experience after we die and are in heaven.  

Hebrews 4:8-11 puts together these two senses of rest.  “For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.  So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God (This is the future tense of rest – heaven).  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.   Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience (This is present tense of rest – trust in God’s work, not our work)”  Hebrews 4:8-11.

So, we continue to labor, but we trust and rest that it is God Who is at work in us.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain;  but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”  1 Corinthians 5:10.

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:12-13.

“but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 15:57-58.


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