Wednesday, October 20, 2010

rest, but not finished

So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war.
Joshua 11:23

Israel is now in possession of the territory promised to them. From the physical description, north to south, of the Promised Land, they have covered the map and God has given them victory. Enough land has been taken by conquest to settle the tribes. This is the moment that this generation has been hoping for and trusting God to bring to them as they have fought to gain His promise. And now there is a chance to rest.

This moment comes not even at the halfway point of the book. So it is clear that there is still work to do. Joshua 13:1 makes it clear that there was still land to conquer and battles to be waged. But the difference was that now they could do so from settled positions in homes of their own. They could rest, but they were not finished.

God does provide that same sort of rest today. We are not finished until are work on earth is done. But we can rest in God's provision. I find that encouraging, because my experience is that ministry work never feels fully accomplished. There is always more to do. There are always hurting people. There are always complaints to hear and respond to in love. There are always difficulties and suffering to care for and places to discover God's purposes. There are always plans to be made, things to do, and people to see. So even though the work is not finished, God can bring rest. I may take that rest, but it does not mean the job is finished!

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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