Lesson Focus: Experiencing God’s Rest
1.Read: Exodus 33:14
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
2.Study Exodus 33:14
As we read our Bible, we can see how God has been with his creation since the beginning; how he lives in the heavens but also here on earth where we are. Everything in God’s word affirms that he has never been satisfied to stay far from us he has always come close, entered our darkness, our predicaments, and circumstances. From beginning to end we can see that God is a personable, concerned, hands-on, and involved God. As Moses was preparing to lead the people through the wilderness, he wanted to know how they would know God was with them. God told Moses sometimes he would be with them as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Another way they would know he was present would be through the rest he gave them. Because they lived by God’s covenant, he would give them a time of rest (sabbath) where they could restore and enjoy his peace even as they traveled through enemy territory.
The “rest” God provides as he accompanies us on our journey is not limited to the traditional “Sabbath” rests we read about in the Bible and may have observed ourselves, but a rest that extends into every area of our lives and being. Even after they sinned against God Adam and Eve experienced needed “rest” not only through God’s promise of the Savior he would send (Gen. 3:15) but in knowing the Creator was still with them, still loved them and covered them. Even in their sin they felt his love and acceptance. Today God’s rest for us may include that same forgiveness, acceptance, and love but it may also come in the form of bodily, emotional, mental, and relational. It may be as we experience release from guilt or shame, weariness from life’s journey, and are given peace of mind. God’s rest can take on any form he desires in accordance with his will for us and his care for us. However, and wherever we experience rest we can know it’s only God that grants it and that he is with us.
3.Meditating on Exodus 33:14
How has God come close to give you rest? How will you meditate on his promise today; what words will cycle and recycle through your thoughts and mind as you go about your tasks?
4.Praying Exodus 33:14
Father, thank you for the rest only you can give to weary sojourners; that special, divine, rest we recognize coming from and through you. Thank you that your rest takes on so many forms; whatever reason we need to experience your rest you are here for and with us. Amen