Posts Tagged ‘rest’


After the people’s sin with the golden calf and the subsequent judgements, Moses, being the good leader that he is, spends all his efforts on prayer and intercession seeking to make reconciliation for God’s people.  Moses is not moving until he knows God is coming with Him/them.  He cannot be satisfied just by arbitrarily moving on, marching aimlessly as the accepted leader of a motley crue who have no idea where they are going or who is in front of them.  No.  Moses is bent on God’s favor, and, if we study enough, we will find out why we must be as well.

  Listen to his plea to God and God’s response:

“Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.  Consider too that this nation is your people.”  And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” ~Exodus 33:13-14

In Exodus 33:13, we find that Moses’ ultimate goal is for God to be pleased with him.  Moses’ secondary goal is that God would remember His people and have mercy on them.  In verse 14, we find that God has comfort and assurance for Moses.  He says, here is what you need, Moses: me and rest.  Me and rest.  God’s presence; God’s rest.  That’s God’s comfort for weary wilderness travellers who want assurance and direction.  What a good God we serve!

Moses goes on saying, God, if you’re not going with us, I don’t want to go anywhere.  Please don’t make me move on without you!  The only way for you to answer my prayer and give me assurance that we are in your favor is your presence among us.  (Exodus 33:15)

Moses knew that the absolute only way for the unbelieving world to recognize them as set apart was God’s constant presence among them.  God’s presence was imperative to their witness in the world as the people of God.

Oh, church, if we would only recognize and understand what Moses understood!  It is not the building, the music, the charisma, or the programs!!!  The imperative to shining as lights in the world and being set apart for God’s glory is God’s presence!!!  Spend all your time and energy seeking Him and see what he does through you!

So, God assures Moses a second time in verse 17.  Moses still isn’t satisfied.  Moses continues to plead with God.  After two confirmations of God’s favor and assurance, Moses says this to God:

“Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’ “ ~Exodus 33:18

Please, show me your glory.  God, I want to see YOU.  I want to know YOU.  I want to experience YOU.  I am in this for YOU.  And if you’ll not be with me, I got nothing and nowhere to go.  Lord, let that be the attitude of every Christian!

In verse 19, God agrees to show Moses his glory and speaks his famous line that the apostle Paul repeats in Romans 9, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”

In other words, God makes it very clear in both Old and New Testaments that HE gets to decide whom he will bestow his mercy upon and to whom he will be gracious.  God alone decides and determines whom he will save.

Consider the context here!  The Jews Paul was talking to in Romans 9 would have understood exactly what he was referring to.  The backdrop of God telling Moses about his own choosing and sovereignty when it comes to his mercy and grace is the golden calf idolatry.  What those people did while waiting on God in the wilderness is what humans very naturally do.  If we can screw up, we do.  What they did is most likely what we all would have done.

Men sinned.  God was angry.  Their good leader interceded for them and God spared some, not all of them.  He killed some of them with swift judgment by the sword and a plague.  For his own reasons, and according to his own choosing, God had mercy on those whom he had mercy.  That remnant understood that without God’s presence, they were not going anywhere.  It was only God’s great mercy and his daily presence that made them different and saved them out of their grievous sin.

Wow.  What a picture of what Paul was getting at in Romans 9.  It is a picture of what we all deserve sprinkled with a picture of what those God extends mercy to actually receive.  Little wonder why directly following God’s famous line about having mercy on whom he will is his promise to Moses about showing him his glory by while he is in the cleft of the rock.

Seeing God’s glory, as Moses requested, is seeing the work of God from behind him.  If we would see God’s glory, He must be in front of us and we must be following behind.  We cannot see him full-on, face to face when he sovereignly chooses who to save and why.  But if we are hidden in Christ as Moses was hidden in that rock, we can see the evidence of his grace and mercy upon the remnant as well as his swift judgment and wrath upon those whom he has not chosen.  It is like watching from behind and seeing God’s glory – as Moses did – as his sovereign will plays out in the lives of every fellow sinner among us.

God doesn’t show his face to man.  God shows his wrath to man.  God shows his mercy to man.  That is how God shows his glory to man.





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There is one command that God gives as preparation (Exodus 16:23), directly before (Exodus 20:11), at the front of (Exodus 23:12), and, now, in Exodus 31:12-18, directly after all the other instructions he had given Moses regarding a covenant life with his people. This means that it was part of the moral law, the judicial law, and the ceremonial law.   God insists upon Sabbath-keeping.

Wait.  What?  If Sabbath-keeping was a part of the moral law, just like being forbidden to murder and commit adultery, what does that mean for us today?

The principle God was establishing was rest.  This was the example that he himself set in creation.

Work, work, work, work, work, work, rest.  Work, work, work, work, work, work, rest.  Work, work, work, work, work, work, rest.

This is God’s model.  God wasn’t telling his people to rest for their health.  Ok, he was, but there was way more underneath this command than that.  While it would indeed give them better health – physical, mental, and emotional – this was an explicit command for which the penalties were banishment and/or death!

Hey kids, you rest, or, you die!

What?! What is God trying to show these people – and us – because, after all, this is moral law, right?

The text says, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, “Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.” ~Exodus 31:12-13

Above all.  Above ALL, do this.  After everything else God has just instructed, this is above all of that on the to do list.  Why?!

“…for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.”

Matthew Henry says, “If we sanctify God’s day, it is a sign between him and us that he has sanctified our hearts: hence it is the character of the blessed man that he keeps the sabbath from polluting it.”

Our willingness to rest proves our faith and trust in God.  Our willingness to rest proves our faith and trust in God to a restless, faithless, anxiety-ridden world.  Our willingness to rest proves our faith and trust in God when there is more work laid upon our shoulders than we could possibly ever do.  It is an act of great trust.  Willingness to rest is the antithesis of God’s most hated human act: self-sufficiency.

Still, why was this part of moral law?  Does that mean if I work seven days a week that I am morally corrupt?

Some may argue that case, and I would agree that such a practice is wholly unwise as well as evidence of the lack of faith in God’s provision, however, I personally do not believe that is why God included it in the moral law.

For the Old Testament believers, there was no distinction.  The law was the law was the law.  God said it and they had to keep it to the best of their ability.

For New Testament believers, because of Jesus’ fulfillment of God’s law on our behalf, we no longer continue in the keeping of the Old Testament Jewish ceremonial laws and rituals.  In fact, to do so would be an affront and an abomination to the finished work of Christ on our behalf.

But what of the Old Testament moral law that God gave?  New Testament believers are indeed called to keep the moral law in the very same way – with the very same diligence and vigilance as the Old Testament believers were.

Therefore, Sabbath-keeping and rest are required.  Sabbath-keeping and rest, however, point us to our eternal rest.  Our infractions of this command have more to do with trusting in Jesus’ finished work on the cross and our resting in faith in Him alone than they do with physically working on a specific day of the week.  (Again, not implying that a weekly rest from our physical labor is not necessary or helpful, just saying that I do not believe that is the indication for New Testament believers as far as moral transgression goes.)

In other words, our “moral” duty to rest is realized when we trust in Christ alone by faith alone for our own salvation and refuse to point at any and all of our own work or works when determining our standing with God.  Obeying God’s command to rest is meant to, as the text says, be a sign that we may know the Lord sanctifies us.

That we may know what?  That the Lord sanctifies us.  Who sanctifies?  The Lord.  Our earthly rest, or, ceasing from our earthly work,  is meant to remind us whose work ultimately changes us and allows us to enter true, eternal rest.  That’s the whole point of this Sabbath rest – knowing and understanding that it is the Lord’s work to save and sanctify – not ours – and nothing we can ever do would be work enough to accomplish it.  Therefore, we must rest in him if we will live and not die eternally.

Working is obligatory on this earth.  Works for the kingdom are obligatory in that without them our faith is dead.  But, even more so, rest (in Christ) is obligatory because without it we prove our that faith does not even exist within us.

The physical reality that these Jews were called to is a spiritual reality that we Christians are called to.  Both point to eternal rest as the ultimate fulfillment and reward of keeping this commandment.  That helps us understand why God stressed it so much and why it was so important to keep the Sabbath.

After this final instruction on the necessity of rest for God’s people, God finally sends Moses back down the mountain with the two tablets (set #1) with the law written by his very own finger.

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In Exodus 23:10-19 we find the instructions for rest and return pertaining to crops and giving back to God out of our abundance.  These laws were given to the Jews in wilderness as they waited for the promised land.  They had great significance and we are able to draw more than a few parallels today in our own experience regarding how we ought to rest and what we ought to give back to the Lord.

In verses 10-11 we find the principle of a Sabbatical year for growing.  For six years the people of God were to sow their fields, but in the seventh year they were to let the ground lay fallow.  They were not to plant, reap, or keep anything that the ground produced on its own for themselves.  They were to store up in the sixth year for two years and allow the poor and the animals eat from the field in the seventh year.

Here we have the fundamental teaching God gave from the very beginning of working six days and resting the seventh.  Verse 12 reminds us of God’s order created in Genesis 1.  The main idea that we ought to take away is that rest and refreshment is not only necessary, but commanded for all living things.  The reason for the rest is not just rest in and of itself, but the underlying idea is trust in God.  Taking one day every week and one year every seven away from our work to simply rest and trust in the provision of God is a constant reminder that our strength, our portion, our needs are never met by our actions alone.  God is the giver of all things including food, shelter, clothing, and even the ability to work to obtain those things in this life.

“Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.” ~Exodus 23:13

In verse 13 we have a command to “Pay attention.”  It is not every passage that we have the Lord stopping in the middle of his instructions and law-giving to refocus his hearers and make sure they are listening.  Therefore, what is being said here must be of utmost importance.

The imperative here is not just to pay attention, but to pay attention to God’s words.  Oh, if every believer today would heed this instruction!  Pay attention to God’s Word!  Hear him!  Listen!  And the idea to which he was pointing was not only to pay attention to His words, but to ignore and avoid all other gods.  The people of God were not even permitted to speak of the ways and wants of foreign gods.  So important was his instruction on idolatry, he has stopped in the middle of his giving of the law on resting and returning a portion out of their work and abundance to him to say so.  Consider that.  I will say it again so it sinks in for us all.

 So important was his instruction on idolatry, he has stopped in the middle of his giving of the law on resting and returning a portion out of their work and abundance to him to say so.

Why does God do this?  It is because other gods – idols – be they material, relational, or otherwise, are exactly what are going to cause these guys, you, and I to disobey God in these instructions on rest and return.  Instead of resting as God commands here (and elsewhere) and being content with his provision, idols will cause us to work nonstop, keep all we produce for ourselves, never rest, never let our workers or animals rest, never let our fields rest, not give to the poor, and not give back or to the God who gave us all these things to us in the first place.  It is the driving ambition to serve other gods and make idols out of what our hands have made that prevent the rest and peace that God commands here.  Little wonder why he tells His people to pay attention to this.

In verses 14-17, God commands a return three times a year.  The men were to come before him and bring a portion back to Him.  Three times were set aside in the calendar year for feasts.  One was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, one of the Feast of Harvest/Feast of Weeks, and the last was the Feast of Ingathering/Feast of Tabernacles.  The significance of these festivals is worthy of noting.

With the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the people of God were to remember their deliverance out of Egypt.  It was celebrated in the month of Abib – when they came out of slavery by God’s mighty hand and the unleavened bread pointed to the provision of bread which rained down from heaven for them.

No one was to come to this feast empty-handed.  This feast began the day after Pentecost, or Shavuot. Christians know Pentecost where the Spirit was given but in the Old Testament the Jews knew this holiday as the Feast of Weeks – a time of harvest and firstfruits. There is an unmistakable correlation between these Old Testament practices and the New Testament spiritual realities.  If Jesus death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s subsequent work at Pentecost was the first fruits, we would expect what follows to be something that would point back to the deliverance that made those things possible.  That something is the preaching of the gospel.  The preaching of the gospel is what followed the first fruits of Pentecost.  The preaching of the gospel points us always and ever back to the cross – our deliverance out of slavery and bondage to sin.  And, just as no one could come to the Feast of Unleavened Bread empty-handed, no one can come to the true bread from heaven – Jesus Christ – without giving their very life to Him.

Secondly, God instituted the Feast of Weeks.  This was the feast at harvest time.  This was when they brought the first fruits of what they had sown to the House of God.  Just as they were to bring the first and the best of what they obtained from the earth and of their labor, we are to do the same.  God never allowed his people to keep all they had for themselves.  We are to rest, give back to Him and to others, and, in so doing we ought to remember who the Giver is and be thankful.

Lastly, the people were to gather at what was called the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Booths, or, here the Feast of Ingathering.  This gathering was at the year’s end and they were commanded to live in temporary structures during this week’s time.  It was to remind them that though they produced much and were at the end of the abundance for the year, everything given to them here on earth is temporary.  The idea was that they were not to keep back the last portion all for themselves out of fear or worry about the months ahead with no return, and that what was given could not be held forever.  God himself is the sustainer of all things including us and our very lives.  This was also a time of the reading of the law.  It is when we are most blessed that we are most likely to forget God and his requirements.

Lastly, the people of God were instructed once again on the kind of bread and the kind of sacrifice they were to offer.  This reminds us that we cannot worship God any way we want.  There was a specific kind of bread and a specific way to offer their sacrifice.  It is Jesus Christ alone whom we must bring to the altar with us and we must offer ourselves in the way in which he commands.

The very last instruction here is found in verse 19.  The people were told not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.  This was a superstition from a pagan religion of the day that said if one did this and sprinkled the milk over the fields, they would produce a better harvest the following year.  God’s people were to have nothing to do with superstition, false religion, idol worship, or pagan practices.  The principle is still true for us today.

Pay attention to these things.  Rest, remember God, and return the best of what he has given you.  Amen.

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God lays out the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8-11.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” 

God commands rest.  The Hebrew word for Sabbath is “shabbat,” and it comes from the word which means, “to cease.” God commands his people to stop working.  Not only they, but their children, animals, and even foreigners passing through their land.  Not one of them was to work on this holy day.

So, you couldn’t just tell someone else to work for you on the Sabbath.  You couldn’t have your servants, kids, or animals pull your weight.  Everyone was to rest.  The reason is because this is the example – the precedent set by God himself in his very creation of the world.

The concept of the Sabbath is very important to us today.  It points us back to creation and, even more importantly, forward to redemption.  In Deuteronomy 5:12-15, the Sabbath was meant to point God’s people to their own deliverance from Egypt – from slavery.

All of this points us, today, to our rest in Christ.  We are commanded to cease from labor; to remember our deliverance from slavery; to rest in Christ alone every single minute of every single day in order to glorify him by our complete and total trust and faith in Him – despite the, often times immense workload he has ordained for us.

Resting in Christ does not mean that once we know him we can shuck all our responsibility and not do that which we have been called to.  It is not holy or righteous to cease from our work by dumping it off on everyone around us while we bask in the presence of God.

 It is tempting, I know.  I personally have an almost superhuman ability to block out noise and distraction when I want to study my Bible.  No matter how many mental gymnastics I do, I cannot justifiably come to the conclusion that God has commanded me to rest instead of doing the jobs he has given to me.  Even on the Sabbath, God has not commanded me to ignore and neglect my home and children in order to prove I am faithfully resting in Him.  No.  God wants me to pray for strength and endurance so I might have the great faith it takes to rest in Him in my most overwhelming circumstances.

Resting is remembering God and trusting him enough to stop working in my own strength, not only for one day per week, but every single day until my eternal rest.

Unfortunately, just like a human, I often get off track.  After I work in my own strength without resting in him for a long time, I crash, I burn, or I quit.  Quitting is resting in my own means.  It is a selfish rest.  And it doesn’t really help me, either.  Vacations do not make overwhelming situations go away.  If I left my home and children for a week, they wouldn’t magically become obedient, mature, and respectful while I was gone.  They may not even be alive anymore!  Literally ceasing from the work God has ordained in my life is never an option!  Ceasing from trusting in myself to accomplish it or trusting in my work itself is what this command calls me to.

On the contrary, carrying on and trusting that He is enough to help me accomplish all that which he has called me to do is truly what resting in him is all about.  That is a holy rest; a God-glorifying rest; a righteous rest.

I believe taking a once a week rest from physical or worldly work and daily responsibilities as much as humanly possible is definitely wise.  I believe, however, the command to keep the Sabbath for New Testament believers is rooted in our rest in grace, not works, and, ultimately, our eternal rest in Christ, in heaven.  Even a more literal approach to Sabbath-keeping only indicates and prescribes one day per week for rest from our human responsibilities and callings.  That means the more time we spend “resting” outside that prescription, the less we are actually trusting in God to give and provide us with the true rest he has promised – the rest that comes solely from Him despite overwhelming circumstances and hard labor coupled with a constant, urgent call to share his good news with everyone, everywhere, always.

“Neglected duties remain duties still, notwithstanding our neglect.” ~Matthew Henry

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God’s people had been blessed over and over and over again.  It seemed that the more they were given, the more they cried, quarreled, and complained. These are all the tell-tale signs of being spoiled, rotten children.

Daddy gives and forgives; they cry and complain.  The pattern was very clear.  Wah! Wah! Wah! We want more!  We want different!  We want it now and if you don’t give us what we want right now we will scream, Daddy!  We don’t even remember the good you do!  We forget!  Give us more or we will say bad things about you, Daddy!  Waaaaaahh!  You hate us!

No, kids.  I think it might be you who hates me.  Because you love yourself so much, you have no room for me.  Everything I try to do to prove my love for you just leads to more unbelief, complaining, and rejection.  I have never rejected you.  You have rejected me.

So, you want to cry and complain?  You want to quarrel?  I’ll give you something to cry about.  I’ll give you someone your own size to quarrel with.

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. ~Exodus 17:8

The Amalekites were descendants of Esau.  Esau – the one whom God hated.  Esau – the one who valued temporary comfort over his very own future.  Esau – the rejected one; the hot-tempered antagonist; the one who thought more about a mere bowl of soup than the extravagant blessing of his very own father.  What a fool!

The Amalekites were the descendants of an utter fool.  They were the children of selfishness, impulsiveness, and impatience.  This is who God sends to quarrel with his quarrelsome, spoiled rotten children.  God, through this battle with the rejected ones, teaches his children how to trust him.

Well played, God, well played.

Moses sends Joshua out to choose an army and fight.  Moses, Aaron (his brother), and Hur (his brother-in-law), go up to the top of the hill overlooking the battle.  Moses holds up his wonder-working staff to signify God’s presence and encourage the soldiers.  Joshua is called to fight and Moses is called to pray.  Both are called to minister, help, rescue, defend, and deliver God’s people.  Simply recognizing differences in personality and calling go a long way in the fight against favoritism, superiority, and inferiority structures among God’s people.

These guys only have one problem.  It isn’t that they have an enemy.  It is that their leader is tired.  Moses’ arms are heavy.  He’s been holding the staff up all day.  Every time Moses gets tired, the staff drops and the enemy begins to win the battle.  When the staff is lifted, God’s people win.

“The strongest arm will fail with being long extended; it is God only whose hand is stretched out still.  We do not find that Joshua’s hands were heavy in fighting, but Moses’s hands were heavy in praying.  The more spiritual any service is the more apt we are to fail and flag in it.  Praying work, if done with due intenseness of mind and vigor of affection, will be found hard work, and though the spirit be willing, the flesh will be weak.  ~Matthew Henry

God doesn’t leave Moses in this weary state of trying and failing; working and wearying.  Instead, God uses Moses’ brothers to hold up his very arms; to give him rest on a rock.

But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. ~Exodus 17:12-13

God held Moses up for the benefit of his people.  God loves his children no matter how bad their behavior becomes.  He often uses the sin and selfishness of those who are not his own in order to discipline and instruct his children on what it really means to trust him.  God doesn’t allow his children to be spoiled, rotten brats.  Sometimes he sends brats who are even more spoiled and even more rotten to confront them; to show them; to draw them back to their desperate need for him.

When there is quarreling and complaining among God’s people, we ought not be surprised when God sends outsiders to come in and quarrel with us.  Though we may, in our flesh, grow weary in well-doing, if we are seeking to serve God and encourage our brothers and sisters, God will send ample support.  He will give us rest.

God longs to be our Jevohah-nissi, “The Lord is my banner.” His very presence is our strength and he wants us to look to Him and trust in Him alone.  He is our warrior who fights for us.  He is our intercessor who prays for us.  No matter how poor and petty our behavior becomes, it never defines us in Our Father’s eyes.  Our identity is found in our citizenship within his family.  He is faithful to send discipline when we are bratty and rest when we are weary.  He is our Jehovah-nissi.  He fights for us and his very presence is our banner, our sword, our wonder-working staff, and our very strength.

“Let ages come to know that God fights for his people and he that touches them touches the apple of his eye.” Matthew Henry

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Her pom-poms are perfectly placed.  Her bow is beautiful in her brand new beauty salon hair.  Her uniform turns her into a magazine-ready midget model and she smiles sweetly every time the camera captures her.

About mid-game, she moves from formation to the bench.  “What’s wrong?” Coach-mom asks.  “You’re doing so good!  You are so cute out there!”

“I’m cute…but…I’m not…satisfied.”

The words come with conviction.  I know it’s the truth.

My nine year-old is the most expressive and unique child.  We call her quirk.  She loves putting on her sunglasses and pretending she’s a rock star named James Q. Jackson – Michael’s brother of course.  She has whole conversations with her clothing, her stuffed animals, her altar egos, and her feet.  She actually has a foot phone wherein she puts her foot to her ear and talks, generally about her other foot and his bad behavior.  There is no one quite like Addie.

I’m cute but I’m not satisfied.  Now that’s profound.  She has somehow managed to put into words the way beautiful women feel most of their lives.  She has successfully described the end result of an appearance-driven culture as felt in the hearts of its objects.

There’s a lot I could say about that statement and how young girls and young women are viewed.  I think we all know what I’m talking about.  But I want to examine another issue – an issue related to what I believe my bow-bearing brought to life Barbie was really feeling.

Addie was tired.  She stays up reading when everyone else goes to bed.  She is my hardcore sleeper-inner.  She is a gamer who knows more about how to fix my computer and phone issues than the employees at the apple store.  She gets so excited about fishing that she begins to babble in her own language when she catches one.  She doesn’t like to get up on Saturday morning to go practice cheer-leading.  This particular day, we had practice followed by the game.  She’d simply had enough.

  Enough what?

Enough fake smiling when she wasn’t happy.  Enough cheer-leading when she needed resting.  Enough skirt when all she wanted was sweats.  Enough jumping and shouting when she needed quiet and peace.  Enough pretty pretend when she wanted not so pretty real.  Enough real game time when she needed more practice.  Enough encouraging a team she did not know when she needed a family she did.  Enough place she felt uncomfortable when all she wanted was to sit in her favorite spot and be Addie…or James…or Hazel…or whichever personality made her happy at that moment.  All she knew was that bow-bearing Barbie wasn’t working.  Not today.  Maybe not ever.

The truth is that Addie is young.  She doesn’t know who she is yet.  She doesn’t even know who she wants to be.  All she knows is how she feels when she does that which she is not particularly predisposed for.  And that is ok!  Nothing makes me madder than when I see parents obligating children to do that which they are not geared for.

From beautiful women to tired teeny-boppers, no one wants to feel like the sun total of their existence is what is on the outside. Not one of us can live our lives as though how we are feeling on the inside does not matter.  Oh, we can ignore it for a long, lost, and losing time, but eventually we will sit down.  It will likely happen mid-game.  We will sit down, lay down, fall down, or just be down because we were not made to prioritize pretend personalities.

Addie has pretend personalities because some of her real ones feel pretend to her.  She is uncomfortable, like a fish out of water, and she doesn’t know how to make herself “satisfied” when she is asked to be what she is not.

I try to give a variety of opportunities for my daughters to become well-rounded individuals.  I try to introduce them to as many things as I can so that they can find their niche and truly be satisfied in their own skin.  I want nothing more than for them to be exactly who they are.

I want to be exactly who I am.  We all do.  Who wants to be who they’re not?  By all appearances, we can pull off the pretend and be as cute as the day is long but if we settle for superficial, we will never, ever be deeply and wholly satisfied.  Little wonder why so many people are unhappy in life when the majority do not seek to do that which affords them the time and the space to be and do what they were made for.

God created us to be unique, inwardly satisfied individuals.  Don’t ever let outward achievement and admirable appearances take the place of inner peace.  Take the job you enjoy for less money.  Have children before you have the extra room for them.  Get married before you can pay for a wedding.  Don’t get married even if you already ordered the invitations.  Volunteer.  Work less hours to invest in other things.  Work more hours to get to where you want to go.  Get up early so you can pray.  Ask God who He created you to be.  Go back to school.  Quit school.  Join a team.  Quit the team.  Do not settle for being anyone other than you.  Be exactly who you are and be unashamed of it.

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” ~John Piper

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After all the grumbling and disobedience of God’s people, God gives another important word to Moses.  He commands them to rest, and, not only to rest, but to remember.

God’s people were called to a Sabbath rest on the 7th day of the week.  They did not listen at first (Exodus 16:25-26) and their leader, Moses, was indicted for it.  God gives the command again and they rested. (Exodus 16:30)

God tells them that they must keep a portion of the manna itself in order to have even their children know and remember for all generations what God did and how he did it.

God saved.  God rescued.  God delivered.  God provided.  Do not forget, kids.  Tell your kids and their kids and their kids’ kids…tell the kids in the 21st century.  God brought you out of slavery.  He did signs and wonders.  He led you to a barren wilderness and he provided everything you needed.  Forty years he provided and forty years you ate.  It was forty years until they came to the border of the promised land. (Exodus 16: 35)

In order to rightly remember God’s tender care and provision, this portion is to be placed before the testimony to be kept.  Eventually it goes into the ark of the covenant which goes into the holy of holies in God’s temple – where the presence of God was – along with two other items: the tablets with the 10 commandments and Aaron’s rod that budded.  It is in the holiest holy place – the very presence of God – that we are provided for when we remember his care and love for us.

In God’s holy presence we have the law, the provision, and the intercessor.

The stone tablets with the law represented God’s holy standards.  It serves to remind his people of what we are called to, that we are guilty, and how much we need a savior – Jesus.

The manna represented God’s provision and his call to rest.  It serves to remind God’s people of his tender mercies and great care for us.  It points us to our daily bread from heaven – Jesus Christ.

Aaron’s rod represented his miraculous power in Egypt and God’s choosing in the priests (Numbers 16-17) – namely Our High Priest, Jesus.  The story of the budding of Aaron’s rod reminds us of God’s sovereign choice and power.  When men came leading a revolt against Moses and Aaron seeking to cast doubt upon their calling and discredit them, God showed up angry to defend them, chose those whom He willed, and Moses and Aaron made atonement for their accusers.  The budding rod reminds us of Our Chosen High Priest who lives to intercede for us – Our Lord Jesus.

So who will you find in the secret place of God’s holy presence when you seek him with all your heart?

Jesus.  Jesus Christ.  Our Lord, Jesus.  He is the true bread from heaven.

“The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land.  They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.” ~Exodus 16:35

The wilderness won’t last forever, friend.  God promises a new land, flowing with milk and honey.  He provides everything we need until we get there.  Therefore, rest.  Rest and remember.

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