Faithlife Sermons

Mother's, Are You at Rest?


“Mothers at Rest”

Joshua 1:12-15

Series: God’s Kingdom Mission

Are you at rest? There are two kinds of rest that we should consider. There is the physical rest, and there is the heart rest. These two types of rest work together. For example, you may be able to stop all activity of your body, but if you are anxious in your soul, you really do not experience rest. So, what is rest? How can mother’s be at rest? These are two questions that are good for not only mothers but also for those who have mothers -- indeed, answering the question of rest is good for all people today.
We have so much, and yet we lack true rest.
Illustration: (unrest in society)
How is it that we have access to everything, yet we long for rest? How is it that we have families, lands, and substance but we still want for rest? Maybe you think that these presumptions I am making are off the mark but consider the level of anxiety that we suffer.
Text messages, social media postings indicate excessive worry about religious liberties. Conspiracy theory videos are messaged to me weekly. Do not get me wrong, the communications are only symptoms. They are symptoms of a deeper reality - a reality that we are not at rest.
If a message about “rest” is going to help us, we must admit that we are NOT people at rest as we should and could be.
Prop: Let your heart REST in the Lord!
As we consider the passage before us, there are several points to note about the context:

(1) Joshua has turned his instruction to a few from the whole.

These are two and one-half tribes who had already received inheritance on the east side of the Jordan River. The apparent temptation for these tribes may be that they would not enter into the Promised Land and help the rest of their brethren obtain the land that they too had been promised.

(2) Joshua does not lean upon his new found leadership role.

Though he may have been able to do so; but he hearkens back to the command of the servant of the Lord Moses. This command is found in back in Numbers 32:20-22. The command of Numbers was an oath to which these tribes were bound.
Numbers 32:20–22 KJV 1900
And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the Lord to war, And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the Lord, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, And the land be subdued before the Lord: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the Lord, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord.

(3) There is the unavoidable theme of “rest” found in Joshua 1:13 and Joshua 1:15.

This theme of rest meant a few things for these people:
(1) It meant no more wilderness wandering.
(2) It meant ultimate rest from war.
(3) Most importantly, it meant a land where their families could flourish in the worship of the true God.
This last meaning seems to escape us because we often overlook the promise that God had already given to Moses in Exodus 33:14 - that God’s presence would go with him and the Lord would give him rest.
This gives way to the first principle from the passage about rest:

(1) Joshua 1:13, 15 - The LORD is the One who gives rest.

Whatever you may think rest is, it is not found or given by anyone or anything but the Lord. This means that rest is not being able to sit and relax and watch a show on television. Rest is not having less laundry to do. Rest is not getting the raise at your work so you have more money. The presence of entertainment, lack of physical labor, and the abundance of money do not provide the rest that only the Lord can provide.
It has always been God’s intention that his people would rest, and God wants mother’s to be able to rest. Even on a day like Mother’s Day, children, grandchildren, husbands will attempt to create an environment of what they think it means for you to rest; but do not be fooled. God’s created intention was rest, and it was not about all that people will try to take off of your plate today.
In Genesis 2:1-2, the eternal, untiring God rested from his creative work.
Genesis 2:1–2 KJV 1900
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
This rest was not because the Lord was tired, but He was establishing a pattern for his image-bearers to observe to emulate. This pattern was put in place so that the usual activity of mankind, who was created to labor, would not worship his own labor or the fruit of his own labor, but he would be caused to stop and thank/glorify God the Creator for his abundant provision. On that day, of all days, man would not put trust in his own ability, but he would be caused to remember that God alone is worthy of faith. When his faith was in the LORD, the man would experience a rest that brought calm internally and externally. He would cease from his labor externally because he was fully resting in the Lord internally.
In other words, know and believe that the rest God gives is a rest of soul. It is a rest that allows your heart to be tranquil and calm. It is NOT a rest FROM activity. It is a rest WITHIN your activity.
4296 Two Pictures
Two painters each painted a picture to illustrate his concept of rest. The first chose for his scene a still, lone lake among far-off mountains. The second threw on his canvas a thundering waterfall, with a fragile birch tree bending over the foam; at the fork of a branch, almost wet with the cataract’s spray, a robin sat on its nest. The first was only Stagnation; the last was Rest. For in rest there are two elements—tranquillity and energy; silence and turbulence; creation and destruction; fearfulness and fearlessness.
It is a rest of soul that allows you to be restful as you continue in your activity. Only the Lord can give this.
While it is tempting to think that you will be able to rest when the house is clean and when the kids are in order -- these are allusions that are cast by our culture’s programming. These are “Andy Griffeth” and “Leave It to Beaver” mirages. Accomplishing the Brady Bunch style home does NOT bring this kind of rest. Only the Lord can bring this rest.

(2) Joshua 1:14 The LORD is the One who provides COSTLY rest

The kind of rest that this passage envisions will come at a high cost. Before discussing this cost, it should be noted how tenderly the Lord cares for wives, children, and even animals (Proverbs 12:10). This tenderness reminds us that even though there are different roles between men, women, and children there is equal value.
How do we understand the value of life when we consider how the LORD is sanctioning the destruction of the people of Canaan? This question is one that the skeptics raise about the God of the Bible, and as we consider the theme of rest, how can we say that there is rest when there is such war necessary for this kind of rest?
It is important to understand that in order for their to be rest, there had to be war; but it was not just a de-possession of people from a land. This is not just some imperialistic venture by the nation of Israel. Leviticus 18 and Deuteronomy 9:4-6 confirm that God is actually pouring out his judgment upon the nations of Canaan for their sin. The following are just a few of the catalogue of sins: impurity, adultery, idolatry, homosexuality, and beastiality.
The rest of the people of God would be quite costly because the LORD would have to pour out his wrath upon the nations of Canaan because of wickedness and sin.
Relevance: This should be a reminder of the sure justice of God. If you are a person who is habitually pursuing sin, you must be born again.
This would then present an opportunity for the people of God to live in a land at rest - to live in a way that exalted, worshipped, adored, and praised the one, true God.
This kind of rest requires that we strive for it. It is a rest that is obtained through battle. The Lord provides this rest through the efforts of his people. This rest is not something that you merely get when you are saved, but it is something you experience as you strive for it daily. Hebrews 4:11
Hebrews 4:11 KJV 1900
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Once you are saved, you have rest, but you do not experience that rest unless you strive for it daily - a striving to let your soul rest in the Lord until you enter eternal rest.
Thus it is costly because it required the justice of God to be poured out on sin, but it is also costly because once you enter it, you have to strive for it. It will cost you saying “no” to your anxieties and “yes” to the finished work of Christ.

(3) Joshua 1:15 The LORD provided this COSTLY rest through His servant

Though in Joshua 1:13, it is clearly the Lord who provided this rest, Joshua 1:15 identifies Moses as the one who gave these 2.5 tribes the land. This is how the Lord works. The Lord works through his servants to accomplish his work, and he does so in a way that both are true.
God would later use another servant to confirm that the rest that Joshua provided was not complete. In Psalm 95:7-8, David calls the people of his generation to come and worship the Lord. Even in the time of David, the servant of the Lord, the rest was not completely experienced.
Psalm 95:7–8 KJV 1900
For he is our God; And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, And as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
So, God sent another servant (Hebrews 3:5-6).
Hebrews 3:5–6 KJV 1900
And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
This servant shed a greater light on what it means to have rest when he said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.Matthew 11:28-30
True rest of soul is only found by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the LORD of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). Jesus Christ is the only way to find rest in your activity rather than rest FROM your activity.

How can mother’s have rest?

(1) Know and believe that the deceitfulness of sin is what keeps you from this rest - Hebrews 3:13
Hebrews 3:13 KJV 1900
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
The deception of sin is that is causes you to believe you are ok. There are those who are so deceived by their sin, that they have never understood the need of Jesus’ Christ’s atonement. True soul rest is not possible until you receive Jesus Christ. Are you at rest before the LORD?
(2) Receive exhortation from brothers and sisters in Christ - Hebrews 3:13
Hebrews 3:13 KJV 1900
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
We need people to spur us on in in the faith. Don’t isolate yourself from one another. “I just need to get away” does not bring rest.
(3) Remember always and strive daily towards the ultimate rest for the people of God - Hebrews 4:9 -10
Hebrews 4:9–10 KJV 1900
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
There’s second kind of person is the one who believed in the past, experienced rest in the past by faith; but they are not striving to day-to-day by faith. This is the Christian who has been saved, but is deceived by sin into allusions of rest (perfect home, perfect spouse, perfect kids, perfect job....). If you have exercised faith in the past, then exercise faith now. The same gospel you exercised faith in is the same gospel you must continue to exercise faith in.
(4) Come to God through your sympathetic High Priest in your time of need - Hebrews 4:15-16
You’ll Just Have to Trust God for the Rest
Vance Havner told a story about an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her many troubles—both real and imaginary. Finally, someone in her family tactfully told her, “Grandma, we’ve done all we can for you. You’ll just have to trust God for the rest.” A look of absolute despair spread over her face as she replied, “Oh dear, has it come to that?” Havner commented, “It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that!”
Source Unknown
Mother’s, are you at rest in your souls? If you are saved, are you daily striving for this rest that is real?
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