Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He told them, 13 “Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land.’ 14 Your wives, children, and livestock may remain here in the land Moses assigned to you on the east side of the Jordan River. But your strong warriors, fully armed, must lead the other tribes across the Jordan to help them conquer their territory. Stay with them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has given you rest, and until they, too, possess the land the Lord your God is giving them. Only then may you return and settle here on the east side of the Jordan River in the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, assigned to you.”
Isn’t it amazing how God says things to confirm a thought? Following on from my comments on 1 Corinthians 9 about getting spiritually fit, here is God on the same subject – telling me not to rest. This time, though, there is a slight difference. In the Corinthians text, I felt that the Lord was telling me to get fit, mostly for my own good. This reading is saying that I should not sit back and have a rest, but this time it’s for other people.
In the passage, the two and a half tribes could quite easily have said that they were OK, they were in the promised land and that was it – time to sit back and enjoy all that God had given them. That wasn’t the deal, though, they couldn’t rest. There was still work to do.
I could quite easily say that I’m saved, and in the promised land. It’s time to enjoy everything that God has given me. Time to rest.
No! I still have to fight to get others into the promised land. I still have work to do! I need to keep on going, fighting the enemy and helping others to salvation, into what God has promised for them. I cannot rest until God tells me it’s ok to do so. The good thing is that during this I can still enjoy all the amazing things that God has given me.
There is an old saying “No rest for the wicked.” This is referring to their time in eternity. It’s the opposite for Christians – No rest for the good. This refers to the here and now.