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The first mention of rest in the Bible is when we learn that God rested after He had finished creating the earth. Mankind was the last of His works, so Adam’s first day was a day of rest—resting in the finished work of the Lord.
If we fast-forward to the reign of King David, we read that his deep desire was to build a ‘resting-place’ for the Lord; a place for the Ark of the Lord’s Presence. However, this was denied him because he had been a ‘man of war’, and had shed much blood [1 Chronicles 22:8]. Instead, David was told that his son, Solomon would be the one to do it, (‘Solomon’ in Hebrew sounds like the word for peace.)
But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest,
and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side.
His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.
[1 Chronicles 22:9]
But it was David’s legacy which gave Solomon the ability to fulfil that commission. Not only had his victories purchased peace and prosperity for his son, in addition, David had gathered all the materials ready for the building of the temple, according to detailed instructions given to him by the Lord, and established its worship patterns.
Solomon’s responsibility was to live in the good of his father’s provision, build the temple, and maintain peace for himself and his countrymen. The results are documented: the temple was uniquely magnificent, the prosperity of the kingdom attracted visitors from all over the world, and the land was war-free during his reign. (Sadly, Solomon was enticed away into idolatry later in his reign and brought judgement upon his people. However, the fact remains that his whole life was lived in rest because of the legacy left by his father.)
ENTER GOD’S REST
King David of course was a prophetic type of Christ. Jesus paid with His own blood so that we could live in peace; we too are called to live in the finished work of One who has gone before. The battle against the Kingdom of darkness has been won by Jesus on the cross—we get to live in the good of it. And there is a new temple being built, whose architect and builder is Christ, a living temple whose foundations are peace and rest.
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Jesus paid such an enormous price so that we could live free—and enter God’s rest—let’s take time over these next weeks to meditate on the cross—His finished work—so that we can live in the good of it.
The resources below may be helpful:
NEXT WEEK: WELCOMING JESUS CHRIST, THE PRINCE OF PEACE
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN
[Photo credits: Pawel Furman (king); Vaishakh Pillai (cross); Diego Ph (lightbulb) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
Da Kraplak (type writer);
Merakist (social media)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
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