Thursday Morning Devotion 1/11/07 (Going and Going and Going)

(8) For if Joshua had given them rest, He wouldn’t have spoken concerning another day after these things. (9) Therefore there remains a sabbath rest for God’s people. (10) For the one who goes into his rest, also himself rests from his labors, just as God did from his own. (11) Let us then be eager to enter into that rest, so that in it nobody will fall through disobedience after their pattern. — Hebrews 4:8-11

(10) For as the rain and snow comes down from the sky and doesn’t return there unless it waters the land and makes it bring forth plants and sprout, and give seed to the one who plants and bread to the one who eats. (11) It will be the same way with my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but it will do what I please and will prosper in the purpose for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:10-11

Yesterday I wrote about how anxious we get to make it to our destination and how God will still have a plan for us, and will still test us even after we arrive at our destination. There is no destination that will allow us to get away from God.

Think about Abraham. He left Ur and went to Haran, then went from Haran to Canaan. He spent some time in Egypt, but he didn’t come into possession of the land that God promised. When he died still as a clan leader, one might have concluded that the whole thing was over. But God renewed his promise to Isaac. Then Jacob, Isaac’s son had to escape all the way back to Haran. It would have been easy to assume that the whole “promise” thing was a failure. But Jacob made it back to Canaan, only to wind up fleeing to Egypt, where his descendants spent several hundred years (215-430, depending on how the chronology is worked out). Finally, the Israelites left Egypt, only to wander around in the wilderness for 40 years.

Can you see the water of God’s word falling on the earth, finding its way into rivers and streams, from one lake to another, perhaps into some folks cooking pots and again into the earth to come forth in springs? But finally it’s going to go back. It will have accomplished what he sent it to do.

In the same way finally the Israelites crossed over into Canaan. God’s promise to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob was fulfilled.

But only partially. As our text from Hebrews says, that rest wasn’t complete. There still remains a rest for God’s people. We may think that 2,000 years have passed and so the promise has faded and will never be fulfilled. But look again at Hebrews 4:9. Simply because the rest of the Israelites was not complete, the author knows that there must be a rest remaining. It hasn’t been fulfilled, so it will be fulfilled. For him it’s as simple as that.

We’re still going somewhere. God’s word may be wandering around the water cycle from raincloud to lake to stream. It’s going and going and going, but someday it’s going to find you and it will be fulfilled.

Count on it!

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