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Resting While You Work - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
July 31, 2021 8:00 pm

Resting While You Work - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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July 31, 2021 8:00 pm

"...and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed” (Joshua 13:1).

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace!

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Father, we rest in Thy love. Father, we rest in Thy love. Father, we rest. Father, we rest. We rest in Thy love. Father, we rest in Thy love. Father, we rest in Thy love. Father, we rest. We rest in Thy love. I want to thank all of you who have helped us with the expense of this program, making it possible for us to continue through these summer months. We would like to hear from others of you who maybe appreciate the program but have never responded.

Not only can you send a donation by mail to BaptistBibleHour.org and make a donation there. We appreciate your prayers that we can continue bringing these messages from God's Word. Rest and work are two important parts of life. Work is good. God commanded Adam, even before the fall, to work, to subdue the earth and to have dominion over it. In the book of Exodus, chapter 20, verse 9, he says, six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work. So God expects man to work. Ecclesiastes 9, 10, whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might. And then the apostle deals with an issue that was troubling the church at Thessalonica when in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 3, verse 10, it says, for even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. So Paul says that work is essential.

It is expected that if one is going to eat, they will work for it. Certainly slothfulness is condemned numerous times in the scriptures. Proverbs, chapter 19, the 15th verse, slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

And then come to the New Testament, the book of Hebrews, chapter 6, verse 12, that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Rest is a blessing. Ecclesiastes 5, 12, the sleep of a laboring man is sweet. And during the rush of so much activity during the life and ministry of Jesus, it was necessary for him to call his disciples aside that they might rest. Mark, chapter 6, verse 31, and he said unto them, come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest awhile, for there were many coming and going and they had no leisure so much as to eat. So Jesus said that resting is essential and he called his disciples aside that they might be able to rest. And then come into Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 9, there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. Verse 11, let us therefore labor to enter into that rest lest any man shall fall after the same example of unbelief. So from these various scriptures, we must conclude that rest is important and work is vital, both being a part of our daily lives. Now what a unique situation we would find if we could learn how to rest while we work. And from the spiritual standpoint, that is not only a possibility, it is a part of the Christian experience.

So my subject today is resting while you work. In our last message from the book of Joshua, we observe two things in chapter 11, verse 23. First, Joshua gave it, that is the land for an inheritance unto Israel. Second, and the land rested from war. So there have been a lot of work to get to that point, a lot of diligent effort, many battles fought, so that Joshua was now ready to give the land for an inheritance to Israel.

But at this juncture, the land rested, rested from war. Now today we go to chapter 13, Joshua chapter 13, verse 1. Now Joshua was old and stricken in years, and the Lord said unto him, thou art old and well stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. Joshua was probably about a hundred years old at this time. And the Lord reminds him, you are stricken in years, but he also gives him a new assignment. He's not going to be leading the army anymore.

He's not going to be out on the battlefield. But, he says, there remaineth much land to be possessed, and that would have to take place over the years to come. But at this point, Joshua is going to allocate the various parts of the land to the tribes of Israel, seeing that they receive their inheritance. Verse 7, now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes and half tribe of Manasseh. Moses had already given the inheritance to two and a half tribes that were situated on the east side of Jordan. And now, Joshua is to see to it that all the other tribes are given their inheritance.

And great detail is given, describing the borders of the land, describing the various places where the tribes would be given their allocation. So, we see Joshua is older, but he's not giving up. He's still got some work to do. And God has given him an assignment in particular that he will see to it that this inheritance is allocated.

That might be an encouragement. Sometimes older people begin to feel that their days are past and there's nothing they can do in the service of God. Certainly their activities may be limited, but even a person who is infirm, not able to go out, and on a sickbed can be one who prays diligently. Prays for God's people in general, as we're admonished to do in the sixth chapter of the book of Ephesians. So, first of all, as we think on this theme, resting while you work, we want to see God's dealings with Israel. God gave them the land of Canaan. It was according to his plan, his purpose, a covenant that he made with their fathers. Deuteronomy chapter 4, we read, beginning with verse 37, Now, how many times have you heard reference to their deliverance from Egypt?

The reason you hear it a lot is because God saw to it that that account is repeated over and over again. He did not want his people to forget. He wanted them to remember they were slaves, they were in bondage, but God brought them out. He had a purpose in bringing them out.

Brought them out by his mighty power to drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art. I'm going to go into a land where these nations are greater, they're stronger, their military men are better prepared than yours, but I'm going to bring you in to give their land for an inheritance as it is this day. Now, keep in mind, this land that they're receiving belongs to God. God has a right to give it to whomever he pleases, and he's giving it to them as an inheritance. They didn't work for it.

They didn't deserve it. It was according to God's covenant with their forefathers that they were receiving the land. Now, in the sixth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, verse 10, it says, He's enumerating some of the particular benefits and blessings that they're going to receive because of this covenant that God made with their fathers. They're going to come into a land where there are great cities that they didn't build, and there are houses full of good things which thou fillest not, and wells which thou diggest not, vineyards and olive trees which thou plantest not, when thou shalt have eaten and be full, then beware lest thou forget the Lord which hath brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage.

Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God and serve him. So what a blessing. They've been in bondage. They didn't own any land. They didn't have any great possessions, but now they're going to come into a land where there are cities they didn't build, houses that they didn't fill with good things, wells they didn't dig, but they're going to get the advantage of it. They're going to get the blessing because they're receiving it as an inheritance, a gift from God. And he says, when you come into the land and you enjoy these benefits, be careful. Beware that you do not forget the Lord.

You say, well, why would that have been necessary? Since God had blessed them so much in bringing them out of bondage and protecting them for 40 years through the wilderness, surely these people will always be mindful of the goodness and mercy of God. But you know enough about the Old Testament to know that was not the case. In spite of the admonitions that were given, these people did in time to come forget, turn from serving the true and living God and were influenced by the idolatrous practices of the people around them.

But they're admonished at this point. Do not forget the Lord, but thou art to serve him. Deuteronomy 27-3 further describes the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee as a land that floweth with milk and honey. So it's a good land, a desirable land, and God is giving it to them. And it's a place where they were going to have rest, a land of peace and rest. But they had to fight in order to conquer the land, in order to receive the benefits of what God was giving them.

They understood that this was not something that they had worked for. They didn't pay for the land. God had given it to them. Joshua chapter 1 verse 2, Moses my servant is dead. These words are addressed to Joshua. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people unto the land which I do give them even to the children of Israel. I'm giving them this land. This is my grace, this is my love, my blessing to give it to them. Verse 13, remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you saying, the Lord hath given you rest and have given you this land.

So we want to emphasize the point. It was not only a land with many great benefits, material benefits that they could enjoy, but it was described as a land of rest. Now when you follow those early chapters in the book of Joshua as we have done in our studies, you see conflict, you see war, you see battle. But all of that was necessary in order to possess their possessions, in order to take the land which was rightfully theirs because God had given it to them.

So God promised that he would be with them as they claimed what he was giving them. Verse 5 of chapter 1 in the book of Joshua, there shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. I will not fail thee or forsake thee.

Now this is significant. This is a promise given to Joshua when he's embarking upon the warfare necessary to take the land. And God says, I will not fail thee or forsake thee. I want you to remember that and I'm going to refer to it later in the message. Verse 9, have not I commanded thee, be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. What encouragement.

No need to be alarmed, no need to fear. God says, I'm going to be with you wherever you go. So you can have confidence as you come to this land with cities that are walled up and military forces which are well prepared with their chariots of iron, but you don't have to be afraid because I'm going to give you the victory. And as they moved forward in their conquests, they set up various memorials as a reminder of what God had done for them. You recall the first one was when they came across the river Jordan. There were 12 stones put in the midst of the river and 12 stones put on the bank. And it was said that in time to come, the children will inquire, what mean these 12 stones on the bank of the river? And you will then tell them your history. That is a people you were in bondage, you were slaves in Egypt, but God brought you out, directed your path, brought you through the wilderness, brought you to this place, even when this river was out of its banks at flood stage.

But he rolled back the waters and brought the people across safely. Remember, don't forget what God has done for you. Now, if that was important for Israel in those days, it's surely important for us. We may not set up a monument, but we need to have those spiritual touch points in our life where we can look back and remember, here's a place where God uniquely blessed.

Here's a place where God did something special, and I want to remember it. I share with you, you know that since last April I've had a problem with my eyes. It's been a real struggle. I first had a problem with a lot of pain. They got that under control, but my vision is blurry. And so it has slowed me down a lot. It takes longer to do my reading and studying. I'm happy to report that my doctor said the last time he ran some tests that there's some good things going on in my eye.

It must be way in the back part. It hasn't helped my vision yet, but it's encouraging to know that he thinks something positive is happening. But what I'm getting to, last week, toward the end of the week, I got up in the morning and it felt like something was in my eye. And I know the doctor said at times, if you have that kind of pull down on your eyelid, that'll cause some moisture and it may ease it up.

Well, I did that for two days, and I put all kinds of eye drops in and it didn't help. When I got up last Sunday morning, it was worse. By the time I got to church, it was severe. And I just thought, I don't see how I can preach.

I know I'm not going to be able to read. So, rather than to deliver the message that I'd prepared, I guess I'll just have to use scriptures that I can quote and try to do the best I can with it. But the discomfort was so great, I thought even with that, I won't be able to speak very long. At five minutes to eleven, I just went to the Lord once again. I'd been praying all morning.

I just prayed, Lord, I'm here. I want to deliver this message, but I don't see how I can with this discomfort in my eye. I pray or bless it to be relieved if it can be your will. And I pulled down on my eyelid one more time, like I'd done several times over the previous days. And when I let it up, the pain was completely gone.

The discomfort was removed. And I was able to come in here five minutes later and begin the service. I just share that because I do believe it was an answer to prayer. It was God's intervention. And when we have those experiences in life, we certainly want to acknowledge answer to prayer when God does answer prayer.

And recognize those special things that he does for us along the way. Well, there was another memorial set up by the Israelites at the entrance of Ai as a reminder of God's faithful help to his people, so that even though there was a defeat there initially because of sin in the camp, that they ultimately had victory. They also set up a memorial at Mount Ebal where the law was written on the stones as a reminder to the people that they were to obey God and that their success did in fact require obedience. And then there were stones set up at the mouth of the cave where those five kings were buried that had been hanged.

And after their death, they were put in the cave and these stones were set up. Just another reminder, God is blessing us to have victory. So, they did have to engage in battle to possess the land.

The land was rightly theirs. God was giving it to them, but they did have to do battle. Joshua chapter 5 verse 4, and he said, Now Joshua is getting ready to go forward to battle and a man appears and he asks the man, are you with us or against us? And the man says, nay, but as captain of the host of the Lord, am I now come? I believe this is one of those pre-incarnate experiences where Jesus Christ himself was speaking here to Joshua. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship and said unto him, what sayeth my Lord unto his servant? So, Joshua was ready to take orders from the Lord.

The Lord recognized as captain of the host, captain of the army. In the book of Obadiah verse 17, it's talking about something that would happen at a later time, but the language is exactly what we want to get at. Obadiah 17, but upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance and there shall be holiness and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

That's what we're talking about when Joshua then, under the Lord's direction, was leading the people forward to battle. The land was theirs. It was theirs according to covenant. It was theirs because of God's gift. But, in order to enjoy it, in order to reap the benefits that have been previously described, they had to fight the enemy. They had to claim it. One place it said, wherever the sole of your foot does tread, it'll be yours.

But you've got to get up and go forward and face the enemy. Now, there were consequences. If they failed in this, Joshua chapter 13 of the 13th verse, Nevertheless, the children of Israel expelled not the Gersonites and the Megathites. They dwell among the Israelites unto this day. So, even after all these successful battles, they come to some and decide, we're not going to drive them out. We don't know what all of the motivation was, but God had warned them in advance, that's going to be trouble. I don't want you to be influenced by the pagans that occupy this land. They are a wicked people and that's why God's sending judgment and driving them out. If you allow them to remain, you may say initially, we're strong, we're not going to be influenced.

But the fact is, over time, you will be influenced. And that's exactly what happened. Not only these peoples, but there were others in later times that they allowed to remain. And they began to intermarry. And when they did, then some of the Israelites took up the gods of the women that they had married and they were guilty of idolatry. So, God is warning them not to the influence, not to allow even these idolatrous worshipers to remain.

The land is yours, you occupy it, you claim it, you drive them out. They had been adequately warned of the danger, but they didn't heed it. Now, seeing God's dealings with Israel, the question may come, how does this all apply to us? Isn't this just a historical account of years ago that might be intriguing to read, but does it really apply to us today?

It most certainly does. Because as we've cited several times, it says that these things of old were written for our learning and admonition. There's a lesson that we're to learn. So, let's see, in fact, we're going to go to the book of Ephesians for several references. And it's really interesting to see a parallel between the book of Joshua and the book of Ephesians. The book of Joshua begins with conflict, but it's on the basis of what was given to them. And then the peace and blessing comes at a later time. Now, the book of Ephesians begins with a declaration of what has been given us. And then we go on to the last three chapters, and there's instruction given about how we're to live, and part of that involves conflict and the battle in which we're engaged.

So, what is this all about? We're talking about resting while you work. Joshua had something to rest in while he was fighting the battles. He was resting in the promise of God. He was resting in the fact that God said, you don't have to be afraid, I'm going to be with you wherever you go.

I'm with you. So, he could rest in that promise while he labored and worked diligently. So, what about God's dealings with us? We have rest because of what he's given us, because of our inheritance in Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift.

Ephesians 2, 8 and 9 says, For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. So, just as this land was a gift to the Israelites, salvation itself is a gift to us.

It didn't have anything to do with paying for it. It's a gift. Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin.

How shall my tongue describe it? Where shall my praise begin? What a comfort to be reminded that salvation is by the grace of God. No way that we could contribute to it.

No way we could pay for it. It is his gift to unworthy sons. We'd like to hear from you this week. Till next week, at the same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Jesus, deeper than the mighty rolling sea. Harker than the birth of Christ, like a thousand, all solutions trace for him and me. Broader than the scope of my transgressions, greater than all my sin and shame, my sin and shame. O magnify the precious name of Jesus. Praise his name. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.

That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching the most defiled. By his transforming power, making him God's dear child. Hurt just in peace and heaven for all eternity. And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-18 14:33:05 / 2023-09-18 14:42:39 / 10

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