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Spurgeon discusses the wanderings of the Hebrews in the desert and their final attainment of the promised rest. Some have indicated that this is a model of our final rest in heaven. But I pray and hope this is not true. For once in the land, Israel had to fight to take it and to keep it. They were driven from this place of rest by the Lord, due to their sin while in the land. Ultimately Israel, as prophesied, took back the land in 1948 and, as prophesied, will some day fully turn to their Jesus their Messiah.
But if this is a model of heaven, I cringe. Once in heaven we are promised, among many other things, that there will be no more tears, total and full worship of the Lord, and effective sinless service to Him. More likely this is a model of our Christian walk here on earth. Sometimes things are going well and sometimes there are battles. When we turn to God, He fights our battles (the only battle that Joshua lost when taking the land, was when he did not consult the Lord on what he was to do). As Spurgeon notes:
“A part of the host will this year tarry on earth, to do service for their Lord.” (quote from Morning)
While we are here let us joyfully serve the Lord will all our might, but knowing that our might is not what makes it happen, but as we walk in the Spirit (Rom 8:5), we are kept by Him from stumbling for the Holy Spirit to present us faultless to the LORD (Jud 1:24) .
As we look forward to this year, we are exhorted by Spurgeon to be glad, rejoice and joyous.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” [Phil 4:4 NKJV]
There was a book written a couple of decades ago called “The One-Minute Manager.” The idea was learning to manage people in one minute increments of activity. If I were to take that idea and make myself a “One-Minute Rejoicer,” how would my life change? If I were to every hour of the awakened day find something for one minute to rejoice in the LORD, I am sure things would be totally different. I know that this is unlikely, as most of our New Year resolutions are, but even to practice a part of it. Spurgeon noted:
“We will BE GLAD AND REJOICE: two words with one sense, double joy, blessedness upon blessedness. Need there be any limit to our rejoicing in the Lord even now?” (quote from Evening)
Prayer: Lord help me to each day find something in which to rejoice in You and be glad.