Sermons

Summary: This is the 16th sermon in the series "Moving With God".

Sunday Morning April 19, 2009

Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: “Moving With God (Exodus)” [#16]

A TIME FOR REST

Exodus 15:27

Introduction:

The United States is considered the 2nd busiest place in the world. The only country in the world that takes less days off, goes to school longer, averages less in sleep, etc… is Japan. While it may seem that this is a good thing, it is a proven fact that we are less productive and more likely to be sick when we do not get enough rest. It is also apparent that the same holds true spiritually.

The Israelites had seen God’s hand rescue them from the enemy as He parted the Red Sea and over 2 million people walked across on dry land. From there they wandered around for 3 days searching for water and when they finally found water at Marah, it was poisonous. It’s like being on a roller coaster? You get started in a particular direction; but all of a sudden you feel like you are just going up and down and all around with no purpose. Of course, the people began to complain about Moses and Moses went and cried out to the Lord. The Lord’s response was to show Moses a piece of wood. Moses took the piece of wood, threw it into the water, and the water was made pure.

Problem solved right? Not really, because after everyone’s thirst was quenched, then what? Often times it seems like we are surviving day to day. We are searching for that which will satisfy us and when we find it, it doesn’t seem to last. It seems that all we worked for wasn’t even worth it in the end. Why? Because we didn’t stop to enjoy those things in which we have been blessed with. Sometimes we need to stop and rest, and God knows that.

Exodus 15:27 (NIV)

“Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.”

God brought His people to a place of rest.

In God’s rest, you can find…

1. Security.

As I think of palm trees, I think of a large tree that has protective branches. Palm branches were often used for the roofing of houses, for shade, etc… In Christ, we can rest and know at the same time that we are secure. Have you ever lived in a place where you did not feel secure at night? It’s hard to relax and rest in a place where you do not feel secure. In Christ, we can rest and know that we are being protected by Him. By the way, how many palm trees were there? 70. Now we could talk about what that number means, etc…; but what I want you to see is that there were many trees.

In God’s rest, you can find…

2. Sufficiency.

There was plenty of trees and water available to the people. God gave them more than they needed. God always supplies all of our needs, not just part of them. There was plenty of shade, plenty of protection, plenty of water, etc… God has given us everything we need in order to be satisfied and to be able to rest.

I want you to notice 3 things about trees:

> A tree suggests life.

> Where there is life, there is growth.

> Where there is life and growth, there will be fruit.

In God’s rest, you can find…

3. Serenity.

When I say the word serenity, what comes to mind? I think about things such as peace and quiet, calmness, etc…

Psalm 23:1-2 (NIV)

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters…”

There are 2 reasons why sheep will lie down in green pastures.

> They are satisfied.

Hungry sheep will never lie down; they will wander away anywhere and everywhere in search of food; but within the provision of the shepherd the sheep will lie down.

> There is quietness and restfulness.

Instinctively, sheep know that they are safe while the shepherd stands by with his rod and staff. When the Children of Israel reached Elim, it became the place of resting; they knew God had it. There is nothing better than experiencing and enjoying the peace of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:7 (MSG)

“Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Conclusion:

We all need rest in the Lord.

Rest…

> Allows us to listen to God.

> Reminds us that we are important to God.

> Keeps us humble.

> Reminds us that God provides.

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