Summary: This sermon shows us how to find rest for our weary souls. The old saying says that there is no rest for the weary, but David shows us that this saying is not true.
THERE IS R.E.S.T. FOR THE WEARY
January 26, 2003
You know the old saying: “There is no rest for the weary.” We are going to learn from Psalm 62 that this statement is actually false. If anyone was ever weary, David was. He had grown weary from the constant assaults of his enemies. “How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down -- this leaning wall, this tottering fence” (v. 3)? He is so weary that he describes himself as a leaning wall or a tottering fence. In other words, he is so worn out and tired that he is about to fall down and collapse. Yet in the midst of his weariness he is able to find rest -- “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone” (v. 5a).
The rest that David is speaking of finds its ultimate fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. Lets start off by looking at what the prophet Jeremiah has to say. “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not listen’” (Jeremiah 6:16). When we are in the weary times of life it is as if we have reached a crossroads and we must now choose which way we will go. In this passage God is telling us that we must choose the good way because that is the only way to “find rest for your souls.” We also see here why the saying -- “There is no rest for the weary” -- has become so popular. It is because they will not listen to God and choose to go their own way rather than “the good way.” And when they go their own way they ensure that their will be no rest for them.
What is “the good way” that Jeremiah wrote about? It is none other than Jesus Christ himself. Jesus said, “I am the way” (John 14:6). He also said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Truly, Jesus is the good way -- the only way -- that provides rest for our souls. As we look closer at Psalm 62:5-12 we will learn how we can experience this rest for ourselves. I have put these four things in the form of an acrostic -- R.E.S.T.
RELY ON GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
David says, “Trust in him at all times” (v.8). The skeptic would ask, “Why should I rely on God?” That is a good question and David gives us the answer. David trusts in God because “he is my might rock” (v.7). A rock is strong, firm, and immovable. A solid rock makes an excellent foundation. The bottom line is this -- We can rely on God because he is reliable. As we will see this truth is foundational to all the other steps. This rock is the foundation upon which we place our faith in God and his word.
Jesus told a story that illustrates this point. “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27). The point is that no matter who you are you are going to face times of testing in life. Jesus guaranteed us that we would have trouble in this life. There are times when the storms of life are beating and battering us and cause us to grow weary and weak and if we have not built our life on the rock our house will come crashing down. The rock is the foundation and the rock is reliable.
It is also interesting to go back to Genesis 49 where God is first called our Rock. The context is near the time of Jacobs death and he has called his sons to him so that he can bless each of them. As he blesses Joseph he says, “Joseph is a fruitful vine ... near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him ... But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of ... the Rock of Israel” (Genesis 49:22-24). That Joseph is a fruitful vine speaks of his successfulness. Because of his success some have grown bitter and attacked him, but he has been preserved through it because of the Rock that is his God. It is interesting that this is exactly what is happening to David -- “How long will you assault a man? ... They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place” (vv. 3-4). When you played the game king on the mountain as a child it was difficult to stay the king once you became the king because once you became the king everyone was trying to knock you off. That is exactly what Joseph and David were experiencing. But both of them survived because God was their rock. We too can prevail over the problems of life if we are founded on the rock -- if we rely on God.