Rest, with no adversary or misfortune

 

(http://www.soulshepherding.org/)
(http://www.soulshepherding.org/)

1Kings 5:4: But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune.

Those were the words of Solomon acknowledging that the work of God in his life had resulted in peace for him with no adversary or misfortune. He was in peace; there was no area of need. And because of the favourable circumstance, he wanted to commence the building of the house for God (1Kings 5:4-5). That was in the Old Testament.

But in the New Testament, Jesus, the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6), said: I will build my church (which is the house of God) and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It will be built while the gates of hell is a threat (Matthew 16:18), but it will not prevail against. This was different from the experience of Solomon when he was building the temple, where there was no adversary.

But what became of the temple of Solomon? It was levelled to the ground by a foreign nation due to the unfaithfulness of the children of Israel starting with Solomon himself. His heart was drawn away from God because of the wives he married who worshipped false gods, and lured him into unfaithfulness to God, through idol worship.

But in the building of the house of God, Solomon was a type of Jesus (the Son of God), but without his failings. The house he is building will endure forever, even though the church may go through tough times, the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The end had been written from the beginning, the church that Jesus is coming for in his second coming is a glorious church (Ephesians 5:25-27), imbued with righteousness and power.

But this time is time of battle. David prophesied about Jesus, saying: “In the day of your power, your people shall be willing. The Lord will stretch forth the rod of your strength out of Zion, rule in the midst of your enemy (Psalm 110).” While the devil is still operating on the earth, Jesus through his people, his disciples, will rule in the here and now, while the building of the house of God is going on.

What is happening now is similar to the time of Nehemiah. When the wall of Jerusalem was being built, at a time, the workers carried weapons (Nehemiah 4:17-23), at other time certain people were stationed as guards to deal with any possible attack threats. The building effort went on in the threat of attack, but it went on nevertheless.

Paul, while describing the church as the house of God (1Corinthians 3:6), also said that we are also in a war situation, and we need to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10), putting on the whole armour of God. While he described himself as a builder (1Corinthians 3:9-10), he also said that he fought with beasts in that process (1Corinthians 15:32).

The church, in the way the temple of Solomon did not, will last forever. It is not a physical structure; it is spiritual. We as living stones are being built into a habitation of God in the spirit, as God’s spiritual house, both individually and collectively.

An adversary can be defined as a being who knows you and acts against you, without provocation, while a misfortune can be defined is an event coming from natural causes or those who don’t know you, something like a negative happenstance.

Adversary

Saul was an adversary to David and was after his life for years. But God delivered David from Saul. The Pharisees constitutes themselves into an adversary against Jesus. They wanted nothing more than to end his life, but he was beyond their reach until the appointed time, when he had to lay down his life for the world. Paul also suffered from many adversaries in the cause of Christ; the Jews stoned and caned him many times.

But the devil is our ultimate adversary, with Paul saying: we wrestle not against “flesh and blood” but against principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:10-12).

And he says that his tools of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down strongholds (2Corinthians 10:3-4). Adam and Eve did not know that the devil was their real adversary (Genesis 3), while causing them to believe that God was their adversary. He deceived them, twisting their perception of God, thereby twisting their action. But moving against the word of God, man chose to be God’s adversary, becoming like the devil. That was an untenable position.

Misfortune

Johan experienced a misfortune organised by God. He was sent by Him to Nineveh to deliver the word of God. Rather than count that as a privilege and move in obedience, he developed other ideas, going in the opposite direction in a ship, but before he went too far, the Lord caused a roaring wind to come on the sea.  Eventually Jonah found himself in the belly of a fish, fighting for his life, after he was thrown from the ship into the sea by his fellow travellers after it was discovered that it was because of Jonah’s disobedience that all those in the ship were in danger of losing their lives because of the storm.

Though Paul was also involved in a shipwreck, he had the assurance of the presence of God and experienced the miracle of God preserving his life and those in the ship with him (Acts 27). He was not running away from the will of God (like Jonah), but into the will of God. In contrast to Jonah, he was not of disobedient heart, but still he experienced misfortune.

Conclusion

How would you like a life without adversary or misfortune, rest/peace all around, rest in your body, because you are sound in health, rest in your pocket, because there is money there, rest in your marriage, rest in your career as you are exactly where you want to be, not wishing for more; and rest in the lives of your children? All these are possible in Jesus, who is the peace of peace. With God all things are possible, and it will be to you according to your faith.

Jesus, the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6), he stands for the ultimate in peace and rest that you can wish for. Stretch your imagination, what would you think will be the state of complete rest for you? That, multiplied in many folds is what Jesus represents for you, now and in the hereafter.

Jesus said that in his father’s house (heaven) there are many dwelling places and he goes to prepare a place for us so that where he is we would be also (John 14:1-4). But he added that between now and then, the world would direct tribulation at us, but he wanted us to not be discouraged because he has overcome the world. We should live with that comfort, with rest and peace within us which will find expression around us in the now and hereafter.

So in the midst of conflict both within and without, we are to forge ahead with the building of the house of God, pursuing the will of God, the building of his house.

 

Advertisements

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s