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  • East Martin CRC

Rest in Stress

Psalm 23

Verse 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

We continue walking with David as he talks about our Good Shepherd walking us in Sabbath rest.

Verse 4 starts with the unpleasant times in life. But David isn’t saying all is lost. Notice his declaration that he fears no evil because the Lord is with him. He knows that he isn’t alone and that drives away the fear in the presence of evil. To know we are in the presence of the ultimate power allows us to rest in the midst of evil.

David showed us what this looked like when he stood in the valley as a young boy and faced the giant of an enemy army who was mocking the Hebrew army. He didn’t quake with fear at Goliath because he knew that God was on the side of His people and that God would keep him from being defeated by an evil man. David found he could rest in his knowledge that God hates evil and he acted on that knowledge in the power of God. But notice that David said that he was comforted by God’s presence. That shows he wasn’t acting on his own power.

Next David gives the image of sitting at a banquet table with his enemies. Depending on when David wrote this psalm he may have known this from personal experience. David had sat at King Saul’s table and known that the king wasn’t happy that he was there. Notice though that David’s focus isn’t on the enemy but one what God is giving. He is given a meal, is anointed for the Lord’s work and he is overflowing with blessings.

As David winds down this psalm he continues showing that this rest comes from being in the presence of God and seeing His constant care and protection of His children. David points out that God’s goodness and love is not a passing emotion but the lifelong blessing of His presence.

David ends his psalm with the purest truth of spiritual rest – that we will dwell in the presence of the Lord forever. True spiritual rest comes from being in right standing with God. And spiritual rest is very important to keeping the Sabbath.

Making It Personal

When has God given you rest in the midst of your enemies? Do you think spiritual rest is something you experience on a regular basis? What steps can you take to make sure it is regular in your life?

Making It Personal Kids

Why did David go out to fight Goliath? Why did David feel safe even though Goliath was a giant? Does thinking about God help you rest?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for giving us rest even when our enemies are around. We know that You are our peace and we can rest in You forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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