Coming for Rest
‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’—Matt. Xl 28.
THIS is not your rest.’1 God says so, and A therefore it is no use seeking or hoping or trying for it.3 You may as well give up first as last. The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot till she came to the ark ;* and neither will you. And the end of the dreary vista of unrest all through the years of a life without Christ, is,’ They have no rest day nor night.’*
‘The people shall weary themselves for very vanity.” Do you know anything about that? ‘They weary themselves to commit iniquity.’6 ‘Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way.’7 Do these words come home to you? Or, ‘But now He hath made me weary; Thou hast made desolate all my company ? ‘8 Whether it is the weariness of sin or of sorrow, of vanity or of desolation (and sooner or later the one must lead into the other), the gentle call floats over the troubled waters, ‘ Come unto Me all ye that labor’ (or ‘ are weary ‘) ‘ and I will give you rest.’
1 Mic. ii. 10. 2 Eccl. ii. 17-20. 3 Gen. viii. 9.
4 Rev. xiv. ii. 5 Hab.,ii. 13. 6 Jer. ix. 5.
7 Isa. Ivii. 10. 8 Job xvi. 7.
But stay; you may, or rather you must, put in a double claim to the promise. You may not be consciously, particularly weary or labouring; but whether conscious of it or not, you are heavy laden, unless the one great burden of sin is taken away from you.1 It is a fact, whether the Holy Spirit has convinced you of it or not as yet,3 that unless your iniquity is taken away by personal washing in the only Fountain,3 you are in the position described in the 38th Psalm, ‘Mine iniquities are gone over my head: as an heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.’* So much too heavy for you, that if you do not accept Christ’s offer of rest from that burden,5 you will never be able to find or follow the path of life.* But why bear it one minute longer when Jesus says, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’?
‘He hath given us rest by His sorrow, and life by His death;’ ‘rest from thy sorrow and from thy fear, and from thy hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.” Come and take the gift! It is gloriously real. It is no mere slight and temporary sense of relief. ‘We which have believed do enter into rest.’8
And He gives us ‘rest on every side,”—complete rest, guarded and sheltered all round.10
1 Isa. i, 4; ib. liii. 6. 2 John xvi. 8, 9.
3 Zech. xiii. 1; i John i. 7. 4 Ps. xxxviii. 4.
5 Ps. Iv. 22 ; Ezeic. xxxiii. 10. 6 Ps. xvi. 11; i Pet ii. 24.
‘ Isa. xiv. 3. 8 Heb. iv. 3.
» I Chron, xxii. 18. 10 i Kings v. 4.
It is not only rest from all the weariness and burdens, but rest in Himself. Jesus is spoken of in type as ‘ the Man of Rest,’1 ‘and His rest shall be glorious.’2 It is this, His own Divine rest, that He will give.
‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest.” Is it not worth having? Will you not come for it? You cannot have it without coming to Jesus ;* but only come, and it shall be yours —for there stands His word—and ‘ in returning and rest shall ye be saved. ‘5
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.’
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary, and worn, and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
And He has made me glad.
Dr. H. Bonar.
1 I Chron. xxii. 9, 2 Isa. xi. 10. 3 Isa. xxviii. 13.
* Hos. xiii. 9. 5 Isa. xxx. 15.