Man’s state in the garden of Eden when he was created was the state of rest and tranquillity. Man didn’t know anything else aside that dimension of a serene and harmonious state with the God of all creation. Little wonder man didn’t last long in that beautiful state, because man was oblivious of the crushing dangers of the life outside of God’s rest. If man had known what life out there would be, man would have traded with keen caution. Every disaster man has known from the beginning of time till date has been caused by man’s disobedience to God’s sovereign will.
From the state of rest and tranquillity man was thrown into a place where he will have to make a third decision to either enter the rest of God or stay in the place of toiling and turmoil. The first decision to have man in the state of rest and tranquillity in God was God’s decision, then man made a second decision to go explore the state of thorns, thistles, toiling and turmoil. That second decision was extremely expensive, a third decision must be made, not by God because God doesn’t decide twice, His decisions or doings regarding anything is always perfect and won’t be changed. Therefore, a third decision is totally for man to make if he wants to again enter the rest of God which God has made available from eternity. Man has been in this valley of decision for thousands of years and many have refused to decide to step back into the rest of God. You see, man has been in the state of great disturbance, confusion, and uncertainty but from the beginning it wasn’t meant to be so. If your life as an individual is filled with great disturbances, confusion, and uncertainty it is a clear indication that you are yet to make that decision to step back into the rest of God. Perhaps you have made that decision, but you have yet to follow the process through and through and as a result you’re experiencing rest on some sides and great trouble on other sides.
God’s Attempt to Bring Man Again into His Rest
I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey–the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Exodus 3:8 NKJV
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce, and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. Deu. 8:7-9 NKJV
On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands. Ezekiel 20:6
And Joseph said to his brethren, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Genesis 50:24 NKJV
God was taking man back to the state of rest and tranquillity when He began to move man to the land of promise. In this land which he promised man, although it wasn’t created originally like Eden, God had bestowed on it everything that was in the garden of Eden. The only thing not present was the seamlessness the garden of Eden had with heaven, but God was going to make the promised land seamless as well for as long as man would diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord to do ALL that He has commanded man. Every intention of God towards man from the beginning of time has always been that of rest and oneness with him, it has been gravely unfortunate that man has consistently walked against the desires of God regarding man his most beloved creation. Every purpose of God must and will be accomplished regardless of man’s backwardness, it doesn’t matter if Gods agenda is accomplished with just one man, a remnant, or many people, for God, it doesn’t matter because He’s not moved by numbers, He is moved by His purpose and plan. The question is, are you among those who are partnering with God to bring His purpose and plan to fruition?
Before Joseph slept with his fathers, he told the children of Israel that the lord will surely visit them and bring them to the promised land (Genesis 50:24). They had enjoyed a level and measure of rest in Egypt during the days of Joseph but that wasn’t the ultimate God had intended for them, Egypt was part of the process to bringing them to the promised land, the land of rest as it was in the garden of Eden. The circumstances mankind is facing daily is a consequence of man’s disobedience, these consequences will remain for as long as the earth remains, and no one is exempt from the flogging of this fallen world, but men can become exempt if they plug into God and rise above the seemingly prevailing curse that befell mankind on the day of the fall of man.
You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Exodus 19:4 NKJV
The promised land wasn’t going to just be a land of prosperity. It was God wanting to get his people back to that place of rest in Himself. It wasn’t only about the earthly prosperity and goodness of the land, the picture that many see of the promised land is only that of material prosperity, this is one of the reasons why our churches have wearied us with the prosperity gospel which has gravely injured the spiritual process of many, rather than preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God we focus on the one sided prosperity gospel to manipulate the people because of greed, but the promised land wasn’t just about the prosperity in it, it was going to be a place of oneness with God. It was going to be a place where the presence in the land would be God. It was going to be a place where man would only live in the Life and by the voice of God. It was going to be an establishment of Gods Kingdom right here on earth. It was going to be the finalization and end of man’s toiling on earth, it was going to be an end of all human suffering, it was going to be a place of heaven on earth, it was going to be a place of man’s seamless joining with God, man was going back fully into God, it was going to be a place of man’s entering into the fullness of God’s rest. That was why God said to the children of Israel, ‘’see how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to MYSELF’’. The crescendo of all of man’s journeying ends in God. One thing we must realise is this, anything God will do, whether with a people or with an individual will be a thing that brings us all back into Himself. Anything He will do in us and through us will only be for the advancement of His kingdom. If we have this understanding, the concept of life and how we approach life would be completely different. That understanding will deliver us from a life not filled with the purposes of God.
The promised land was a prepared place for the people of God, it was meant to be an addition to the people of God for seeking first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and the process through the wilderness was to prepare a people who would have seen the greatness of God, His faithfulness, and abilities, that they may plug into Him and become one with him. The promised land (Canaan) was a place inhabited by idol worshippers, nevertheless, God was going to cover the land with the fullness of His glory as predetermined before time, but all that the promised land was going to become even by the power of God was totally contingent on man’s partnering with God by obeying Him to the letters.
After man fell from the rest man was created in in the garden of Eden, God was looking for an occasion to again bring man back to that experience. In the garden of Eden man was created into rest, little wonder man fell so easily in obeying the lie of the devil, this time, man is to partner with God to enter the rest God had promised and this was the major reason He wanted them in Canaan, the glory of all land. Unfortunately, man did not enter the fullness of this rest in God because the children of Israel did not obey the commands of the Lord completely. They obeyed in part and had measured rest for a while when they eventually entered the promised land and later went in and out of captivity. Anytime man’s obedience is not complete there is no way that man can step into the fullness of God’s rest. Israel did not obey God fully and as a result they did not step into the fullness of God’s rest. And when their disobedience kept on increasing, they were exposed to the fiery dirt of the enemy. The reason why majority of Christians are yet to enter the rest of God isn’t farfetched, it is because of disobedience. The major reason many only experience a small measure of rest while still facing many turbulences in life is because they have obeyed God in part and not fully, every obedience is meant to produce and add some tranquillity to a man’s life, giving him divine rest if his obedience is consistent, and likewise every disobedience yanks away some measure of God’s rest in a man’s life and if disobedience persist, disturbing turbulences will be on the increase until the presence of God (which is rest) in that person’s life is completely gone. Obeying and disobeying is wholesome in this context, as it covers areas of our calling, and those specific purpose and plan God has ordained for everyman before time began. Walking in total obedience is hearing the voice of God for every step taken and walking accordingly (Isaiah 30:21). A man who will enter the rest of God must be able to hear the voice of God and respond in total obedience. That the reason why one is doing a thing is because he has received instructions from God, this is how man was designed to live.
For as long as Israel journeyed towards Canaan (the promised land) victory was sure for them. This is a perfect indication that victory is only guaranteed if a man is heading towards his God’s ordained primary place of assignment or purpose. The reason why we lose too many battles and look very weak and feeble, not being able to rise above the raging war of this worlds system is really not because we’re weak and feeble but because we’re journeying towards a place not in God’s agenda for us. As the children of Israel journeyed towards Canaan, their destination was defined by God, it wasn’t some random choice they made. Their migration was authored by God. They could have decided to go settle anywhere to their own peril but the purpose and plan of God for them was that they should take a journey to Canaan. Although they didn’t have a choice over anything, they couldn’t break free from the Egyptians, they didn’t even have a land of their own even if Egypt let them go, they would have to fight wars to take a land, they didn’t have an army. They were completely helpless. But when God came down, He began to lead and direct their path, instructing them at various times on what they should do. Here’s is the principle, anyone who will call on the name of the Lord will and must come to the Lord as an empty vessel, with no will, no choice, or preferences, helpless and weak, counting all things but lost outside of Christ so that the excellency of God’s will will be made manifest in him.
There is a plan and a purpose for everyone who calls on the name of the LORD, there is a place ordained by God for everyone, there are specific details for everyman’s destiny in God. The burden lies with every individual to find out with God what destiny He has created him for and how to progress in it until God’s purpose and plan is accomplished. Men migrate to different parts of the world for greener pastures, there’s no place that can produce greener pastures as the place God has specifically spoken to an individual about. And the geography of the place doesn’t matter at all. The God of Israel will later put His name in the temple built by Solomon (1 Kings 9:3) and anytime the children of Israel pray towards that place where He chose to put His name forever, He promised to answer if their hearts where right. There is a place where God has put his name for every individual, it is that ‘’individual’s place of primary purpose and assignment’’ as ordained by God before time began. Is not just a physical location but a realization of your place in God, the moment a man steps into his assignment in God his heaven will be opened over him, and the eyes of the Lord will be opened and His ears attentive to prayers made from that accurate spiritual position (2 Chro. 7:15).
Now it came to pass, a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua was old, advanced in age. And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers, and said to them:
“I am old, advanced in age. You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has fought for you. See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward. And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you. Therefore, be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day. For the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you. Therefore, take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go into them and they to you, know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you. Joshua 23:1-13 NKJV
Israel had entered the rest of God only by obedience after subduing their enemies and taken possession of their land as promised by God. For a long time, they had enjoyed all the goodness of the land, nothing was coming against them in real time. The fear of them was on every nation around and no one dare come against them. All that the Lord had promised them had been brought to pass by God (“Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed. Joshua 23:14 NKJV) even though they were yet to fully take over all the land the Lord had given them by promise. The ultimate desire of God wasn’t fulfilled yet because Israel was yet to take all the land promised by God to their fathers in time past and because of that they were yet to step into the fullness of His presence just as it was in Eden. The fullness of God can only be given to a man or a people who have fully heeded the voice of God and executed ALL that the Lord has commanded him. You see, they had rest from all their enemies, but they were yet to completely drive them out as instructed by God. For them to step into the fullness and the place of oneness with God just as it was in Eden, they needed to bring to completion the desire of God …See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that REMAIN, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward. And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. God’s primary intention was to fill the earth with His glory and the only way he wanted to achieve that was through this chosen people, this royal priesthood, this holy nation, Gods special possession, that the inhabitant of the earth may only declare the praises of Him who has called them out of bondage into His wonderful light. This is the reason why he sternly instructed them to wipe out everyone and bring about an end of every idol worshiper and every other false god but the children of Israel didn’t share the same purpose with God, all they were after was just the good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce, a land where they lack nothing. The difference between man in Eden and man in Canaan was that man was put in Eden an already made garden, in Canaan man had to go through the wilderness experience into an already made land as well. This simply means that God in his graciousness has prepared for everyone who will walk with him whatever they need even before time began. The wilderness experience also reveals that, if you will not follow the Lord out of a true heart you will wonder in uncertainty with many sorrows all the days of your life and will not be rewarded by God with the promised land. The promised land was a prepared land like Eden, meant to be a reward for those who have set their hearts unconditionally to follow the will of the Father. Regardless of how man got to Eden and Canaan, the same thing that played out in Eden was playing out in Canaan, man in Eden was full of all things and wasn’t careful to take heed to diligently obey the instructions of God. Man in Canaan after stepping into the promise land became full of all things and wasn’t careful to fully carry out the instructions of God in subduing all the remaining land in other for God to establish His ultimate desire with man on the earth.
The moment the children of God in Canaan began to enjoy the goodness of the land, the zeal to pursue the agenda of God began to dwindle. The quest to pursue to the end God’s ultimate desire was becoming deem because the flesh has been fully satisfied for a moment. This has been the state of man, the moment the flesh is feeding fat, every other desire that won’t support the comfort of the flesh becomes a herculean task. For God to establish his ultimate plan in bringing man back to a place of wholesome fellowship with Him, a place of complete rest, man in Canaan had to fully complete the conquest of subduing all the nations around according to God’s instructions and take them for the habitation of their God, but they failed to obey God to the letters, and the measure of rest they had was going to fade away because the foundations on which they got the rest they were enjoying wasn’t built on complete obedience. For God, all the nations of the earth had already been subdued and taken by His holy people Israel for HIS OWN holy inhabitation, but the people relented. And ever since God has sought for a man, a people who will do ALL that is in his heart and mind, a people that will do ALL His will. This is the reason mankind is still having the rest of God in part and not the fullness of it. The only time an individual or a people will enter the fullness of God’s rest is when that man or people enters a journey of executing all that God has said and is speaking to them about. This Journey begins with everyman finding out the very specific purpose for which God has created him and the primary place of the execution of that purpose and plan. For Israel it was Canaan and that was why he took them from Egypt, through the desert places through to Canaan. The place was known, and it was specific.
But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that land. When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely. Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites living in Gezer, but the Canaanites continued to live there among them. Neither did Zebulun drive out the Canaanites living in Kitron or Nahalol, so these Canaanites lived among them, but Zebulun did subject them to forced labor. Nor did Asher drive out those living in Akko or Sidon or Ahlab or Akzib or Helbah or Aphek or Rehob. The Asherites lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land because they did not drive them out. Neither did Naphtali drive out those living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath; but the Naphtalites too lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, and those living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath became forced laborers for them. The Amorites confined the Danites to the hill country, not allowing them to come down into the plain. And the Amorites were determined also to hold out in Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim, but when the power of the tribes of Joseph increased, they too were pressed into forced labor. (Judges 1:27-36 NKJV)
The children of Israel left many of the inhabitant of the land and didn’t drive them out because they had received what they ultimately wanted, the good land. Because they didn’t share in the ultimate plan of God, they weren’t moved to complete God’s mandate. God needed a separated and holy people, a sanctified city where everyone will be of one mind, lifting holy hands in one accord so that He can establish His reign in the affairs of man, but man did not share in the visions of God for mankind. The moment we’re not keen on seeing the counsel of God come to fruition at any given time we’re bound to walk against the will of God at some point. Not walking in the fullness of God’s will in and out of season will have our walk with God sabotaged. There is nothing as beautiful as walking in and by the will of God, nothing can be compared to it on this planet, it is a place of constant victory and rest.
The Consequence of disobedience
Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’ ” So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept.
Then they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the Lord. And when Joshua had dismissed the people, the children of Israel went each to his own inheritance to possess the land. Judges 3: 1-6 NKJV
Although they took possession of the promised land, the good land, the glory of all land but they partly disobeyed God and never heeded him fully therefore they were still going to go back into captivity. It was meant to be a land of rest forever as ordained by God, but right there, in the promised land, the glory of all lands, the land which was going to have the fullness of God’s presence, the land where heaven and earth would have been fully knitted together as it was in Eden, a word of prophecy was given directly from Heaven that their captivity again was a guarantee. This is what disobedience does, it preserves you for captivity and brings the curse upon you, but in the time of its preservation if you turn to obey God to the letters then you will be yanked out from the pending captivity. Anyone today, who is walking in total disobedience to the will of God is in or heading for captivity and operating under the curse. Even if your disobedience is in part like Israel, if it is not brutally dealt with, captivity looms and a measure of the curse will continue to find expression in your life until it begins to operate at a higher frequency. The only way to step into the fullness of God and bring to a tangible reality that which we are in Him is to be completely obedient to the call and desires of God for our lives. The promised land was God’s attempt to again bring man to a place of oneness with him, a place of complete rest from the consequences that man’s disobedience brought but man never stepped into the fullness of God’s rest because man in Canaan only obeyed God in part and not wholly. As a result of man’s partly obedience man went back into captivity. This is what happens, anytime we do not obey God in ALL he has commanded, we leave open cracks where the devil can gain access to our lives and cause damage to the areas we have yielded to God and the intention will always be to get us back to a place of total disobedience against the will of God. The moment the devil succeeds in gaining more grounds in our lives the more captivity settles in on us and everything we lay our hands on. There must be a conscious agreement within our hearts as individuals and a dogged will to see to it that we walk in obeying ALL that the Lord is requiring of us so that no stone is left unturned. This is the desire of God for everyone who calls upon His holy name. When God created man He gave man all things, when He sent someone to bring salvation to man, He sent His ONLY begotten son, His ALL. He gave man ALL, in like manner we MUST give God our all in all things that we may show forth the praise of Him who has called us out of captivity into the Kingdom of light.
But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’
Years on Israel went back to captivity because they took over the lands as God commanded but did not do all the Lord had commanded. There obedience was in part, it wasn’t complete, then they were snared by the gods of the land until they provoked God sore, and the hedge was taken off which led to their first captivity from the land of promise, a land God had prepared for them before time began. It doesn’t matter how beautiful God’s destiny for a man is, it is man’s responsibility to bring it to actualization by obeying God completely.
So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. Then they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the Lord. And when Joshua had dismissed the people, the children of Israel went each to his own inheritance to possess the land.
Even after the rebuke of the Lord by an angel (judges 2:1-6) they only wept and sacrificed and went on to possess their lands with the ‘’enemies’’ of God in them. This is how we live today; we obey God in some areas and disobey in other areas, but rather than obey God completely we think God understands.
Israel became a rebellious people right in the land of promise for obeying God in part and not in ALL. But God is not interested in that man or a people who will obey in some areas and disobey in other areas, no He’s not. Rather than repent and drive out the ‘’enemies’’ of God in total obedience, Israel wept before God and gave a sacrifice to appease him. And he wasn’t appeased because that wasn’t what He wanted, all he wanted was for them to obey His command so He can establish His will. This is typical of many Christians today, rather than simply obeying God we think our ‘’sacrificial’’ giving can replace our rebellion. There’s no amount of giving that will change our rebellious status before God. God doesn’t need man’s money; He primarily needs men everywhere to obey. Just as the prayer of sinner is an abomination to the Lord, the giving of a disobedient or rebellious Christian is also an abomination, a waste of time because it has no spiritual or eternal value before God.
…and their gods shall be a snare to you.’ The inhabitants of the land became the temptation of Israel. Most of the temptations we face today as Christians comes from the place of disobedience to the will of God, do not be equally yoked with an unbeliever the bible says, but here we see how the children of Israel disobeyed God and cohabited with the idolaters and it was only a matter of time before they became idolaters too. God saw ahead that they would be tempted in the future and so he wanted every form of temptation taken away. They rebelled against God and for as long as they inhabited the land with the ‘’enemies’’ of God against God’s command they were bound for captivity.
The moment a man or a people become disobedient or rebellious, there is a fall from grace. When there is a fall from grace and there’s no repentance, a falling into more temptations is guaranteed.
The Intent of God
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. (NIV)
God’s intent was to put an end to all ungodliness just as he tried to do in the days of Noah, but Israel didn’t share in the intent of God. They left the idolaters and gradually they tempted the children of Israel who came after the generation of Joshua into serving baals. This was the very thing God was intending to prevent. Disobedience is what has made the world what it is today. Israel went in and out of captivity from one generation to another because the intent of God to establish Israel alone as the people of God on earth was hindered by Israel to their own peril. The only known God would have been the God of Israel, every other god and form of idolatry would have been phased out if Israel had obeyed God fully, but they let the inhabitant of the land and won’t drive them out against the will of God. So, the promised land was mixed with God’s people serving God and amid that, another people were serving other gods right in the land God intended to fully establish His covenant.
God had tried to have a nation as one people under Him, but man never corporately cooperated with God. In this dispensation of time, we’re many but one body, one body in the sense of spiritual connectedness but everyone will stand before the judgement seat of Christ alone to account for all his/her walk while on earth. (Romans 14:12)
The generation of Joshua did not obey God fully, and the consequences of that was that the future generation will forsake the Lord God of their fathers and serve baal and the ashtoreths. God is an everlasting God, anything He will do is from everlasting to everlasting. If we don’t understand this dimension of God, we will always not understand or see the ultimate intentions of God concerning anything He is doing. And if we are void of this understanding we will continue to behave like the children of Israel.
….They aroused the Lord’s anger
You see, the generation of Joshua didn’t see that God had an everlasting plan, they disobeyed God and kept their service to God for all their lives, even at that God was still angry. As for the generation of Joshua they were going to keep the people in check and they did and the anger of the Lord was pending, for as long as they didn’t serve other gods, God was angry, but the anger stayed, waiting for them to awaken it. Then suddenly the next generation who had a mixed up bringing because they lived in a land where other gods where at work and because they didn’t experience the wonders of the God of their fathers, they decided to serve other visible gods and aroused the anger of the Lord that was pending execution for many years. So, he delivered them into the hand of the plunderers who spoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so they could no longer stand before their enemies.
All that God had intended to do with man in Canaan was crushed in a moment of time. And man, ever since has wondered all over the earth not even knowing the intentions of God for man. This was caused by the disobedience of Joshua’s generation, if they had heeded God fully to wipe out the inhabitants of the land, their children would have grown to know only one God, the God of their fathers and God would have connected the land of promise to heaven to create a seamless connection between heaven and earth as it was in Eden.
The decision to enter the rest of God is totally man’s and not God.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30: 15-20 NKJV)
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11 NKJV)
From the state of rest and tranquillity man was thrown into a place where he will have to make a third decision to either enter the rest of God or stay in the place of toiling and turmoil. The first decision to have man in the state of rest and tranquillity in God was God’s decision, then man made a second decision to go explore the state of thorns, thistles, toiling and turmoil. That second decision was extremely expensive, a third decision must be made, not by God because God doesn’t decide twice, His decisions or doings regarding anything is always perfect and won’t be changed. Therefore, a third decision is totally for man to make if he wants to again enter the rest of God which God has made available from eternity.
Man in Eden was at rest, enjoying the goodness of God’s fellowship and provision, that state of rest and tranquillity was to be sustained only by obeying the instructions of God, but man was thrown out and life became miserable for man. God again wanted to do business with man, to bring him to that place of rest so he can have unhindered fellowship with man, then He promised man a land like Eden, the promised land. The land was already made but for God to have constant fellowship again with man like He did in Eden man must obey ALL of God’s command, it was a choice given to man by God again to obey His instructions and enter His rest again or disobey and continue in toiling and turmoil. Sometimes man obeyed but most times man disobeyed. It has been a roller coaster thing with man from generation to generation, the inconsistency of man before God has damaged the earth beyond recovery.
It was disobedience that sent man packing from God’s ever abiding presence, it is only obedience that will get man back and this is the end of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, to obey God is all that is required. We teach many doctrines, hard and confusing messages and yet, the end of the gospel of the Kingdom of God is very simple and short, that men everywhere and always MUST obey God in all things.
In all of these, God in his mercy is still waiting for those who wants to enter His rest even today. Is never too late, He’s ever waiting for those who are willing to obey Him to the letters. He’s waiting for those who are burdened by His purpose, He’s waiting for those who will do all that is in His heart. He’s waiting for those who will make a choice because the third decision must be made by man. For Him, He has remained consistent.
Friends, to enter the rest of God is to step into the place of total obedience to ALL the commands and instructions of God. It comes with great and eternal benefit.