Do I Lack Rest? Part 1

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"Come unto Me,... and I will give you rest."
"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me;... and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. 11.
Faith knows the Lord Jesus exalted to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, as the One in whom all fullness dwells, unto whom all power is given in heaven and earth, seated on the throne, the orderer of and ruler over all. There is He blessed, and blessed forever. But it is altogether another place in which we see Him stand in this chapter—despised and rejected of all those unto whom He had presented Himself in the name of Jehovah. And there too He is blessed, and blessed for us.
John the Baptist—"Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another?"—even he seems doubting.
Israel—"Whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented"—equally displeased with John and with Jesus, content neither with law nor with grace. Men do not like righteousness; that is too strict for them. Neither like they grace; that is too free. They would have part of one and part of the other.
Again. If we look at the "cities wherein most of His mighty works were done"—"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tire and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tire and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you"—we find them worse than any other. So here we see the Lord Jesus rejected on every hand.
It is a solemn thought that we are "unto God a sweet savor of Christ... in them that perish," as well as "in them that are saved." His testimony rejected, the soul of Jesus finds its rest in God. He had done God's will; the name of God had been glorified; there was all the full consciousness of this. Therefore, what blessed repose of soul! Nowhere do we find the Lord Jesus rising more above the power of circumstances, rejoicing more in spirit, than here. His soul, in the midst of this weary world, needed rest, needed repose; and it found that which it needed in submitting to the will of God.
"At that time"—after and amid all the rejection—the Lord Jesus "answered and said, I thank Thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight." vv. 25, 26. He bowed to the righteous sovereignty of God.
Now I believe this would ever be the position of soul in the saint when walking in communion with God. Assuredly it is the right spirit because it is the recognition of God's ordering "all things after the counsel of His own will." But then how different from the petulance of many of us!
Jesus, when rejected, could still rest in the sovereignty of God. If we witness our testimony rejected; our wishes disappointed; our motives misunderstood; trial coming when we least expected it, from Christians, perhaps from our own family, from those whom we have sought to serve; then is the time to bow to the righteous sovereignty of God, and to say, "I thank Thee, 0 Father,... for so it seemed good in Thy sight." O dear friends, if our souls knew a little more of the marvelous mercy vouchsafed to any of us, in God's having revealed Jesus, quickened us when dead in trespasses and sins, put forth the arm of His power on our behalf, we should not be wasting our time, as is now too frequently the case, in vain murmurings and regrets. We should be enabled to say, "I thank Thee, 0 Father,... for so it seemed good in Thy sight."
Beloved, this is most blessed; there is in it the recognition of the "good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God"; there is no reasoning here. In Jeremiah we find complaint, cursing the day in which he was born; in Habakkuk, argument; in Job, self-vindication; but here there is nothing of the sort; it is the simple subjection to the "will of God," as being the best thing possible. "Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight."
What "seemed good" in the Father's sight, was good in the sight of Jesus. It was ever so. "Lo, I come... to do Thy will, 0 God." Now this is resignation. It is not resignation merely to bow to that which we cannot escape; true resignation recognizes a thing to be good and fitting because it is the will of God, however trying, however painful to ourselves. "I thank Thee."
There is another blessed truth. When Jesus felt Himself to be rejected by all about Him, He said, "All things are delivered unto Me of My Father." Here the Lord Jesus stands blessedly, in utter rejection by man, but "all things" given unto Him of God.
Beloved, did you ever find, when your own wills have been thwarted, when there has been self-denial, and the bowing of the will to God, something opened to the soul in blessing which it had never known before? It is habitually and practically true that "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
As a matter of fact, Jesus is here the rejected One—rejected of the world—but as the consequence of this, He is the exalted One of the Father. And now He can tell forth, "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father." Although the world knew Him not, the Father knew Him; although the world delighted not in Him, the Father delighted in Him; although He was not precious to the world, He was precious to the Father.
Again, "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." I find that the Lord Jesus Christ, by the knowledge of the Father in His own soul, was supported all through His rejection, and now He stands forth as able to "reveal" the Father's name to others. The Father is only known by the revelation of the Son. "0 righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
If you are of the world, you will not want to know that name which Jesus came to manifest. If the world is your portion, you will not want to know that name which was the portion of Jesus when the world had rejected Him. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."