podcast

#532 – Intentional Rest and Focus on God (Numbers 29:1)

Pray The Word
Numbers
29
1
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“On the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you will have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a day for you to blow the trumpets.”
(Numbers 29:1)

We’ve talked in Numbers before about how blowing the trumpets is like a picture of crying out to God and asking God to remember you, and provide for you in all kinds of different ways. I mean basically a picture of prayer.

On this particular day, and we see this all throughout the book of Numbers, and Leviticus, and really all throughout the Old Testament, and then in new ways and even greater ways in the New Testament, this picture of putting aside work and resting from that ordinary work in order to pray, in order to focus on God in a fresh way, to cry out to him, to call to him. Even from the very beginning of the Bible with Genesis chapter 1 and 2 and seeing God rest and then calling his people to rest.

What intentional regular focused rest are you getting in your life? We need rest from ordinary work and focused time crying out to Him.

Now, we don’t have time in these couple of minutes to get into how that Sabbath commandment and these commandments to rest on particular days, how they then play out in the New Testament, but the principle is clear. God calls his people to periodically put aside work and focus on Him, rest before Him, and crying out before Him. Like this is what’s happening here in the beginning of Numbers 29. Don’t do any regular work. Blow your trumpets. Cry out to God. Offer sacrifices to God.

In a culture where we are constantly focused on work, like we almost can’t put our phones down, and all the email, and messages, and the stuff that needs to be done, if we’re not careful, we can go through day after day after day, week after week after week with very little rest, and specifically coming aside from ordinary work not just to relax and participate in hobbies, which obviously is good and can be glorifying to God, but to rest specifically with the aim of crying out to God, and pleading for God’s help, and acknowledging your need for God in your life. I want to challenge you based on Numbers chapter 29, really ask you, what rest, intentional regular, focused rest are you getting in your life, are you setting aside in your life?

This is not something that happens just accidentally. This is something that we are supposed to intentionally do. Again, we’re not under the same laws. We’re not in the same routines that are happening here in the Old Testament, but certainly this principle is for all of us who are in Christ. There needs to be time when we rest from ordinary work and we cry out to God and just spend focused time and give focused attention to sounding the trumpets before Him.

God, forgive us we pray for our busyness, our constantly going and moving and doing. It really is a picture many times of pride in our lives where rest, there’s just a humility that we’re missing to stop what we’re doing, to trust you with the governance of our lives, not to think we always have to be doing this or that. God, for rest and for seeking you, for crying out to you, for pleading before you, for expressing our need for you. God, teach us to rest like this we pray. Teach us to rest from ordinary, regular work, obviously not in a way that causes us to be lazy where we’re resting all the time. We know that’s not what you’re calling us to do, but God, to have good, intentional rest built into the rhythms of our life in a way that causes us to focus on you and sound the trumpets before you. Teach us to rest in a way that honors you we pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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