Nuakh: I Will Give You REST

REST: nuach (verb) (5117). RESTING PLACE:  m’nuchah (feminine noun) (4496).

Root: נוּחַ

Sounds like: noo’akh/m-noo-khaw

We are such a busy bunch of bees… fluttering about, constantly moving, never slowing down, keeping up with the Joneses, multitasking, and marathoning. It seems to me that we have a hard time sitting still… until now, that is. Now, in order to battle this pandemic, we have to stay put and slow down and maybe, just maybe, rest.

God had specific plans for His creation to rest. In fact, He Himself, after a solid work week, rested:

Exodus 20:8-11 (see also Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of YHWH your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days YHWH made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested [wa-yanakh] on the seventh day; therefore YHWH blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”

Seven & Rest

On the seventh day YHWH rested… and He wanted us to do the same… but not just us. All of His creation was to rest after a time period of “seven”, including the land:

Exodus 23:10-12

“You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest [tish-m-tehnakh] and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labour so that your ox and your donkey may rest cease [tish’boht], and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves.”

Rest was important for every aspect of creation… humans, animals, land… everything needed to be given a break so they could refresh and be the best human/animal/farm they could be.

Noah, Rest, and the Dove

There are many moments in the Bible where rest was integral to the story, but Noah and the Ark should be considered one of the most interesting considering Noah’s name was actually Noakh, meaning ‘Rest’. So Noah’s story embraced the theme of rest without coming out and directly saying it. Keep in mind, Noah worked hard to prepare the ark  and then he had 40 days to rest, floating on the flooded planet, to prepare for the new world. In his efforts to determine if his quarantine was over, he sent out a dove to look for dry land. Notice the connection between rest and, yet again, the number seven:

Genesis 8:4, 8-12

In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested [wa-tanakh] upon the mountains of Ararat…

…Then he [Noah] sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place [manoakh] for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

The dove found a permanent place to rest and she stayed where she landed. In a beautiful turn of events it was a dove that rested upon Yeshua when he rose up from His baptism, and God spoke from the heavens and relayed his contentment:

Matthew 3:16-17

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and resting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

The idea of resting was to lay your full weight down. Noah sent the dove out to see if there was land worthy to settle on. The dove came back with an olive branch, as a sign of hope. The next time Noah sent the dove out, she did not return… she had found a resting place.

When the dove rested and put her full weight on Jesus at His baptism, it was like the promise of hope. He was the olive branch… the One on which the dove rested and the One who would bring great peace. Yeshua was the rest that the whole world needed.

Rest in His Presence

Rest, and God’s presence, were ultimately intertwined. Only through the presence of God could anyone have full and complete rest… and full and complete peace.

Shortly after the Hebrew people’s disastrous behaviour at Mount Sinai (where they built and worshipped a golden calf while Moses spoke with God on the mountain), YHWH told Moses to continue their journey. But Moses asked God for guidance, not only for himself, but for all the Jewish nation. And YHWH responded:

Exodus 33:14

My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest [wa-ha-nikhoti lak].” 

Only through YHWH’s Presence, would they gain rest. This was something the wandering people desperately yearned for. The desert was not a place of comfort… forty years of wandering, may have been boring, but it wasn’t restful… and it wasn’t satisfying. But they were not alone. YHWH’s presence was with them, and He would take them to the one place they were promised… the land where they could rest:

Joshua 1:13

“Remember the word which Moses the servant of YHWH commanded you, saying, ‘YHWH your God gives you rest [YHWH Elohekem meh-niakh lakem] and will give you this land.’

The Jewish people have known hard work. They had lived through slavery in Egypt; they lived through servitude in Babylon. There was little rest for them. For all the rest they had been promised, it must have seemed like they had been let down. But Isaiah was forward-thinking, as prophets tend to be, and he relayed a time when the whole earth would be at rest:

Isaiah 14:3-7

And it will be in the day when YHWH gives you rest [ha-niakh] from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved, that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased, and how fury has ceased! YHWH has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing strokes, which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution. The whole earth is at rest [nakhah] and is quiet; they break forth into shouts of joy.”

This is quite the message to a people who have lived in bondage throughout their history. How would they ever be at rest? How would the whole world be at rest? Wasn’t there always war, and always a conquerer to enslave the losing side? And if so, how then could the whole world have rest at the same time? What kind of rest would this be?

Rest on Every Side

One common thread, that has run throughout the history of humanity, was war. Again and again, YHWH saved His people from invading enemies… and protected them. A time without war meant a time of peace or completeness. The Bible called it having rest on every side

Joshua 21:43-45 (see also Deuteronomy 12:8-11)

So YHWH gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And YHWH gave them rest [wayanakh] on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; YHWH gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which YHWH had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.

In an era of constant conflict and border wars, to have rest on every side must have seemed like an impossibility. Yet for many years the Hebrew people lived in peace and had complete rest from military invasion by surrounding tribes. As time carried on, however, people forgot the God who had saved them, and in their lack of faith the enemies surged against them again. Nehemiah, in his own time, explained this repeating theme in Jewish history:

Nehemiah 9:27-31

“Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, but when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors. But as soon as they had rest [u-k-noakh], they did evil again before You; therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven, and many times You rescued them according to Your compassion, and admonished them in order to turn them back to Your law.

Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances, by which if a man observes them he shall live. And they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen. However, You bore with them for many years, and admonished them by Your Spirit through Your prophets, yet they would not give ear. Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, for You are a gracious and compassionate God.

Rest from adversity wasn’t (and isn’t) always good for us; it tended to make us forgetful of the gifts God has given us and the compassion He consistently has shown us.

David, however, wasn’t going to let a time of rest make him complacent. In his early reign the Hebrew people had gone through many years of military conflict, but with God’s guidance David, once again, brought peace. In this state of rest David felt compelled to build a permanent Rest-Home for YHWH:

2 Samuel 7:1-3 (see also 1 Chronicles 22:9-13, 17-19 & 1 Kings 5:2-5)

Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and YHWH had given him rest [heh-niakh-low] on every side from all his enemies, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for YHWH is with you.”

And so David decided to build a House, a Temple, for God. But YHWH did not want David to build Him a house; instead, YHWH would build a house for David:

2 Samuel 7:8-16

YHWH to Nathan: “Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says YHWH of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest [wa-ha-nikhoti] from all your enemies.

YHWH also declares to you that YHWH will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.’”

YHWH would build up David’s House… his name would live on through his descendants. Solomon, David’s son, would build the Temple for YHWH and build up the kingdom, but his reign would eventually crumble.

Solomon had asked for wisdom from God, which he received, but his heart was guided by lust and greed. His great wealth and decadence brought him many wives, but his lust opened a pathway that led to the worship of idols. Solomon was not the descendant through which David’s kingdom would endure forever. After his death, his remaining sons would break up the kingdom.  Solomon was all about establishing His own kingdom… not the Kingdom of God. The forever throne of David would be fulfilled by a future descendent. God would commission an Anointed One (the Messiah), and He would bring God’s Forever Kingdom to all the people. 

The Story of a Family

Although David received this covenantal promise of an Anointed descendant during a time of rest, David’s ancestors rarely experienced rest from all sides. Ruth, the great-grandmother of king David, found herself in a terrible situation. Comfort and rest were far from her. Her husband had died, and his brother and father had died as well. Ruth wasn’t even Jewish. She was a Moabite, living far away from her birth family.

Ruth and her sister-in-law, Orpah, seemingly had no one to provide for them physically or financially. Their mother-in-law, Naomi, kindly offered to set them free from their familial obligations: 

Ruth 1:8-9

And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May YHWH deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. May YHWH grant that you may find rest [m’nukhah], each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 

Orpah did return to her birth family, but Ruth refused. She stayed with Naomi… they would find rest together, or die trying. But YHWH had a very specific plan for Ruth; she and Naomi would travel together to seek help from Naomi’s family. Their hardship would lead them to Bethlehem, Naomi’s home town, to seek a kinsman-redeemer who could save them from destitution. The trip to Bethlehem would lead Ruth to her destiny. She would meet and marry Boaz, and become great grandmother of king David. Ruth was  the valiant ancestor of the Messiah, the One who would be the Kinsman-Redeemer for all who chose to be in God’s family. In this way, Naomi’s wish for Ruth to find rest was realized.

Restless

Although the promise of the Messiah was alway available as a glimmer of hope, it was an awfully long wait for the Jewish people… and in the time of waiting, people were faced with enormous struggles.

We humans are restless creatures, and we have little patience, or tolerance, for hardship and pain. Job, who was tested perhaps more than any human (besides Yeshua), couldn’t stomach the physical and emotional pain that weighed him down. He wished for the kind of rest that came with death, rather than the overwhelmingly painful restlessness that came with his life:

Job 3:11-13, 24-26

Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Why did the knees receive me, and why the breasts, that I should suck? For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest [yanuakh]

…“For my groaning comes at the sight of my food, and my cries pour out like water. For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, and I am not at rest [we-lo nakhti], but turmoil comes.”

For Job, death would have given him the rest he needed, or so he thought. And this is how so many people across the globe feel today. Those who struggle with thoughts of suicide are alway weighing out whether life is worth living. The pain of constant restlessness may cause some to come to the conclusion that life isn’t worth the struggle.

Was death the only pathway to real rest and healing? Was there any other way to achieve rest with so much pain and turmoil? Was just laying one’s head down and dying the only unfailing cure for restlessness?

As hard as it is to face, these are questions many people are struggling with. And they are questions worth asking. What’s the point of life, may be a common question for those contemplating suicide, but it’s also a valid question.

What should be, perhaps, more concerning is that people who do not struggle with this inner turmoil seem to never question the point of life at all, nor do they question what happens after death. No doubt at some point in their life this question would have been brought forward, but they’d rather not think of such things. Many of these people have lived rather smooth lives and never have felt the need to ask these daunting metaphysical questions. Perhaps we should not be so quick to feel sorry for ourselves when we are faced with turmoil. It’s, at the very least, helping us ask the right questions.

1 Peter 4:12-14

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Messiah, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Messiah, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests [Greek: anapauetai] on you.

Peter was reminding us that there would be ordeals and tests in our life, but the Spirit of God would get us through them and the Messiah, who suffered greatly, would understand our pain.

One of the greatest ordeals the Jewish people would face was the Babylonian invasion. When the people of Jerusalem were waiting, inevitably, for the Babylonians to arrive at the gates, they felt the restlessness of impending defeat:

Lamentations 5:5-7

Our pursuers are at our necks; we are worn out, there is no rest [w-lo hu-nakh] for us. We have submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread. Our fathers sinned, and are no more; it is we who have borne their iniquities.

Job and Jeremiah (the likely author of Lamentations) were, essentially, giving up… but YHWH had not given up on them.

Rest in Death or Rest in Peace

According to the Proverbs, A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest [yan’uakh] in the assembly of the dead (Proverbs 21:16). Essentially the author was saying, those who wander away from God would go to the grave (rest in the assembly of the dead). But where would those who did follow YHWH go? How could we go anywhere apart from the grave? And if not the grave, where?

Human’s clearly needed saving. Eve and Adam’s disastrous decision in the Garden of Eden made death seem pretty final for humanity. But God wanted to rescue them; He wanted to save them from death… which was exactly what He would do:

Isaiah 25:7-10

And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord YHWH will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for YHWH has spoken.

And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is YHWH for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” For the hand of YHWH will rest [Ki ta-nuakh yad YHWH] on this mountain, and Moab will be trodden down in his place as straw is trodden down in the water of a manure pile.

The Hebrew people were waiting to be saved by the Anointed One who would be their Saviour. On the Mountain (Zion) death would be swallowed up for all time by the One who would come to Save them. It’s no coincidence that the name Yeshua came from the Hebrew word to Save… and that the mountain where death would be swallowed up was  where Yeshua was crucified.

Jerusalem: YHWH’s Resting Place

The mountain whereupon YHWH’s hand rested was Mount Zion, the mountain that held Jerusalem and the resting place God on earth (the Temple). Jerusalem was referred to as the Forever Resting Place of YHWH.

Psalm 132:7-14

Let us go into His dwelling place; let us worship at His footstool. Arise, O YHWH, to Your resting place [lim’nukhateka], You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your godly ones sing for joy. For the sake of David Your servant, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.

YHWH has sworn to David a truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne. If your sons will keep My covenant and My testimony which I will teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever.”

For YHWH has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is My resting place [m’nukhati] forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. 

David said, “YHWH God of Israel has given rest [heh-niakh] to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever(Chronicles 23:25). YHWH would always and forever dwell in Jerusalem. It would be part of the New Heaven and the New Earth that Isaiah referred to (Isaiah 65:17-18) and, ultimately, it was a Kingdom worth living for.

Fertile Fields, Peaceful Habitation, Restful Waters

In the days of Isaiah the people longed for the Messiah, and they longed for a day when God’s Spirit would be poured out on them and they could live in true peace:

Isaiah 32:14-18

Because the palace has been abandoned, the populated city forsaken, hill and watch-tower have become caves forever, a delight for wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks; until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field is considered as a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness and righteousness will abide in the fertile field. And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places [u-bim’nukhot].

This was a hope for a place of verdant fertility… where everything you could possibly need would be found. It was peaceful, quiet and confident, like a new Garden of Eden, and it would be a place of justice, righteousness, and peace. They were waiting for the Messiah, but they were also waiting for a peaceful habitation and a place of rest.

RestfulWaters
Photo by Quang Nguyen vinh (Pixabay.com)

Isaiah’s word picture of fertile fields and an undisturbed resting place was echoed in one of the most quoted chapters of the Bible:

Psalm 23:1-3a

YHWH is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters restful waters [meh m’nukhot]. He restores my soul…

As a shepherd of the earth, YHWH provided everything for His sheep. They lacked nothing. He allowed them to lie down in lush pastures, and lead them to calm and nourishing, restful, waters. In the presence of the Shepherd their soul would be completely and continually restored. This was a place beyond death… because He rescued them from death so they could truly live:

Psalm 116:6-9

YHWH preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest [lim’nukhahyeh’ki], O my soul, for YHWH has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I shall walk before YHWH in the land of the living.

This Psalm presented a beautiful image… to walk alongside YHWH in the land of the living, able to be in His presence for eternity. That was the greatest hope of all!

The Spirit Rests on the Messiah

Although it is true that we are all headed for the grave, the Messiah from the line of David would come to change the nature of death. The Garden of Eden had been perfect for us, but we blew it… and death was part of that fall. But God immediately put a plan in action to get us back in the Garden… where we could experience true rest in the Presence of our Maker. But to conquer death, something would have to succumb to it. A sacrifice would be made and God would Anoint Himself to do it. He would send a Son, His perfect Image, to die, conquer death, and lead people back to the living rest that they needed. 

John the Baptizer testified that Yeshua was the Messiah. God had spoken to John saying that the One whom the Spirit of God rested, in the form of a dove, was the One who would come to baptize people in the Holy Spirit (John 1:29-34).

Just like in the story of Noah and the flood, this dove brought Good News… the news that they would be saved. Yeshua was the sacrificial dove that would bring Salvation. Humans could live on the earth once again, as they were meant to… without the fear of death.  This was a sign of completion; a sign of peace and a sign of rest (just like Noah’s name). Jesus was the dove with the olive branch in his mouth, proclaiming the Good News of YHWH. Through Him God would restore and redeem His people.

Isaiah, centuries earlier, spoke of God’s Anointed as a shoot from the stem of Jesse (of Jesse’s family tree, so to speak), who would have the Spirit of YHWH rest upon Him:

Isaiah 11:1-9

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of YHWH will rest on Him [w-nakhah alaw ruakh YHWH], the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of YHWH.

And He will delight in the fear of YHWH, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of YHWH as the waters cover the sea. 

This man, upon whom the Spirit rested, would be like no other. He would be a signal for the people; a man of righteousness, faithfulness, and a breaker of all conflict. The first to understand would be the animals: lambs, goats, cows, oxen… leopards, lions, cobras, vipers and bears… they would all be kind to each other under the loving reign of the Messiah.

This seems to be quite a tall order. In fact, it was contrary to the natural order of life and it appeared to defy all that we know about death and existence. But this was the kind of God we have… One who doesn’t follow a rule book. YHWH was true to His promises and, at the same time, unlimited in His actions. The Isaiah text continued:

Isaiah 11:10

Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place [m’nukhatow] will be glorious.

YHWH came to fulfill God’s covenant plan to save His people, but He also came to help us reimagine a new understanding of life and death. For followers of YHWH and His Messiah, life would no longer be bound to the chains of death… waking up every day, one step closer to the grave. Life was about living out loud for the Kingdom, here and now. And when our time on this earth was over, the Kingdom would be our new resting place because death could no longer hold us down.

The Spirit Rests Upon You

Before we could every get back to the Garden and dwell in His presence, we would have to live in the here and now. Fortunately, God did not expect us to fend for ourselves. He had a plan for that too.

There’s a very interesting story in the Torah about the Spirit resting on people:

Numbers 11:16-17, 24-28

YHWH therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone…

…So Moses went out and told the people the words of YHWH. Also, he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent. Then YHWH came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them [k-noakh alekem ha-ruakh], they prophesied. But they did not do it again.

But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested [wa-ta’nakh alekem ha-ruakh] upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp.

So a young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, “Moses, my lord, restrain them.” 

This was a pretty spectacular event. God rested the full weight of His spirit upon the seventy and they instantly prophesied, but when two of the seventy continued to prophesy after the rest were done, Joshua and many others were upset. In response, Moses said something quite prophetic.

Numbers 11:29

But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all YHWH’s people were prophets, that YHWH would put His Spirit upon them!

This was another long awaited wish… that YHWH’s Spirit would rest upon His people. Yeshua promised that after He left, an Advocate/Helper (also known as the Spirit of Truth), would come and live within each God-follower:

John 14:16-17

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

The fulfillment of that promise came on the Feast of Shavuot, or the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit rested on each person in the assembly:

Acts 1:1-4a

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

How amazing is it, that YHWH’s Spirit came to rest within us. He made the entire universe and yet He still yearned to be a part of His own creation… a part of each of our lives, if only we would just let Him in. We don’t need to build anything for Him, we just need to open ourselves up, be humble and be in awe:

Isaiah 66:1-2

Thus says YHWH, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest [m’nukhati]? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares YHWH. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

Yeshua (Jesus), was a descendant of Ruth and David, the son of Jesse. And, as prophesied in Micah 5:2, He was born in Bethlehem.  John the Baptizer pointed out that Yeshua was “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

In the midst of his ministry Yeshua said the following:

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

His yoke and burden was easy for us to bear, because He put all the weight upon Himself. All of our sins rested on Him as He sacrificed Himself on the cross. Yeshua’s words, here, reflected back to Psalm 116 (mentioned above) which spoke of  the soul returning to rest so we could walk before YHWH in the land of the living.

Yeshua would give true rest by rescuing our souls from the finality of death. It’s a whole new way of thinking about resting in peace. He would conquer death so we could live in the land of the living and rest in His presence. That is the heaven that awaits us!

Until that time, and as a result of Yeshua’s great sacrifice, we can now be the dwelling place of God on the planet. His Spirit rests on us. We don’t have to die to rest in peace… Rest assured, with His Spirit we can truly LIVE.

1 Kings 8:56-57a, 60

“Blessed be YHWH, who has given rest [m’nukhah] to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. May YHWH our God be with us, as He was with our fathers… so that all the peoples of the earth may know that YHWH is God; there is no one else.

Next week: Stone

4 thoughts on “Nuakh: I Will Give You REST”

  1. Thank you for this marvelous word study and reflection, bringing my soul reminders of true rest during this deeply troubled time.

    Like

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