Second Friday of Lent

Psalm 23, Deuteronomy 10:12–22, Hebrews 4:4–13

Sleep is good. Rest is good. Too much of either is bad. Too little of either is bad. Sleep and activity must be balanced. All too often, however, neither of these are correctly balanced in our lives. The lazy or lonely or depressed often get too much , and ment begins to cease. Those who are too active, rarely ing, usually become less themselves and even begin to lose their grasp on things, trying to keep it all . Does any of this sound like you?

While Psalm 23 may be the most famous psalm, and many take solace in it. In the King James Version, Verse 2 says, “…maketh me to lie down…” The NIV says, “…he makes me lie down…” Some translations do say, “…lets me…”, but most don’t. The Hebrew “rabats” (רָבַץ) has more emphasis than just “lets”. David was a shepherd as a boy, during his most formative years, so shepherding would always be near to his t and understanding. Sheep (like people) sometimes have to be made to . Are you being made to ? Resting is not everything, though.

As Moses speaks to the people at the edge of the Promised Land, he s them to Holy activity. They are instructed to walk in ’s ways. They are to . They are to worship (with their whole ts and souls). They are to do something. They must be in relationship with . Yes, there were rules. Before you are quick to judge the Israelites on the law, look at our own law books, and understand that we have far more rules than they did. This is important as we Christians are often too quick to say how bad “all” their laws were. The center of it all was t and soul directed toward and in relationship with . As they entered the Promised Land, they were to take this understanding with them. If they had taken it truly to t and practiced it, the story would have turned out different.

In some ways, the author of Hebrews is trying to drive home the same point. Hearts aligned with achieve true . However, note that the author of Hebrews did not end there. The author of Hebrews notes that Joshua did fully realize the goal, but does not blame Joshua. It was a pattern of disobedience that led to a lack of in the Promised Land. The author of Hebrews is warning his readers that we cannot just “” on ’s and . We must to it. ’s and don’t “require” a response, but only a response of following, , and worship (from t and soul) is a true relationship with .

1) Have you ever found yourself checking-off the “ to-do” list? What emotions come to mind when you think of that?

2) Why do you think Moses emphasizes “t and soul”? Shouldn’t one be enough? Aren’t they the same? What about the mind?

3) We are often busy doing “stuff”. How much of this “stuff” is Holy activity?

FD) Do think it odd that the writer of Hebrews says, “make every effort to enter the ?” Effort to ? What does that mean?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.