Joshua 1:1–18 (ESV)

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant,

In the New Testament, we are reminded that just like the people of Israel, we are also looking forward to entering a land of rest (Hebrews 4:1–11). That rest is eternal life with God on the new earth that God is preparing for his children, a land of milk and honey, a new and better Eden (Revelation 21:1 – 22:21). And the promise of rest in that land is one that God has made to all those who trust in Jesus Christ. He will bring us into the land of promise.

The sin that remains within us is not going to stop God’s plans. The death of Christian leaders or our brothers and sisters whom we dearly love is not going to stop God’s purposes. God will be faithful to his promises. He will bring us into the heavenly land of rest.

Practically, the certainty of a future rest should encourage us not to look for rest in the things of this world. Our material possessions, our job, the size of our home or pensions, even our relationships with friends and family. As good and important as those things are, none of them can provide us with the rest that we are searching for. None of them can give us the lasting comfort we need in life and death. Indeed, the Heidelberg Catechism reminds us that our comfort is only found in Jesus Christ and what he has done for us: Question & Answer 1: What is your only comfort in life and death? That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.

The only certainty we do have in this world is that God is at work to achieve his purposes and will always keep his promises. He’s promised to provide us everything we need. He’s promised that our true rest will be found with him in his new creation. By all means, we can and should work to create a measure of security and stability in this world. But let us not be deceived into thinking that rest is found in the things of this life. The Lord has promised to bring his people into a land of rest. Trust God to keep his promise.