Psalm 95, wilderness, noise, rest

Are you tired? Tired of everything. Do you lack energy to do your work? Do you feel mentally exhausted? Are you lacking motivation to get anything done? Are your emotions all over the place? How did we get here?

When I am tired, not just lack of sleeping tired, but soul tired I start to feel emotionally numb. I distance my heart from people I care about. Every slight and every infraction feels ten times the weight it normally would. I become silent and have no expression. I don’t freely speak and joy has left. It feels like the faucet of my soul has been turned off or something is caught in the well lines because I am drying up.

Psalm 95:7-11

for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
    as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
    they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Moses and the Israelite’s are in the desert. The water has run dry. The people are quarreling with Moses and Aaron because there is no water. Moses and Aaron go before the Lord and God tells Moses to take the staff, gather the people, speak to the rock, and water will come out. So, Moses takes the staff, gathers the people and says, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then he struck the rock twice and water gushed out. (Read Numbers 20:1-13)

Moses disobeyed God and he did not get to go into the promised land.

When I read through the story and again reading this portion of psalms I asked the questions:

WHAT CAUSES US TO NOT ENTER INTO GOD’S REST?

The Greek word used for “quiet” is hesuchazo: to rest, cease from labor.

When my soul is tired it usually means my mind and emotions are loud. There is no quiet in me. I find myself doing whatever I can to get away from the noise. I end up running into the wilderness. How do we know if we in a wilderness season? It’s when we are in the wilderness that our regular, normal, everyday way of living doesn’t seem to work. The filter falls off, your emotions wont chill and the things that use to be like water on a ducks back, stick like glue, and you can’t get them off.

So, what causes all the noise. I see a few things that stick out to me about the Israelite’s:

  1. Difficult Times – They still missed the perks of Egypt and now Moses’s sister Miriam died. The whole place was walking through grief of the past and now loss of a loved one. Then on top of all that the water had dried up and everyone was thirsty. Grief and thirst are quite the mix to make some noise!
  2. Complaining and Distrust – Everyone started to complain and become impatient. They began to fill with distrust that God or Moses would come through with water, even through they had 2 times before. They became quarrelsome with their leaders. People who are quarrelsome are often moody, accusative, and angry.

Circumstances and attitudes lead to having hard hearts.

Moses ended up striking the rock instead of speaking to it. I think Moses took their rebellion and complaining personally. Maybe he felt that it was his responsibility to fix it. Maybe he became overwhelmed, in his over-functioning and distrust that God can take care of it, he called his fellow travelers rebels. He insulted them and hit the rock twice! Its easy for us, when in the wilderness, to respond the same way that we are accusing others of responding. We can’t see it because a hard heart will make you blind. (John 12:40) Lack of faith and flashes of anger go hand in hand. Why? Because we are trying to do it all in our own power and that will always lead to being tired!

Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.”

(Matthew 11:28)

Father, quiet our noisy souls and give us hearts that sing for joy to the Rock of our salvation. Let us find thankfulness before you and lift our voices with praise. For you, Oh Lord, are great! The King above all. The One who reigns above it all. The deep, the mountains, and the seas, you made them all and you made me. I worship you my God, and my Maker. You are the Good Shepherd and we are your people. We are the flock and you are the Caretaker. You can and do take care of us, every line and every detail. Let us return to hear your voice, God. We turn and return our hearts to you. Save us from the hardness and be with us through the wilderness. Thank you Jesus, for providing us rest. Call on us Lord! Bid us to come! Give us ears to hear and hearts that understand the sound of your voice. Show us your ways and reveal yourself to us, as we tell our noisy souls that it is in you that we will find rest. We trust in you, God!

Are you in need of rest? Where is your heart hardened? Will you bring your grief and thirst to Jesus? He is waiting? Calling? …. Come, He is here. God is in the wilderness. Its quieter on the outside there, so that, we can actually hear and deal with what’s on the inside as it comes out of us.

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

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