Day 31: In the final summary, what if {rest} is a place to be rather than something to do?

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.  The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!”  Ruth 1:8-9 esv

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?  Ruth 3:1 esv

On this last of 31 days gleaning with Ruth, I’ve been asking the Lord why Naomi chose {rest} as a priority for her daughters in law.  On their way out of Moab, Naomi stopped and blessed the young women to go home and find rest – each in the house of her husband.  And later for Ruth after the harvest season was completed back in Bethlehem of Judah, Naomi’s desire and priority was to find her a place of rest.

Looking at the Hebrew words used in each of the two verses I realize Naomi’s idea of rest is far different than our American Merriam Webster definition of {rest}, which is – repose, sleep… a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities.

{rest}

Ruth 1:9 the Hebrew word for rest is mĕnuwchah according to blueletterbible.com meaning – figuratively, consolation (specifically, matrimony); hence (concretely) an abode:—comfortable, ease, quiet, rest(-ing place), still.

And then in Ruth 3:1 the Hebrew word for {rest} is mânôwach, maw-no’-akh; quiet, i.e. (concretely) a settled spot, or (figuratively) a home:—(place of) rest.  This word for {rest} in the Hebrew carries with it the idea of security.

We’ve seen this lived out in the second half of the story.  Ruth completely followed Naomi’s instructions to wash, dress and lay herself at the feet of her near kinsman, Boaz – the man Naomi hoped would be Ruth’s kinsman redeemer.  To be covered, taken in, sheltered – to become the wife of the kinsman redeemer would mean {rest}, home, peaceful security and hope for the future.

Nowhere at all do we see Naomi desiring for Ruth the idea of {rest} in the sense of doing nothing, sitting around her tent, being still – not working – a cessation of being active.  Certainly, as a young woman, the expectation would be for her to care for her husband and hopefully children.  In the days of the story of Ruth and Naomi, women worked hard with great physical labor just to gather water and prepare a meal.  Their daily tasks were far beyond my view of keeping up a household – driving to the grocery store, buying and unpacking food already prepared for me.

And so, while it is important to set aside time to {rest} from work – to stop the busy routine, the constant motion of going and doing and exhaustion, today the concept of {rest} Holy Spirit is highlighting is more in the realm of security under His wing.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.  Psalm 91:1-2

 

31 days gleaning into the night

So, if anyone were to ask me:  “What is your one big take away from 31 days of gleaning with Ruth?” – it would be this concept of rest.  I’m a busy lady.  Working a full-time job, caring for our home, walking our three dogs, checking in on neighbors and writing every day for 31 days has resulted in an overly full month.  However, because 31 days of gleaning in the book of Ruth was God’s idea, and I simply acted in obedience, this adventure has been anything but burdensome.

I’m reminded this morning, as I look back over this past month, of Jesus’ definition of {rest}  –

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 esv

Yes, I will {rest} from writing every single day for 31 days in a row.  It’s been an amazing challenge, and it’s been for me a great harvest to my soul in a famine season.  I pray others have been refreshed on various days in some way as Holy Spirit has fed you with the Bread of Life and Living Water Jesus offers through His word.

My prayer today – Lord, thank You for sheltering me under Your Wing and for covering me with Your Feathers as I’ve met with You in Your Word daily.  Holy Spirit thank You for teaching me in the peacefulness of the first fruits of the day.  Thank You, Jesus, for giving me rest in my work because this is the work You called me to do.  May I remember always and come often to sit at Your feet, my Lord, to rest with You and work with You under the security of Your habitation with me.  I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever.  Amen.

Ponders:

  • What is your definition of rest?  Do you see rest as a state of being?  Or is rest something we do?
    • Is there an idea of rest Holy Spirit is highlighting to you today?
    • What will be your prayer today regarding rest?  In what areas of your life are you seeking rest?
      • Let’s pray together to be taught by Holy Spirit and to glean His truth for our good and for His glory.
      • Thank you for taking this journey with me.  May God bless you richly with a desire to be tucked under His great Wing – covered by His Feathers as described in Psalm 91, and may you experience His tangible presence and an overwhelming sense of security no matter where you are or what tasks you are performing.  May you find yourself lying at Jesus’ feet and listening to His loving Shepherd voice calling you by name.

Eyes on Jesus… you’re Shining!

~Lisa


4 thoughts on “Day 31: In the final summary, what if {rest} is a place to be rather than something to do?

  1. \O/ Glory to God, Lisa.

    His fingerprints and heart are all over this. Truly I want it in my hands to write out my ponder answers and allow time for the rich and deep insights to sink into my heart in transformation.

    I love you friend. You are a deep stream. Eternity will show how greatly Jesus in you has drawn me to Jesus heart and given me vision and His Hope. Thank you Precious Princess Pioneer of Peace for sharing your honest journey with me. Truly I am forever grateful to Him \O/.

    Ruth

    With joy and peace in believing…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww I just love learning more about being covered under His feathers ! Knowing God is our refuge- a place of rest which means not inactivity but a place of safety and being cared for – gives more depth to Psalm 91. Well done Lisa. Thank you for sharing your gleanings !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carol,
      I had not planned to include Psalm 91 – it wasn’t on my mind at all. And right in the middle I began typing the words of Psalm 91:1-2. When I pulled up the Scripture I was surprised to see the word rest was actually right there in the first two verses. =) And of course I think of you everytime I think of Psalm 91 and God’s wing and His feathers.
      Thank you so much for supporting and encouraging me to keep going. Thank you for prayers for me and my family. AND thank you for adding value to the posts by commenting with your insights and life experience. I appreciate you so much!!
      Love you,
      Lisa

      Like

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