Imagine the aftermath of a birthday party, or any other event, that requires some major cleaning to restore the area as it was before. There is one person who goes around picking up the paper, raking the yard, sweeping the carpet, and washing the food stains from various places. Then there is that one who is a REALLY BIG HELP, I say that with great sarcasm, who is not really helping at all except to bring the garbage bag to you, or to provide a rake for you, or to bring the dust pan for you, or to provide you a wet rag for washing with. If those two people were receiving payment for those services, I suppose there would be some crying from one as the strength of the other is to sit still! Isaiah speaks of a situation like this when it is written; “For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.”
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” Jude 1:11-13
In the scripture text today, the Israelites decided to travel to a land that would be filled with very dangerous animals and all sorts of treachery. The route would be menaced by lions and poisonous snakes. The Israelites thought that maybe the Egyptians would help them, not from their goodwill towards the Israelites, but because the Israelites would bribe them with riches. Unfortunately, the Egyptians would take their payment, but hardly lifted a finger at all to protect the Israelites from the deadly dangers of the route that they had chosen. As is written in Isaiah; “The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.”
We live in a day that is very much like described in today’s scripture text. Many people speak of their unfair workload, their physical frailties in the process, and other inequalities of being taken advantage of. Perhaps this is why there is so much focus on bridging the gap of wage disparity; to bring to awareness the heavy burden that some carry while others become more profitable at the same job while doing much, much, less! Jesus Christ says; “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.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus Christ is all about the heart and soul because His Father’s plan is for the redemption of humanity. That redemption is with the Spirit of God through the human spirit. When we come to accept what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross, we find rest for our souls. In a dangerous and deadly world of inequalities, betrayal, fraud, disparity, and prejudices within the system of the anti-Christ, we can experience rest in our soul. Without that rest, we would succumb to jealousy, frustration, anger, moodiness, violence, and total anguish of heart and soul! However, through Jesus Christ we have the dormancy of sin, which makes all the aforementioned unrest dormant. It is made to do nothing in us as we welcome the Spirit of Christ in a very unfair and cruel world. The Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, gives us peace, love, joy, faithfulness, and perseverance.
“for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Romans 10:10-12
“The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.” Isaiah 30:6-7