Those who believed have entered into the rest; they have ceased from their own labours just as God did from His (Hebrews 4:10). I find this verse extremely powerful. As soon as we become believers we have ceased from our labours. If we labour, we labour in the rest of God. If we work it is because God works in and through us and it is not us who work. We have entered into that sabbath rest and peace. If someone asked me whether I have a job, I would tell them that I have not worked for the past 25 years or jobless in that time. I have stopped working for myself but I work for Christ by the strength He powerfully inspires within me through His Holy Spirit. Today is Labour Day. I have a moment to reflect on a year which a third is now past.
There are 8 months left before 2020. What have I done for You Lord? In January 2019 I rewrote my notes on NT theology which I taught as an intensive course before calling it quits in Ranau. In February I had a 10 day holidays in Singapore but when I returned I did not do much except perhaps re-reading my memoirs of a modern missionary. Then I started my commentary on the Song of Songs in March and ended with 21,000 words when news of my paper for IOSOT came through. Then April was wasted somewhat as I struggled to see whether I wanted to go to Europe for the first time in my life. It was only 2 days ago I finally made a decision and now I can focus on my next project going to the middle of 2019.
This morning I read from a few chapters of Ezra first from the Hebrew MT and then the Greek LXX. There are some parts in the LXX that are different. Ezra is said to have great knowledge of the Law in the LXX and a genius in the law of Moses. When Ezra led the returnees to Jerusalem he found that the Levites were missing from the roll. The pagan king instructed Ezra to teach those who do not have the knowledge of God’s law. I see that today the clergy or priesthood is under siege. They don’t learn enough of the Bible. They may have Masters degree but their knowledge of God’s law is superficial. Why is that so? They have not engaged with Scripture in a way like Ezra does. There is no Ezra in our midst to teach or even if he is present, we think that he is a stranger, without job or ministry as rituals and traditions in church go on and on. Indeed they worship Me in vain, says the Lord, for their teachings are human teachings and traditions and not God’s Word. Happy Labour Day my readers, may you continue to labour for God through our Lord Jesus Christ.