WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 22, 2023
TOPIC: REST ON EVERY SIDE
BY T. O. BANSO
“You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence” (1 Kings 5:3-4 New King James Version).
Nothing can be compared to living in peace – having peace within you and around you. Even nations that are fighting wars know this. Their citizens feel the impacts even if their nations are having the upper hand. Nations that are not directly involved in wars are not exempted from the impacts. Resources that are invested in prosecuting wars could be better channeled into developmental projects. Most wars nations fight are avoidable and needless.
2 Chronicles 15:5-6 says, “And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity” (New King James Version). How much development could be achieved in the kind of condition that this scripture talks about? Since the preceding verses are talking about Israel, some Bible teachers believe this passage is talking about the situation in the land of Israel although there is no specific mention of Israel.
Nevertheless, the graphic picture of the condition in that passage is similar to the condition in the days when Shamgar was raised as a judge in Israel. Shamgar the son of Anath, as the third judge of Israel, killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel (Judges 3:31). But talking about the condition in the days of Shamgar, Judges 5:6-7 says, “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, caravans no longer went through the land, and travelers used the back roads. The towns of Israel stood abandoned, Deborah; they stood empty until you came, came like a mother for Israel” (Good News Translation). Look at that situation. The people didn’t live in peace but in fear. They couldn’t travel as they wished. Unfortunately, some countries are currently in that situation.
People sometimes don’t value something until they lose it. Peace is invaluable. When there is no peace, individual, corporate, or national progress and development are hindered. In 1 Samuel 13, under King Saul, the Philistines gathered to fight with Israel, but when the Israelites, who were distressed, saw that they were in danger, they hid in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and pits (verse 6).
If a city or nation continues to face this kind of challenge for a prolonged period, how much progress can it make? I pray that God will give you peace, within and around you. If you are not at peace with God yet, you must do that now. In other words, you should come into a living relationship with Him by giving your life to Jesus. Without peace with God, you cannot have peace with yourself and others.
Rest on every side. Long before the days of King Saul, the Bible talks about how God gave the Israelites rest on every side. He gave them victories over their enemies as they possessed the land He had promised their forefathers. “So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:43-45 New International Version). Did you see the phrase: “The Lord gave them rest on every side”? God will give you and your children rest on every side. No enemy shall withstand you.
Also, look at this scripture about David: “Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you’” (2 Samuel 7:1-3 New American Standard Updated). Note the phrase “and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies.” The New King James uses the phrase “and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around.” David could only think of building a Temple for God after God had given him rest on every side from his enemies.
Although God didn’t allow him to build the Temple but his son, Solomon, this passage tells us the importance of peace. God gave him rest on every side. And he loved God also. Therefore, he wanted to build a Temple for Him. 1 Chronicles 22:17-18 says, “Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon. He said to them, ‘Is not the Lord your God with you? And has he not granted you rest on every side? For he has handed the inhabitants of the land over to me, and the land is subject to the Lord and to his people’” (New International Version). There again you find the phrase “rest on every side.”
I pray that God will give you rest on every side so that you can use your time and other resources better. Some people devote almost all their time in prayer and fasting to praying against enemy attacks! The devil is a bad devil! I don’t mean that there is a good devil! Some people are fighting all kinds of battles that you may not be aware of.
See the message that Solomon sent to Hiram, the king of Tyre: “You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence” (1 Kings 5:3-4 New King James Version).
Note the phrase: “But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence.” You can see that it is similar to what David, the father of Solomon, said in the passage you read earlier. I pray that God will give you and your children rest on every side so that there shall be no adversary or evil occurrence in your lives and family. Your children will not continue your battles. Your victories, peace, and rest shall be multiplied in their lives.
After God had helped King Jehoshaphat to defeat the three nations that came against Judah, the Bible says, “So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side” (2 Chronicles 20:30 New Living Translation). Your life and home shall be at peace. God will give you rest on every side, as He gave Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah.
Also, rest on every side shall be your portion as it was for the people of Judah in the days of Hezekiah after God had sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria, Sennacherib. In a night operation, that angel killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. Sennacherib returned with shame to his land and when he came into the house of his god, some of his sons struck him down there with the sword (2 Chronicles 32:21).
Verse 22 says, “So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies; and he gave them rest on every side” (Revised Standard Version). Again, note the phrase: “he gave them rest on every side.” God will save you and your family from the hand of your enemies and give you rest on every side.
Asa, the third king of Judah, experienced rest which enabled him to build fortified cities. 2 Chronicles 14:6 says, “He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest” (New International Version). But what was the secret of the rest? Asa said it was because they sought the Lord. “The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side” (verse 17b New International Version).
To seek the Lord means to follow Him, obey Him, or dedicate your life to serving Him. To experience rest on every side, seek the Lord. obey Him, or dedicate your life to serving Him. Proverbs 16:7 says when a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.
Whatever the battles you’re currently fighting, God will not only give you victory, but He will also give you rest on every side. God will establish peace for you (Isaiah 26:12a). He will preserve your going out and coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore (Psalm 121:8).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, give me rest on every side so that there shall be neither adversary nor evil occurrence. Give my children rest on every side. Establish peace for us.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947