Scripture: “For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it,” Isaiah 28:20.
Stream or download Short beds and skimpy sheets
In the Bible, we very often find that salvation from sin is likened unto finding rest, physical rest. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matt 11:28.
You see, the sinner is one burdened down with a heavy load of guilt while the saved, the converted, are those who have come to Christ and found rest by heeding His call and believing His word. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee,” Psalm 55:22. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” 1 Peter 5:7.
There can be no rest or respite in this world for those who do not obey the Gospel call and until Christ lifts the heavy burden of guilt away. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” I Peter 2:24. He bore them to Calvary and He suffered as the ‘Sin Bearer’ in the place of His people. This is pictured for us in one of the old rituals of Jewish worship. Leviticus 16:7-10. We use the term, ‘scapegoat’, today to describe ‘a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.’
That is what the cross is all about!
Do you remember the dove that Noah released from the ark? “The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark,” Genesis 8:9. In the midst of this sinful world, there is rest only in the Lord Jesus.
The testimony of the world is that SIN, ATHEISM, RELIGION, MONEY do not give rest. Solomon wandered from truth and as a result he learned the emptiness of this world and its ways. He concluded: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 2:11.
As it was with the Prodigal, his Father’s house was the only place of rest!
There is an old saying: “He made his own bed, now let him lie in it!” There is an eternal truth there. There is an eternal night coming when we shall have to lie in the beds we made for ourselves during our lifetime. It is the night of God’s judgment and retribution. ONLY those resting in Christ shall be at rest. David said: “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast,” Psalms 57:1. You know the common event from which David draws this image. It is the hen sheltering her chicks. The Lord Jesus said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not,” Luke 13:34.
All other places which sinners depend upon for shelter and rest are as the bed described in our text.
HERE IS A SAD UNDERESTIMATION.
How common this is amongst men.
Cain: “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD,” Genesis 4:3.
Foolish man: “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it,” Matthew 7:27.
Israel’s foolishness in thinking that they had made sufficient provision to face the judgment of God is pictured here, vvs 14-20. That which it was thought would prove sufficient to provide rest would come up short!
1. Sinners underestimate their needs. Short bed, narrow sheets. Man weighs his needs in a false balance. He underestimates his sinfulness. He considers himself reasonably good! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. “Incurably” wicked is the meaning of those words! So bad we can never know it! You must take God’s Word on the matter of your sin! “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” Genesis 6:5. Note: EVERY, ONLY, CONTINUALLY! Do you think this of yourself? If you don’t you are making a grave mistake about your eternal requirements.
2. Sinners underestimate the Law of God. Jesus said to the rich young man: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments,” Matthew 19:17. Here is how to WORK your way to heaven! The young man equivocates, verses 18-19. He reveals how he thinks more highly of himself than he should! Then Christ shows him his own heart. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions,” Matthew 19:21-22. Sorrowful! No rest in our own works, only disappointment.
3. Sinners underestimate God’s examination. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel,” Romans 2:16.
The day of judgment for unsaved men will be a day of exactitudes! It will not be a cursory glance but a searching out of every hidden thing.
Look at verse 17. God uses the instruments of the surveyor’s close examination and testing. In such an hour, only those whose sins are under the blood of Christ will escape judgment. Listen to God’s own words. “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve,” Jeremiah 50:20.
Here is why their sin will not be found. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins,” Isaiah 43:25. “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee,” Isaiah 44:22. Here is how God, a Just God could hide our sins. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5. Christ suffered for the sins of those whose sins are here blotted out. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Peter preached this truth. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed,” 1 Peter 2:24.
Eternity will be a place of utter discomfort for those who make their own arrangements rather than heeding Christ’s invitation. Heed these words. “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come,” 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
Note, “the wrath to come.” There is no end to the judgment that falls upon the sinner out of Christ. Man continues in his sin throughout eternity and so must endure eternal sufferings! “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” Mark 9:44. That is the terrible end for those who reject the gospel.
Here are the sweet words of Christ’s invitation whereby the sinner may escape Hell. “Come unto me. . . . and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else,” Isaiah 45:22.
Come in prayer, look in faith TONIGHT.