Rest – Riding On the Heights of the Earth

Aug 11, 2023 | Encouragement

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure,
or talking idly;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:13-14.


The beauty of God’s Word is that it never changes.

People change, society changes, habits change.

As the weekend approaches this seemed a fitting Bible Verse to speak about “REST.”

How we rest on Sunday matters to God.

If we turn our feet, from taking one day to worship God, go to Church and focus the whole day on our LORD, our own lives will suffer as a result. The rest, our souls need will vanquish. It honours our LORD to devote a full day to Him.

How far we have strayed from these words. Many people seek their own pleasure, and go their own way.

Shopping on Sunday, going to ball games, eating out, all these things are seeking our own pleasure.

Many think that devoting a full day to the LORD is “legalistic.” How could that be when serving God is the joy of our hearts as Christians? Spending time in God’s house is honouring our LORD.

God says if we don’t seek our own pleasures on the Sabbath Day, we are delighting in Him. Not the shopping mall, not the beach, not the golf course, not the hockey game. We delight in Him, one full day of the week. For the rest of the week God gives us the leeway to seek our own pleasures, to a certain degree naturally.

So why is it the world can’t take delight in the LORD for one day?

He promises to “make you ride on the heights of the earth.” I wondered what that meant exactly so as always I sought Matthew Henry’s commentary. He sees the meaning as “a geat security…great dignity and advancement.”

We don’t worship God on Sunday to get something out of it though, our motives should be pure and that is to honour our LORD. In return He promises to bless us as we honour Him.

Sometimes when we go to Church we are tired after a super busy week. Other times we have so much on our minds we can hardly focus for a minute. Preparing our hearts on Saturday night or early Sunday morning makes a difference.

Perhaps you think this topic is boring or outdated, or maybe you think Church itself is boring and outdated. The good news to that thought is God can change your heart. And as He does, you will desire to honour God, you will want to be in God’s house on Sundays, and it will become to paraphrase the words of the hymn “O day of Rest and Gladness…”

A day of rest and happiness,

A day of joy and light,

A balm for cares and sadness, beautiful and bright.

Please look up (google) the lyrics to this song and it will bless your soul. It is a favourite for me, though as many will think, outdated, the words echo down through time giving full honour to our LORD. I don’t really care if something is old doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. And this song is. It really resounds with what a Sabbath REST can do for the soul.

One last thing for today. The last line of today’s chosen verse reads: “I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Don’t you just love that? God promises to feed us with the heritage of our forefather Jacob. For those who believe and know about the great patriarchs of the Bible this is a beautiful promise from God. His covenant with the patriarchs Abraham, Jacob, Issac, and Judah, is the same heritage we claim today. God will provide for us as His people, He will shelter us under His wings. God will bring us to a good, and pleasant land. But our part is to obey. How far have we fallen in taking a Sabbath Rest?

I know when my Dad died, at his funeral I felt the impact of the promise of God to the patriarchs of the Bible, and of the to the patriarchs of the 21st century. Our Dad made sure we understood the importance of setting aside Sunday as a day to honour God. When he passed away, it brought such sorrow and yet I know our family patriarch is in heaven with all the patriarchs of the past. And I will cling to the words of my earthly Father but above all my Heavenly Father and commit to setting aside one full day a week to worship the God of my life, the God of centuries past, the God of the universe forever and ever Amen.

If you made it this far, I wish you and blessed weekend. Don’t forget to honour God with your Sunday, and I will do that to.


Photo Credit- Colin Maynard/Unsplash




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