THERE IS REST IN REPHIDIM
“So let no one take pride in men. For all things are yours; Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
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” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23 BBE)
The name “Rephidim” in Hebrew is “Rephiydiym” which literally means “rests” or “stays” or “resting places” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).
Therefore, when God led the children of Israel to camp in Rephidim as they journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land, they were eagerly looking forward to having some good rests. But contrary to their expectations, at Rephidim they experienced thirst, conflict and contention.
Not too long after the children of Israel had camped in Rephidim they realized there was no water in Rephidim for them or their livestock to drink.
Exodus 17:1-3 – NKJV
1 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink.
2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me?
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Why do you tempt the LORD?”
3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
In response to Moses’ prayer for God’s intervention, God gave them water in abundance out of the rock to drink. However, the Amalek suddenly came out to fight with them. So, in the place of rest, the children of Israel experienced war (Exo. 17:8-13). What a paradox!
God undoubtedly wants His children to experience real rest and peace in this troubled world. Coming humbly to the Lord Jesus Christ and putting your faith entirely in His finished work of redemption is simply coming to a resting place or your Rephidim.
The Lord Jesus promised rest to all who come to Him.
Matthew 11:28-30 – NKJV
28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
John 16:33 – NKJV
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
The born-again believers, like the children of Israel, have been brought by God to their Rephidim, their resting place in Christ Jesus. In Christ, the believers have entered into God’s rest – the true rest that God promised His people.
The Scripture clearly states this truth.
Hebrews 4:1-3 – NKJV
1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,'” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
However, as seen in the case of the children of Israel while they camped in Rephidim, coming to Christ or being in Christ does not insulate, exempt or exclude the believers from trials, battles, challenges or conflicts in life.
Although in Rephidim – the resting place, yet the children of Israel experienced temporary lack, challenges, conflict or contention. However, it was intended by God to accomplish His eternal purposes in their lives.
Sadly, the children of Israel didn’t understand this while in Rephidim, so they contended with Moses and queried, “Is the Lord with us or not?” (Exo. 17:7 BBE).
The children of Israel were apparently unaware of God’s purposes or intentions of bringing them to Rephidim. They were only looking forward to a physical rest or comfort, but God had prepared something far greater than that for them.
They were thirsty and seeking only for natural water, but unknown to them God had prepared for them spiritual water from Christ, the spiritual Rock, that followed them.
The New Testament reveals to us that they “all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4 NKJV).
While the children of Israel only cared about their physical thirst, lack or need, God’s care for them transcended their physical lack, thirst or need. God was concerned about their total well-being, and not just their physical well-being.
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Sadly, like the children of Israel in Rephidim, many believers in Christ today only care about their physical lack or needs and when their physical needs are not instantly met according to their schedules, they become bitter, upset, discouraged, worried, anxious, fretful, or stressed.
They are simply ignorant of God’s purposes for them in Christ, their Rephidim!
If all that the born-again believers possess and experience in Christ does not transcend the ephemeral or transient material things of this life, then the believers are of all men most miserable or pitiable.
Paul clearly states this truth.
1 Corinthians 15:19 – KJV
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But thank God that our hope in Christ is not limited to this life!
The Scripture assures that we are born again “to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Pet. 1:3-4 NKJV).
While in Rephidim the children of Israel experienced a supernatural victory over the Amalek who came out to fight with them. Although Joshua and some chosen men of Israel went out to fight the Amalek, yet their victory came not through the arms of flesh but through the arms of God.
Exodus 17:8-13 – NKJV
8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
What a practical way to learn not to trust in, lean on or depend upon their physical strength, skills and abilities for their deliverance and victory in life!
Beloved, although you are now in Christ (your resting place or Rephidim), yet you may experience some temporary or transient trials, tribulations, contentions or challenges. But no matter your unpleasant experiences in Christ, never you think that God has forgotten or forsaken you.
God Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5 NKJV).
While in Rephidim it may sometimes seems that God is far from you, but the truth is that God is ever in you, with you, and for you. He is working out all things for your good and in your favour.
God has anticipated every of your need and has adequately provided for them in Christ even before you were born. God is never taken by surprise or caught unprepared!
While in Rephidim it appeared that the children of Israel had a lack, but the truth is that there was no lack in Rephidim, for God had put the water in the rock even before they arrived in Rephidim or ever had a thirst for water.
Likewise, there is no lack in Christ, your Rephidim. The born-again believers lack no good things in Christ Jesus. All things that you will ever need in your life are readily available to you in Christ Jesus.
The Scripture amply testifies to this truth
Ephesians 1:3 – NKJV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
2 Peter 1:3 – BBE
3 Because by his power he has given us everything necessary for life and righteousness, through the knowledge of him who has been our guide by his glory and virtue.
1 Corinthians 3:21-23 – BBE
21 So let no one take pride in men. For all things are yours;
22 Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
23 And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
Beloved, even though God by grace has anticipated all that you will ever need in your lifetime and has adequately provided them in Christ Jesus, yet you need to exercise faith in God to appropriate and enjoy the gracious provisions of God for you in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:8, Rom. 5:2).
Although God had stationed the rock full of water in Rephidim to meet the thirst of the children of Israel, yet Moses had to exercise faith in God by striking the rock with his rod at God’s command to release the water for the people to drink.
Similarly, although God had planned victory for Israel over the Amalek, yet Moses had to appropriate the victory by lifting His hands to God in prayer while Joshua and the men of Israel demonstrated the victory by fighting the Amalek.
Beloved, stop murmuring and complaining at your Rephidim!
There is no lack in Christ, your Rephidim. Therefore, arise today to begin to explore, appropriate, experience and enjoy by faith all of God’s gracious provisions for you in and through Christ.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing me to my resting place in Christ. My Dear Holy Spirit, help me to remember always that there is no lack in Christ and teach me to appropriate through faith all of God’s gracious provisions for me in Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.