Arise you, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
In deep anger Amos intimated that the Lord would command Israel to arise and go forth into a land of captivity; their own land should no longer be their rest and quiet habitation, for they had polluted it by their idolatry, excess, and iniquity. He would bring upon them enemies who should be His instruments for removing them from their then quiet habitation. Canaan is, when spiritually applied to the condition of the children of God, a very apt type of the heavenly country; and the rest which the children of Israel therein enjoyed, is a type of that "rest which remaineth for the people of God." Regard then the text as addressed to every one of us in reference to our present condition in this fallen world, and our future condition in the kingdom of glory.
I. THE MEANING OF REST. By rest we understand cessation from labour, accompanied with peace, quiet, ease, and everything that can mark and constitute comfort, happiness, security. When in a state of rest we do not expect to be troubled with the ordinary perplexities of life. To enjoy rest is to enjoy quietness, security, ease, and peace.
II. THE CERTAINTY OF NOT FINDING REST HERE. How stands the case with us in this world, fallen, and shattered, and disorganised as it is, beautiful though it be in its very ruins? Can we be said to find substantial, solid rest in this world? Has the world no disappointments to meet our best laid schemes? Nothing here is certain. And should worldly possessions and worldly enjoyments remain undisturbed, yet to the man who sets his heart on them, and wishes to be satisfied with them, there is one evil ever near and calculated to mar his enjoyment, and that is the fear of death, which is to such an one a monster evil, which he can find no means of averting.
III. THE PROMISE OF REST TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD. The rest is complete and substantial; it is rest from sin. The departed saint is at once removed from the influence of sin and the power of Satan; nothing can then disturb his tranquillity; no counteracting agency can then affect him; he is in God's keeping, he is safe and safe forever. This rest the redeemed soul is capable of enjoying.
IV. THE WAY IN WHICH THIS REST IS TO BE OBTAINED. The Israelites had one leader given to them to lead them into the land of Canaan. A Joshua has been given to us. He leads those who will submit to His guidance into the heavenly rest prepared for the people of God. To effect this He condescended to take our nature upon Him, and to become man. As such He went in and out among His creatures; and after a life of self-denial and active benevolence, died upon the Cross to make atonement for man's sin. The door to this rest has been thrown wide open by Him.
(T. R. Redwar, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.