Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy. Micah 2:10

God had great plans for his people when he settled them in the land he promised them. His purpose was for his people to be a model to other nations, showing them how good it is to live God’s way. His people not only failed to achieve this and have a positive effect on the surrounding nations but rather they allowed other nations to negatively influence them. God wasn’t surprised they would fail in their calling but was disappointed nonetheless.

God intended the land of Israel to be a place of blessing and rest but they had defiled it by their sinful practices, their worship of other gods and the oppression of the poor. Micah suggested (rather sarcastically) that they should leave voluntarily rather than wait for God to remove them through exile. Perhaps if they have repented God would have relented but mostly the people ignored the prophets and they were banished to Babylon for seventy years. “He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah” (2 Chronicles 36:20-21).

By not keeping the Sabbaths the Israelites showed a lack of trust in God. They wouldn’t rest and rely on what God had provided so he took it from them.

It’s a lesson for us, to rest in God’s provision and trust that he will provide.