When God made man he made him in his own image. There are many ideas about exactly what that means. We know from the biblical record that God created stuff for 6 days and on the seventh day he rested. Then, after some time God gave man some instructions telling him how to live. Lo and behold, he told man to rest on the seventh day! Yep, just like God.
“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD” (Exodus 31:15a)
“It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31:17)
God wants his people to rest just as he did. He said it is a sign “forever“. He was pretty serious about this Sabbath thing. There was even a penalty for not observing the Sabbath, it was the death penalty!
You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death.” (Exodus 31:14)
God in his infinite wisdom declared that man should rest every seventh day to show that he was set apart for God. This day of rest (Sabbath) was a covenant between God and man and God said rest and he meant it.
But you say “I just have so much to do”, “My competition is open seven days”, you get the picture don’t you? Will we honor God or not? It is that simple. God thinks his creature, man, should take a day off every seventh day. Who am I to argue with God? If I choose to take a day a week to just rest, play with the kids, read a good book, or take a long nap, and by doing so honor God, don’t you suppose he can make the money work out?
So, I’m officially off 52 days a year. I’m taking a nap on the back porch on my day off and my neighbor stops by. “What are you doing sleeping in the middle of the day?” I answer, “Oh, I’m just honoring and obeying God”. “I’m just following instructions”.
I’m sure rest is very underrated. Many times each week I hear people say, or read, “I’m so tired” or “I am just worn out”. Have you been honoring God by doing nothing? If not you should.
Yes, I know I’m not an Israelite and I’m not living under the Mosaic Law but I also know the principal still applies. People need rest. We need “down time” as we put it today. The old thinker needs a reboot once a week.
Just to make sure I think I’ll just relax about twelve weeks next year. I’ll use some of that time worshiping so I’ve got to make up for that too. So I’m in a hurry to do nothing.
If you know better than God what’s good for you, then by all means work seven days a week and see how it goes. Some of you have been doing that, how’s it working out for you? Do you honor God more by doing what he says or ignoring what he says? Hey, its your life, I can’t decide for you.
I do believe you can be a better pastor, and you can be a better mom, and you can be a more efficient worker if you honor the God who made you. Think about trying God’s way.
So true, Royce, so true. And yet, so often I don’t seek the rest I know I should. BTW, I don’t consider this an Israelite/Mosaic Law thing – God instituted a seventh day rest long before Moses or Abraham or any other Israelite for that matter…back when there was only one man and one woman. It’s a ‘law’ for humanity, not Judaism.
It is not just for physical ‘rebooting’ that we need to rest. Spiritual strength also comes from ‘time out’. Laying aside worldly cares and distractions we ‘rest’ in our Lord, trusting Him to provide us with all our spiritual needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Spending time with Him, reading His word, communing in nature, quietly meditating on His love and goodness and serving others as we see their needs, allows Him the opportunity to invigorate us and strengthen us for the following 6 days of battle with the powers, principalities etc which seek our destruction.