Read Genesis 2:1-3. Why would God create a rest day before anyone was even tired?
Even before humanity would dash off on our self-imposed stressful lives, God established a marker, a living way to jog our memory. This day would be a time to stop and deliberately enjoy life; a day to be and not to do, a day to especially celebrate the gift of grass, air, wildlife, water, people, and, most of all, the Creator of every good gift.
This was no one-time invitation that expired with the exile from Eden. God wanted to make sure that the invitation could stand the test of time, and so right from the beginning He knit the Sabbath rest into the very fabric of time. There would always be the invitation, again and again, to a restful celebration of Creation every seventh day.
One would think that with all our labor-saving devices that we should be less physically tired than people were two hundred years ago. But, actually, rest seems to be in short supply even today. Even the moments when we aren’t working are spent in frantic activity. It always seems that we are somehow behind; no matter how much we manage to get done, there is always more to do.
Research shows, too, that we are getting less sleep, and many people are highly dependent on caffeine to keep going. Though we have faster cell phones, faster computers, faster internet connections, we still never seem to have enough time.
What do the following texts teach about why our having rest is important? Mark 6:31, Psalm 4:8, Exodus 23:12, Deuteronomy 5:14, and Matthew 11:28.
The God who created us knew that we would need physical rest. He built cycles into time — night, and Sabbath — to offer us a chance of physical rest. Acknowledging Jesus as the Lord of our lives also involves taking seriously our responsibility to make time to rest. After all, the Sabbath commandment isn’t merely a suggestion. It is a commandment!
|What about your own harried existence? What can you do to better experience, both physically and spiritually, the rest that God wants us to have?|