Always feeling anxious and haggled? Just give it a rest!
The Monumental Importance of Resting
In today’s busy working culture, not enough emphasis is given on the importance of rest. Part of this problem is that most people, employers and employees alike, don’t have an accurate understanding of the nature of rest, and why it’s important.
So let’s start out with what the Bible says about rest.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. ~ Exodus 20:8-11 (NKJV)
This is the fourth of the Ten Commandments, which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Ten commandments are a very important part of our spiritual awareness and growth, as they are intended to reveal to us our own incapacities and train us in trusting God. But this commandment seems to have special significance, because it is repeated many times throughout scripture. One such passage carries some important implications to be considered.
12 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. ~ Exodus 31:12-17 (NKJV)
Note the text in red, where it says that those who violate the Sabbath “shall be cut off”, and “shall surely be put to death”. Here, we should not imagine that a mob of Old Testament Jews will come and stone the offender of the Law.
This means that you’ll lose touch with the Kingdom Life of God within your heart. When we think of those who are “put to death”, we should imagine bitter, depressed, sniping, overworked, stressed-out people, who are under tremendous pressure, and spend all their time and efforts on an endeavor that never really comes out right. Additionally, their relationships with family and friends suffer, because they spend all their time working. That is what it means to be “cut off”, and in totality, it’s a spiritual death!
Concerning the text in blue, it is evident that the Sabbath REST is how our covenant with God is serviced and renewed. So if you’re never feeling well rested, maybe it’s because you don’t know what true rest is — allowing yourself to have a psychological vacation.
The Ten Commandments are recounted again in Deuteronomy, and are embellished with a more complete description that EVERYBODY needs rest, and that even includes servants (employees), guests, and animals! (Relevant text in red.)
12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. ~ Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (NKJV)
The last verse here (in blue) emphasizes that since God has rescued us from a futile existence, WE ARE NO LONGER SLAVES, so… WE SHOULD NOT ACT LIKE SLAVES in our work.
In other words, WHO WE ARE (in Christ) IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT WE DO!
The Results of Resting
These Commandments are followed with a promise, and as usual with God’s promises, it mainly pertains to the enhancement of the quality of our Life and also the fruits or our labors (highlighted in red text here).
1 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ ~ Deuteronomy 6:1-3 (NKJV)
So the “results” of resting include,
- Fearing the Lord, and I believe this implies/includes having a sense of security and a clear purpose in life.
- All of our family keeping all His statutes and His commandments (which is better for our health and reputation).
- Longer lifespan.
- I interpret verse 3 as implying more productivity, more efficiency, perhaps more children, and a higher quality life in general.*
If these things look good to you, then give it a rest!
* The false Prosperity Gospel amplifies this verse to mean “wealth and riches”. But the text does not state this specifically.