What do you think of when you think of “rest”?
A vacation on the beach? A peaceful cabin in the mountains? Or just plain ole’ sleep..and lots of it. (zzzzzzzzz..:)
It’s true our bodies desperately need to take time off from our hectic paces to be refreshed and recharged.
One of the reasons God instituted a Sabbath day in the Old Testament, was for that very purpose. He commanded His people to take a day off to “chill” from work. (and you thought we created the weekend)..:)
But, there is more to this idea of Sabbath-rest.
When we go to Israel, we experience their Sabbath tradition. EVERYTHING shuts down from sunset Friday evening until sunset Saturday evening. Woe to those who have forgotten to prepare by visiting the local grocery store or market!
If you stay in a high rise hotel, you’ll want to be careful not to get on the “Sabbath elevator.” It stops at EVERY floor without prompting. This is so you don’t have to “work”, by pressing a button.
God wants to meet our need forrest but this is missing the point.
Listen to this conversation between and the religious ones and Jesus in Mark 2:23-28:
“Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”
And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
To me, the last line Jesus says here is key.
“The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Resting is not always an absence of any activity....
It is drawing near, walking with, listening to- the Lord of the Sabbath.
The religious were focused on the work. The disciples were focused on the Lord.
Herein lies true rest.
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Physical rest is great. But it’s possible sleep 10 hours, or lay on a beach for an entire day and still have a troubled, burdened soul.
Jesus’ solution for refreshment is to Come. to. Him.
Come-turn your focus away from the things of this world and actively turn your attention towards the Lover of your soul.
to-purpose in your heart to receive rest in His presence
Him- Who is Jesus? Surely, as John proclaimed, the world could not contain all the books that could be written about HIm. He is the I AM! He is the Name above all names!
But in this passage, we learn that He is gentle, and humble.
He is tender towards you, His weary child.
Today, may we all find a quiet heart, and receive REST in the knowledge that He loves us and is in control.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon his breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still
Steven Curtis Chapman -”Be Still”