And on the sev­enth day you shall rest

You just must, yes it’s a must, take a day of rest each and every week

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

AP­PAR­ENTLY God is not the cruel taskmas­ter after all.

Per­haps that’s what a whole lot of us had as­sumed, be­liev­ing that God is only in­ter­ested in com­pli­ance, do this, do that, or else.

You know; a ‘head down, tail up’ kind of ex­is­tence; with no ques­tions to be asked – just get the job done.

This view of God is re­flected as some­one who asks a lot, and gives prac­ti­cally noth­ing in re­turn.

A God who wants to dic­tate how we be­have, where and when we spend our time and money.

But how has that iron-fisted per­spec­tive of God been formed?

If we took a fresh look at the Bi­ble, we would dis­cover some­thing al­to­gether dif­fer­ent.

Yes, God is cer­tainly in­ter­ested in how we spend our time, but there are some sur­pris­ing finds here.

How many of us have recog­nised the God of the uni­verse puts the ut­most im­por­tance on us get­ting the right amount of rest, each and every week? It’s ab­so­lutely true. En­sur­ing we get ad­e­quate recre­ation is a core part of God’s moral code for life, ac­tu­ally one of the fa­mous Ten Com­mand­ments.

It’s right there in black and white.

Make sure of this, God in­sists. You just must, yes it’s a must, take a day of rest each and every week.

It’s not a sug­ges­tion, it's a com­mand­ment. So to miss out on rest is to break a de­cree of the Almighty; it’s that big a deal.

Seem­ingly then, God may be far more in­ter­ested in our well­be­ing than given credit for.

Ev­i­dently God is in­ter­ested in our men­tal health; He's in­ter­ested in our emo­tional state.

He doesn’t look at peo­ple as ma­chines that must re­lent­lessly keep churn­ing out more and more.

He cre­ated us to be hu­man be­ings, not hu­man do­ings, and so com­mit­ted is God to the wel­fare of His fol­low­ers that He com­mands, yes that’s right, com­mands them to prac­tice rest.

He or­dered a weekly re­minder of that pri­or­ity, in the form of tak­ing a day out of what is oth­er­wise a de­mand­ing work rou­tine.

Keep the Sab­bath day holy, God said (cf. Ex­o­dus 20:8). Holy sim­ply mean­ing dif­fer­ent; or sep­a­rated.

Now cer­tainly God val­ues work. That’s un­de­ni­able. In the first week of cre­ation, He laid out a 6/1 model.

Go hard for six days, then rest for one.

If you're math­e­mat­i­cally in­clined, this roughly equates to 85 per cent of our week be­ing chan­nelled to­wards work.

Most of the time, there­fore, we ought to be find­ing our­selves oc­cu­pied with work. Work is good and healthy. But so too is rest. Sub­se­quently, God en­forced it as part of a weekly rou­tine.

Don't ever ne­glect rest, keep that one day sep­a­rated, des­ig­nated purely for rest.

Ready or not, Christ­mas is rush­ing to­ward us, 10 weeks from now.

As we en­ter into the time of year that some re­fer to as the ‘silly sea­son’, it could be the per­fect time to re­cal­i­brate.

To con­sider whether we are let­ting life hap­pen to us or whether we are or­der­ing it, ac­cord­ing to pri­or­i­ties.

Maybe it’s the per­fect time to check out of the rat race, and check in to an or­dered life, shaped by thought­ful wis­dom, liv­ing proac­tively in­stead of re­ac­tively.

For many of us, keep­ing a spe­cialised day of rest could be a great place to start.

God stands ready to en­gage with us, but waits for us to stop, be still, and draw close.

As we be­gin to rest, He then can go to work, restor­ing our souls. ■ Jonathon Schroder, New Life Bap­tist Church

Jonathon Schroder New Life Bap­tist Church

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