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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 11:28-30’

Rest …

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing;
so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,

because on it he rested from all the work of creating.”
Genesis 2:2-3

What is rest? And, specifically, what is Sabbath rest? Did God choose a day of rest because he was tired from creating the world? Is a Sabbath rest still a part of the New Covenant?

When God had finished creating the world, and all in it, He set aside a day in which “he rested.” Why did He rest? Was God fatigued?

Isaiah (40:28) would indicate that is not so; “the Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired.”

So if God was not tired, rest, in this passage has a different meaning that we might first think. The Hebrew word used actually means to cease, to stop doing, to complete. This makes far more sense! Creator God had just finished the creation of the world and all in, under and on it. The world, as we know it, was completed, God had no more to add to it, it was done, and he ceased, rested.

After a month of school each weekday, laundry and taxi-driving kids each Saturday, church and football each Sunday, today is a day of rest for me. There is nothing that I have to do, there is no place that I have to go. It is a day of no expectations! It is a day full of possibilities! I could take my beast for a walk on the trail. I could sit and write a weeks worth of blog posts, I could read from the book that has been feeding my soul lately, I could play a game with the kids, I could make cookies, I could, I could, I could.

I struggle with understanding Sabbath rest. In the Christian life in which I live, the Sabbath is Sunday, a day to do something different, focus on God, spend time in His word, worship with other believers. But, I have to say, it is often void of rest; my definition (a day of no expectations), or the one above from Genesis (to cease). Since hubby works on the Sabbath, it is a day of many expectations, and because of my high energy in starting projects … and low energy in completing them, there is rarely a ceasing or completing.

In the New Testament (Matthew 11:28-30), Jesus speaks of rest, “come to me all who labor and are burdened and I will find rest for you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am humble and gentle of spirit, you will find peace for your heart. For my yoke is pleasant and light is my burden.”

Although Jesus is not speaking of Sabbath rest directly, I think there could be a hint of it in his promise. He is speaking of the rest that he can provide if we are under the yoke that binds us together. The yoke binds us to him, allowing for us to be connected to him, dependent on his leading (the meaning of rest in this passage).

Maybe, if we allow ourselves to be yoked to Jesus, the rest that we so desire will be available to us … all week long.

 

 

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