Focal Passage: Exodus 31:12-17
In our passage this week, God commands Israel to keep the Sabbath as a holy day of rest and celebration (Exodus 31:12-18). Although we are no longer under the Old Testament law that does not mean keeping the Sabbath is unimportant. In fact, there is still much disagreement about the nature of the Sabbath and biblical rest in the New Testament among biblical scholars today. Nevertheless, I would like to give several thoughts concerning this issue that could be applied to our lives.
First, biblical rest should never be seen as laziness. We live in a society that praises the workaholic and the tendency is to consider a person lazy if they take a day off. God is very clear, in six days He made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed (Ex. 31:17).
Now, certainly God did not have to rest, but He modeled for us a way of life that honors Him and benefits us. So when a person does not take time for biblical rest, he is living contrary to God’s design, which is quite foolish.
Second, biblical rest is not inactivity. When God gave the Sabbath He had a purpose in mind. He wanted His people to reflect and remember that He alone is the One who provides (Ex 31:13). Without God, nothing is possible. So, taking time away from work not only gives your body an opportunity to rest, but it also gives you the opportunity to actively remember and honor the Lord for His provisions.
Third, biblical rest is a gift not a hardship. There are so many recreational sports that conduct their activities on Sundays that many believers are made to feel bad if their children can’t make it to the game. Secular organizations see Sunday worship as a hardship and a hindrance to their objectives. Christians must help our society remember that having a day of biblical rest is a precious gift that must be treasured and not neglected for something less meaningful. What can you do to help the next generation embrace the beauty of biblical rest?