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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Importance of Rest

As fun as one or many activities or even work can be. It is easy sometimes to realize the importance of rest. Physical and mental rest, as well as spiritual rest.

In Genesis, God, our Heavenly Father, led us by example; he rested on the 7th day. After 6 days of creation. God is love! God does not get tired. Yet he showed us that one day of rest is as crucial as 6 days of hard work. No matter how hard we try and what we may think we can do; It is God's power that shines through our weakness and imperfections. Genesis 2:2-3 explains God's explanation for resting, "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made" and continues, "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."

When I get started on a project or task, I tend to continue on, no matter what. In Genesis 8:9, while Noah and his family was in the Great Ark, "But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters [were] on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark." The dove having no rest meant it was still time to go on.

In Exodus 16:23 we are reminded that it is good to rest on the sabbath, "And he said unto them, This [is that] which the LORD hath said, To morrow [is] the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake [that] which ye will bake [to day], and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning." Exdodus 23:12, "Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed."

The Old Testament, we are reminded that gravity of the importance of rest on the Sabbath, "Six days may work be done; but in the seventh [is] the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth [any] work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."

1 Chronicles 22:9 spoke of the coming of a man of rest, "Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days."

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." When I am exhausted from working, from thinking, from the "go, go, go" of modern life, I realize most I am weak and tire. I am strong because of Jesus Christ's strength. Lamentations 5:5 describes my thoughts of the "go, go, go" of life, "Our necks [are] under persecution: we labour, [and] have no rest."

In Matthew 8:20, "And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his] head."

Revelations 4:8 speaks of ceaseless worship, "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."

The significance and fruit of rest is explained in Exodus 23:12 (above) and in Exodus 31:17, "It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."

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