Rest

I don’t know when you last read Deuteronomy, but there’s something very interesting about the command to “rest” in chapter 5.


Moses says this, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.


Meaning, because God delivered you from slavery in Egypt, you are commanded to rest.


What does one have to do with the other?


I can't say I know for sure, but I’ll try my best to give a reasonable explanation:


Israel was subjected to a cruel master – Egypt. They were slaves; treated as something less than human.


So, the gift of the Sabbath, the gift of rest in general, was a reminder of YHWH’s restoration of Israel’s humanity via the Exodus. The Israelites were no longer slaves.


They were restored to their humanity. And as human creatures, belonging to the Creator God, they both NEEDED and DESERVED rest.


Rest is, in my opinion, part of God's ongoing restorative work.


Dishonoring the Sabbath, then, is not just an insult to God… it's an insult to your own humanity. It is one of the many ways in which you can treat yourself as something less than a human being.


Our culture gets this backwards: over-working yourself is not the mark of a superhuman. It’s the mark of someone whose humanity is being demeaned, either by themselves or any number of external forces.


Don’t do that to yourself. Don't let others do that to you. Take the rest you need, when you need it. Ask for help when you need it.


Rest is a deliberate design feature, and it's worth noting that it was part of the created world before the Fall into sin.


Take, at least, one day off each week. Fill that day with rest. Fill it with worship. Make the rest of your week an outpouring of the nourishment that you receive from the Sabbath rest.


God bless you.