June 06, 2017

Plowing and Rest

Exodus 34:10-21

Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.

—  Exodus 34:21

On a glorious early spring Satur­day afternoon, I went out to plow up my garden. It was growing dark quickly as I finished my first pass. I knew that I needed to plow deeper. It ­occurred to me that Sunday afternoon might be my next best opportunity to plow again. But something stopped me in my tracks. Perhaps it was my upbringing. Digging deeper, I wonder if my Creator and Master Gardener drew me up short.

Today’s verse about resting from plowing may seem to be buried in instructions about feasts, sacrifices, and driving out pagan nations. This command to rest, “even during the plowing season and harvest,” might seem counter to the obvious. As any good gardener or farmer knows, these are the busiest and most crucial times. Still, for this and other good reasons, rest is necessary. We also need to remember where real rest comes from.

We can easily forget that toil and material success are not the goals of life. Knowing and enjoying God is our purpose. Taking time to worship recreates for us a place of rest and refuge in a bewildering wilderness of busyness and mis­guided priorities. Gardens wither; empires crumble. Without rest from work and time with God, we lose sight of our Creator, Rescuer, and Deliverer, who leads us to the land of promise.

Lord, thank you for your wisdom and grace. May we be grateful for rest in all the seasons of life, especially the busy times. Refresh us as we rest in our Savior, Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Don Byker

Don Byker has been a pastor since 1984 in various churches and institutional settings. Don and his wife, Donna, are the parents of four adult children, two of whom are married. Donna and Don are also the glad grandparents of three granddaughters. Currently Don is serving in a rural church in Michigan full of gardeners.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!