November 09, 2014

Rest as Witness

Exodus 20:8-11

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God.”
—Exodus 20:9-10


The college student broke down in tears over his coffee. Driven by competition for limited space in a pre-med program, he had poured himself into studying seven days a week. After seven months he lost the ambition for learning—and nearly for life itself.

Our reading today states that “in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth … but he rested on the seventh day.” The ambition and creativity we bring to work is a reflection of our Creator’s. It’s part of how we reflect his image and a big part of how we serve as witnesses for him. God also rested on the seventh day, however, and he calls us to do the same.

For us, good work hinges on good rest. Without rest our work suffers. The discipline of regular rest is a witness in our fast-paced world, especially when that time is focused on enjoying our Creator. It speaks of God’s love to command what’s good for us. Our ambitions would distract us from him and drive us into the ground if we let them.

How will you rest this weekend? For the sake of good work later, let’s rest. For the sake of sanity, let’s rest. For the sake of glory to God in regular worship and fellowship, let’s rest. God blesses those who “work hard” at resting. Let’s trust him to establish the work and rest of our hands (see Psalm 90:17).

Lord of work and rest, thank you for these gifts. Help us to work hard and rest well. Please provide work where we need it. Please also bless whatever years of retirement rest we may have. Amen.

About the author — Daryl DeKlerk

Daryl DeKlerk pastors a church in Jarvis, Ontario. He is thankful for a sabbatical that enabled him to study the theme of Grace-filled Christian Witness. Daryl and his wife have three young children who keep them on their toes and on their knees in prayer.

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