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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”—Genesis 2:1–3 (NKJV)
If there’s one word I would choose to describe the pace of life in this technological age we’re living in, I think it’s frenzied. While people have always been busy, we now have constant, 24-hour access to global news and information on the web that is simply unprecedented, and let’s face it . . . exhausting.
Did you know if you’re an average smartphone user today, by the time the day is over, you will have touched or picked up your phone 2,617 times, spent 145 minutes browsing it, and interacted with it 76 times, according to a 2016 Business Insider Report?
Christian author John Eldridge characterizes our hyper-speed pace of life as unsustainable, especially as it relates to matters of the heart and soul. “The immediate access to every form of ‘knowledge’ and ‘groundbreaking’ information right there on our phones, every waking moment,” he writes. “It confuses the soul into a state of artificial meaning and purpose, all the while preventing genuine soul care and life with God.”
He adds, “I’m not scolding; I’m tossing a lifeline.”
I think that’s exactly what God had in mind in today’s verse by revealing that He took time to rest after the work of creation was completed. Of course, it’s not that God needed to take a break; but rather, He was setting an example. When God gave the Israelites (and by extension, us) the commandment to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, He wasn’t just adding another rule to follow—He was throwing out a lifeline.
You see, when Jesus came to earth and heard the Pharisees grumbling about His disciples picking grains of wheat on the Sabbath, which they considered unlawful, He rebuked them, saying, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:23–27). In other words, Jesus told them they completely missed the point of the fourth Commandment. It’s not a rule as much as it is an invitation to rest.
And I think for us today, the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28 (NASB) are exactly what we need to hear: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
DIG: When was the last time you carved out a day of rest where you spent time not only relaxing, but also some quality time alone with God?
DISCOVER: Conduct a short study on the word “sabbath” in the Bible. Why was it significant to the people of Israel? Why is it important for us today?
DO: Plan a day—or even start with a portion of a day—to set aside for rest. Spend some time in God’s Word, in prayer, and playing worship music. Write down how you feel afterwards, and ask God to help you regularly set aside time to rest in Him.
Rob Nieminen is a seasoned writer and editor who has written devotionals for Calvary since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He serves in the Worship Ministry at Calvary Boynton Beach and is an avid reader, an erratic golfer, and an aspiring photographer who loves to cook and spend time with his family.