THE COMMANDMENT TO REST
(Saturday, November 4)
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.” (Deut 5:13-14)
This Saturday, I’m again thinking about the Old Testament Sabbath-commandment. As Christians, we no longer do “no work” on Saturdays, but the fact that God found it necessary to “command” His people to rest, not only for their own sake but so that *others* could rest (from them) as well, (“that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you”), reminds us that it is important that we sometimes “rest,” for our own sake and for the sake of others, especially those who depend on our work in some way.
The next verse after the above-quoted passage reminds us of another reason we should sometimes give others a break, not just from work: “And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.” (Deut 5:15) If we interpret this verse as it might apply to *us* in *our* times, we might hear God saying to us: Remember that you, too, have been liberated from certain forms of bondage through My grace; perhaps having recovered from certain obsessions, addictions, or delusions. So, now you might give others a break every now and then, who still labor in some way under certain other addictions, obsessions, or delusions. Help us, Lord, give ourselves and others a break, every now and then, that we find and honor times of rest in our age of 24/7 connectivity.