BY: Justin Henry
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Gen. 2:2-3 “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: I have a confession. When I first started working for myself, I repeatedly broke one of the 10 commandments. I know this comes as a surprise to most of you who know me, but it’s true… I’m a sinner! The commandment I broke was not remembering the Sabbath. There were many Sundays that I worked. Ultimately, I began to feel guilty about it so I stopped “working” — physically that is – but continued to do my paperwork: estimates, finances, etc. I justified that by telling myself that I wasn’t really working because it wasn’t physical labor. It wasn’t until I heard myself explaining this practice to someone that I realized how hypocritical I sounded. So I did what most good Christians do when they’re convicted by something: I ignored it. At least at first I did. Then I began looking for a way to justify my behavior and what better way to do that than by finding a verse that suited my need! That’s when I went and re-read Genesis 2:2-3. It was the part where God blessed the Sabbath and made it holy because “on it He rested from all the work…” There went my justification!
PERSONAL APPLICATION: The word “rested” used in verse 3 is Shabath in Hebrew which means: 1. to cease or 2. to rest, desist (from labor). Cease and desist. That pretty much sums it up; doesn’t leave much room for negotiation. I personally don’t like to rest. I wouldn’t even sleep if I didn’t have to. Naps? A waste of time. There’s always something that I could be doing – cleaning the garage, mowing the grass, or fixing a leaky faucet. Unfortunately, I carried that opinion to Sundays as well. However, God thought it was important enough that He blessed that day and made it holy! If it was good enough for God to rest one day out of the week, shouldn’t it be good enough for me too?
PRAYER: Lord, remind us that all of your commandments are to be followed, not just the ones we deem necessary. You designated a time of rest for a reason Lord, so it must be important. Make our work time productive so that we can further enjoy our rest time. Thank you Lord for giving it to us and not requiring constant labor. In Jesus name, Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Recently approved as a short-term missionary to Bolivia, I’ll keep working as a contractor until we raise enough funds to pack up and head out. If anyone actually reads this part, send me a “Woot-Woot” by email!