Summary: 3 of 4 on time. This message is about the importance of sabbath rest.

It’s About Time

Rested and Refreshed

January 14, 2007

Life is so much more than endless moments of consuming work, stressful problems, and chaotic busyness

We are reminded that the Chinese pictograph for “busy” is composed of two characters—“heart” and “killing.”

The Longest Night

It seems to me that almost everyone I know needs a good nights rest. We all enjoy the opportunity to sleep in til the crack of noon every once in a while. Well have you heard about the longest night in history?

The longest night in history was Sept. 2, 1752, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in England. The calendar arranged by Julius Caesar, by not making sufficient allowance for leap year, had caused the English date to become 11 days behind the right time. So to catch up those days were omitted after Sept. 2. The day after Sept 2 in 1752 was reckoned to be Sept. 14.

Imagine! You would go to bed on September 2 and wake up on September 14. I’m not sure what happened if you had a birthday on September 3rd! I guess you would miss a year and maybe that’s a good thing! We should all be so lucky.

Most Americans are working hard and getting very little rest or refreshment

“The busyness of my life gets in the way of developing my relationship with God.”

(Survey of 752 Christian leaders)

God Rested After He Created the Universe

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 2:2-3

“And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.” The Bible tells us clearly that God took time for rest.

What does it mean-that God rested on the seventh day? Let me help you out here, what does rest mean to you? When you rest do you read, watch TV, go camping, take a nap? I don’t think God loaded up his SUV and went camping or kicked back in his La-z-boy to watch “Touched By An Angel”.

God rested, but his idea of rest is different. When God rested, he “ceased activity”. He did no more work and focused on what had been accomplished. That is, God focused on his new creation in general and on a man named Adam and a woman named Eve in particular.

You Need Rest and Refreshment

Three words or ideas are especially significant in this passage—“work,” “rested” and “blessed”/”made holy.”

The word for “work” occurs 3 times in this passage. It is the word generally used for human work, causing some scholars to suggest the word was deliberately chosen to hint that man should stop his daily work on the seventh day. “He rested” has the idea of “to cease,” “to desist from work,” (shabbat, “to rest”). It is “not a word that refers to remedying exhaustion after a tiring week of work. Rather it describes the enjoyment of accomplishment, the celebration of completion.”

Wenham, Word Biblical Commentary: vol. 1, 35.

Allen P. Ross, Creation and Blessing, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1988), 113.

In Exodus 31:17, we read that “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

Literally: he stopped all activity. He ceased his work. And he was refreshed! I love that word! God was REFRESHED!

If God can be refreshed by stopping and enjoying the creativity of his life then if we follow God’s example of resting we, too, can be REFRESHED! Don’t you want to be REFRESHED?!?

The dictionary defines refreshed as “to renew the well-being or vigor of oneself”. We can “renew” ourselves or, in other words, become “like new” again through rest.

Bruce Ray comments on a related Sabbath passage in

“Six days do your work but on the seventh day do no work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.”

Exodus 23:12,

He says the word translated “refreshed” also means “breathe.” He concludes that the Sabbath in the Old Testament was a God-given opportunity to catch one’s breath in the midst of a weekly routine of work.

Ray, Celebrating the Sabbath, 61.

God’s Rhythm in Time

It was never God’s desire that this earthly life was to be endured as we prepare for a future life. Yes, we believe in an eternal heaven and a better place but we also believe that God desires for us to have a good, abundant, and prosperous life today.

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