After blogging for 40 days in Lent, I deserved a rest. So in a reverse of the story of creation in Genesis, where God needed a rest after a hard slog of creating for 6 days, I have rested from blogging for 6 days.
And on the seventh day I blog.
But this thinking about rest has got me thinking. Why would God need to rest?
We parallel the days of creation with our week. God needed to rest after six days of hard slog, and so should we. Workaholics even find that too much rest and burn themselves out working 24/7. People need rest. Jesus said that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
When we put the story of Genesis together with what Jesus said we get something fundamental. Rest, as far as people are concerned, is the most important thing. The Sabbath was made for man (and woman too): Let us unpack that.
The man’s perspective on Genesis Chapter 1
Man was created , according to the Genesis accounts towards the evening of day six. Immediately God gave him tasks to do.
Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
“Oo, goody,” said the man, “I have dominion. I can’t wait to start dominating.”
But God said, “Wait.”
From man’s perspective the Sabbath was not day seven, he was a brand new creation on the end of day six, then the next day, which started with evening, was a rest day. Rest comes first.
We may think we need rest because we are tired out after a week’s hard labour, but we have it wrong. We should only work if we are rested. The man’s first day in the Genesis account was the day that Jesus says was made for him, the rest day. Rest is that important to man.
With that perspective of the importance of rest, the commandments given to Moses are enlightening:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” Exodus 20:8-10
Not only is God working for our best needs by imposing rest. But he is imosing it on us to make sure that all our families, all our employees and all the people staying with us, even perfect strangers, get rested too. We can work for six days, it does not say we must, but we can, but the rest day is that important that we must rest.
I feel rested now. Where can I find some work to do?