Day 15: The Feast of Trumpets (Part 1)
Stop and Rest
Published on 24 February 2020
Did you know that weekends and holidays were actually God’s idea? The word ‘sabbath’ in Scripture means simply to cease or to rest. You may know of the weekly Sabbath in the Old Testament – one day of rest in seven. But God did not just prescribe rest on the weekend. A number of times in Leviticus 23, the passage where the feasts of Israel are outlined, God commands His people to rest or to ‘observe Sabbath.’ This meant to cease from work. Observant Jews today still cease from work on the weekly Sabbaths and the prescribed days during the feasts.
Physical rest is just smart. We were not created to keep going 24/7/365 without a break. But far more damaging than growing physically tired is becoming spiritually burdened or weary. In the New Covenant, Jesus Himself is our Sabbath rest. It is He who said:
Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.
We find true rest not merely because we don’t have to work on the weekend or because we get annual leave – otherwise people who have to work on the weekend or who don’t get much annual leave would rarely experience it. We find true rest when we cease from works – that striving to make ourselves better or to be acceptable to God, to fix situations in our own strength or to take greater control of our lives – and rest in Him. Maybe what you need is not another holiday. Maybe what you need is a moment of surrender where you give up trying to make it right and realise who you are because of what Jesus has already done. The best thing about this kind of rest is that you don’t need to wait for a special day. You can enter in Today (Hebrews 4:7-10)
I want to challenge you today to take physical rest seriously. Your body needs it. So does your soul. Is there a whole day in the next month that you could set aside for a little rest and recreation? But more than that, I want to challenge you to rest spiritually. Cease striving, turn to Jesus and enter into the true rest.
Jesus, I turn to You now. I surrender. I thank You that You are at work in my life. So I choose to enter into Your rest not because I’ve earned a break, but because of what You have done for me.
Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest…’
Leviticus 23:24 (HCSB)
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