As you begin to read this blog I encourage you to pray! Jesus, Thank you for your word and the opportunity to Rest now in you! Give me an open heart and mind to receive all you have for me this day as I rest in You! Amen
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 "12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day."
As I listen and read this account of Moses retelling the Ten Commandments to the people - I am struck by how much God's "caring" for them comes through. Typically as I read "commandments or laws" I think "rules and restrictions" not "love and caring"! Moses is here talking about the Sabbath day command some forty years after he had originally received it from God on the tablets of stone. He is about to die - the people (after their arduous 40 year journey in the wilderness due to their lack of faith) are being prepared to enter the Promised Land - the Land of Rest - but Moses won't be going in. He is passing the mantle after this final series of sermons reminding the people what following God really looks like!
Against this backdrop we listen to Moses calling the people to faith and obedience to the One who had saved them out of Egypt and continued to provide for them everyday! Their God cares! Our God cares! He cares so much He commanded them to REST! Not only them but their servants, children, animals - everyone chill - take a rest! I can't help but think that was a refreshing call to a people that had been enslaved for centuries. I can't help but think they knew they served a unique and different sort of God compared to other people's gods when they hear their God say, "Take a Day of Rest -I command it!"
Sometimes when I am not feeling to good - a little fluy maybe - and go to the doctor I actually want to hear "don't go back to work for at least 24 hours you need to rest..."! Then I don't have to make a decision - it has been made for me by someone in authority - rest! God made the decision for His people - rest - REST - REST in Him - "a sabbath unto the Lord your God!"
In Matthew 11 and 12 (the message text for this week) Jesus is retelling the will of God into the lives of His people yet again. He is the New Moses - the One greater than Moses - in fact the One who spoke to Moses - now caring deeply for His people as He reshapes the caring command, "Keep the Sabbath-Rest day!" into "Come to Me All you who are weary and burdened and I will give you REST!" The One who has authority - calls for REST - available any day, everyday through His command "Come to Me!" How frustrating it must of been for Jesus to see how His Father's caring command, "Remember the Sabbath day!" had become an onerous burden steeped in nonsensical discussions about the definition of "work"! God had lovingly called them to REST and they were consumed with how to "not work!" There is a difference! The path to REST is different than the path to "not work'! REST gives birth to life and creative love - "not work" becomes new rules fulfilled often in our day through incessant entertainment!
So Jesus comes caring for me today just as he cared for Moses and the people of His day! With authority He calls - commands me to REST! Come to Me - delton - come to Me!
Enjoy inviting Jesus to caringly expand and radically overhaul your grasp of what it means to REST in Him!
Please share any and all thoughts, challenges and encouragements as you answer the " Come to Me" call to REST!