“The Necessity for Rest”
Wednesday, January 23.
Text: “And he said to them. ‘Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest awhile’” Mark 6:31
Scripture Reading Psalm 46:8-11.
The story is told of how one man challenge another man to a wood chopping contest. The man who challenged his friend worked very hard, stopping only on occasions. The other man took many breaks and had a good lunch. When the day came to an end, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other man had chopped more wood. “I don’t get it,” he said. Every time I checked, you were taking rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did. “But you didn’t noticed,” said the winning woodsman, “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.” It is easy for one to think that by being busy a lot is being accomplished. It is good to take a break occasionally to reflect and evaluate our progress.
It is easy for a person to conclude that the Bible is all about work. It speaks against sloth and idleness (Proverbs 6:6-11), but speaks positively about work and labor (Ephesians 4:28) On the contrary, our text today talks about rest. Jesus is telling His disciples to come with Him to a lonely place to ‘rest awhile.’ This signifies the importance of rest. In fact, the Old Testament is filled with illustrations of God’s instruction to the nation of Israel about rest, solitude, or privacy. God Himself rested after He labored for six days creating the universe and humankind. The Scripture tells us that God rested on the seventh day (Sabbath) and blessed it (Genesis 2:1-2). Verse three of Genesis 2 clearly points out that the Sabbath was meant for rest. God instructed the children of Israel to observed the Sabbath as a weekly observance for rest (Deuteronomy 5: 12-15). It is obvious that God approved rest on a regular basis. We need to find time for rest for ourselves, to allow for sober reflection and communication with God.
Memory verse: Leviticus 23:1
“Rest when you are weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work. Ralph Marston