Why Do We Have to Rest?
September 10 – Why Do We Have to Rest?
Read Deuteronomy 5:12-15
In the book of Deuteronomy, much of the law written in Exodus-Numbers is repeated. (“Deuteronomy” means “the second law”) Moses reminded the Israelites what God instructed them was right. In chapter 5, the 10 Commandments are written almost identically to the way they appear in Exodus 20. There are a few subtle differences, however. With the fourth commandment, God’s focus in Exodus 20 is on the example He set on the seventh day of the creation story. But in Deuteronomy 5, God reminds them that they once were slaves in Egypt. The Israelites were saved from captivity and given the commandment to keep the Sabbath in order for them to remember they are free. Also, God commands that on the Sabbath, no one is to cause another to have to work. The Sabbath is for everyone associated with Israel.
Freedom to Rest
When the Israelites were in Egypt, they had no choice in the work/rest matter. In fact, there wasn’t really a choice at all; there was only work. In case they forgot how much work they were required to do, taskmasters were placed over them who were not afraid to use excessive force to keep them going. Rest didn’t exist, only work, hard work. Then God, in dramatic fashion, took them out of slavery and into the Promised Land. Along the way, He gave the Law that would govern the people of God. And with all grace and mercy, God tells them to remember the time that they could not rest by doing what they are now free to do. God freed His people from work to rest. Rest in Him, through Him, and for Him.
How does rest compare to the promises of God?
Why did God rest?