40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 33 – Sabbath

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Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” 

21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”  24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”  27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.  (Exodus 16: 4 – 5 and 21 – 30)

Theme:  If not You, then Who?

Today, we turn our attention to the Discipline of Sabbath.  This is the final Discipline we will consider before Holy/Passion Week.  For 40-Days of Discipline, practicing the Discipline of Sabbath does not require adherence to any specific day of rest.  Instead, it calls for regular intervals of rest from labour.

One of the reasons this Discipline is extremely important is that it portrays reliance on God.  No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to work ourselves to fulfilment.  Work has value but it can’t fulfill our deepest needs.  We should rest and more importantly we should rest in God and trust Him to supply our needs.

Our passage for today illustrates the ability of God to supply, and the need for us to follow his commands including the command to rest.  For some of us, there are times when it seems impractical to take a break.  We should discuss those circumstances with God.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and He desires to meet our needs.   

Please read the passage above and answer the questions below.

Questions:

  • How much value do you place on taking regular intervals of rest?
  • What are the major challenges you face and how are you addressing them?

5 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 33 – Sabbath

  1. I highly value rest on a regular basis. I know the significance, physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I don’t get enough rest. I’m always busy. I try not to do as much on Sundays. I want a balance when it comes to work, family, and rest. I’m working on it.

  2. I now place more value of taking regular intervals of rest than I did in the past.

    I have struggled with this issue ever since I became a believer in Jesus Christ in 1977. The issue of church attendance and church were not affected, however, I rested only as needed and not specifically scheduled.
    My problem was that I wasted too much time and too many opportunities before becoming a believer and I was determined to catch up. This was primarily academically and professionally. Dr. Benjamin Mays said, “He who began late in the race of life must run faster or forever remain behind.” I drove myself to not only “run faster” but to “run longer” hours.
    Usually between studies and ministry responsibilities, I only rested on an “as needed basis”. I felt that the volume of work and studies made it almost impossible to rest systematically if I wanted to be responsible and excel.

  3. Throughout the years, I have learned that rest is just as important as any other aspect in your daily routine/spiritual journey. I believe this is a underestimated topic in general and especially in Christian circles. What has been revealed through my experience is that if we are always working and relying on our work then what role does God play in our life?

    He does not need anything because there is nothing we can offer to to Him to change the way he feels about us, though he calls for our time, devotion and obedience to him and rest helps us better accomplish these things.

    Major challenges I face are times when I will put my time and rest with God to a minimum, compared to the work I have to do. It is as if I think my work and daily routine are more important than meditation and reading of the word, etc.

    I combat this and have been working on writing down a daily routine of specific times to rest throughout the day and unplug from any media. A time to read and perhaps go for a walk and meditate.

  4. I value rest very highly but I am guilty of not resting enough! My husband would be quite impressed to know that I value rest very highly as he’s often had to remind me not to wait until I “crash” before I rest. That’s not good, and I must confess it’s kind of funny to gently remind him that the two are one, in this corny context. One would have thought that the more mellow I get, the more rest I would take but the truth is I feel as if I’m lazy if I am not doing something. That’s a challenge.

    Other challenges include not leaving things undone, be they home responsibilities, ministry related activities, job related demands, or ‘incidentals’. I am self employed plus teaching online one day per week for a semester at a university. This requires much of my time as class does not end when we get off the platform. I enjoy my work and over the years as an educator, have always gone beyond the call of duty.

    I address the challenges by reminding myself that I need to rest as even God rested. Maybe I don’t do a good job convincing myself as ironically, I rationalize that whenever Jesus tried to get a little rest, people would find Him and flock Him, and the one time he got a little sleep very soundly on a boat there was a storm! Seriously though, more recently, i keep on reminding myself that if my mother never finished work, nobody can, and if my dad no longer works, I can rest. Thanks for the reminder about the Sabbath.

  5. I dunno what to say as when I lived alone and worked I enjoyed resting after church on a Sunday.
    Try living with a 3 month old baby and an energetic seven year old boy and a typical American son in law.
    Whew! I try to tell them Sunday is my day of rest. We try but I have learned that without rest my health suffers.
    God knows why he said to rest.

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