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Sunday: Worn and Weary — 23 Comments

  1. I have been retired for about 10 years now and am probably not the best person to talk about a less busy life. I live in a country village, a one and a half hours train ride from Sydney. We live near (too near) the big M1 motorway north of Sydney and are accutely aware that it carries over 80,000 vehicles a day. I can sit in my lounge and hear the rumble of traffic and think how glad I am not to be sitting in that traffic, trying to get to work, meet deadlines, and at the same time keep alert so that I don't bump or get bumped by other vehicles. I have been fortunate that I could walk to work for most of my working life.

    On the other hand, I am an academic, and for me, I have spent my time sitting, reading, thinking, writing, talking, and listening. I do remember the sort of exhaustion that comes from doing brain work all day until the ideas you are working on all tumble into a jumbled heap at the bottom of your brain.

    Weariness is different for different people. However, too many of us treat resting as a sign of weakness.

    Jesus offers the invitation:

    And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 NKJV

    Jesus knew the importance of rest. And from my own experience I can say that some of the best ideas I have ever had have come when I am alone out in the bush, breathing fresh air, listening to the breeze through the trees, hearing the cacophony of bird sounds and feeling the warm sunlight on my back. In fact, that is where I am going right now!

  2. Relooking with fresh eyes…

    Today’s lesson states “… the Sabbath commandment isn’t merely a suggestion. It is a commandment!”

    What is your reaction to someone ‘commanding’ you to do something?

    We could also say that we are commanded to love God and others (Matthew 22:36-40).

    How would you respond if someone commanded you to love them?

    Does being commanded to rest or commanded to love increase or decrease the quality of the rest or love that results? What if you were , for example, invited to rest or love instead? Would that increase or decrease the quality of your rest or love?

    Is there perhaps something about the concept that has been translated as “commanded” that has gotten lost in the translation process that uses this particular single word?

    How would you explain the concept of being “commanded” to someone so that they experience being genuinely ‘drawn’ to desire and embrace entering into rest or love?

    • I have often reflected on the fact that God "commands" us to rest on the Sabbath day. He "commands" us not to work. He "commands" us leave aside all are everyday concerns and duties. I have been grateful and continue to be grateful that Sabbath rest is a "commandment." In this commandment I see the implied promise of my Lord taking care of the result of "neglecting" my everyday duties every seventh day of the week.
      While I see the Sabbath commandment also as a promise, I'm glad it's not just a promise, but a commandment. Knowing my heart, if it were just a promise, I might consider some work too pressing to neglect in order to rest on the Sabbath. But since God has commanded me to "neglect" my work, I can confidently leave the results in His hands. The commandment aspect justifies my totally shutting out all the pressures of daily life.
      On the other hand, I see all God's Commandments as promises. For whatever He commands us to do, he will supply the power to do. It's not a matter of either a commandment or an invitation, but it is both a commandment and an invitation, like all the rest of his commandments.
      Thank God for His commandments!

    • Phil my reaction is I don't like a command one bit. But experience has also taught me that just because I don't like something doesn't mean the command will change. A softer word that could be used is "precept". The end result is the same. God's world, universe etc. His rules. I can bend, ignore etc. if I choose. Then I can look at Lucifer and the 1/3rd and see how that worked out for them. No thank you, I'll take the command. I do get your point that is there or would a more palatable word then command make people more willing to adhere. In my head, no, we are going to do what we are going to do.

    • Psalms 33:9 ....God commands and it stood still. That's why I am here, alive and responding. I will respond positively to this 'command' because I trust that a good and better reward is awaiting when I am faithful and loyal to his command. Amen.

  3. I remember when my children were little, they needed regular naps. Sometimes they resisted my suggestion to lie down and sleep and wanted to carry on playing whether during the day or at bedtime.
    How does a parent who knows what is best for their child get them to rest?
    I would be interested to hear from others which method they found worked best.

    • I honestly don’t remember, but I watch my daughter-in-law and she lies down with them so they get some snuggles with Mama and then are “out” as they are usually tired.
      We get some special time with God if we will take it.

    • I'm a boomer, my parents words where the law. If I chose to disregard them, fine, that was my right, but I'd eventually have to pay the cost. ex. this is what's for lunch, don't want it fine, supper is in 5 hours. Don't take a nap when told to, fine, you'll be tired later. My children did the same as yours. Over time they came to see the wisdom or need to do as suggested. Just because you become and adult and leave home doesn't mean the rules go away. I youngest told me recently "adulting" isn't easy. "I don't see how you and mommy tolerated me". If you remain strong they will learn the wisdom of your "suggestions". In effect you are training them to be willing to follow God's will when they learn to follow yours. Sometimes without question, just because mommy said so.

    • It probably depends on the personalities involved, but the ice cream truck did it for me. As a little one I wanted to stay up and play, but I also loved Creamsicles! The terms of our contract were laid out by my Mother. Take a nap and wake refreshed to go and meet the ice cream truck. No nap? No Creamsicle (a delicious low-fat vanilla ice cream bar covered with orange flavored sherbet). I do not recall (more than 60 years ago) ever missing that truck playing, 'Whistle While you Work in bells).
      My own children needed only a soft back patting with an accompanying song and they were 'out'!
      My Grandma would sit in the rocking chair and either mesmerized by the movement or hypnotized by her sleepy song, I do not know, but there was no resistance at nap time for three generations.

      • Thank you for all for the feedback on getting our children to do what is good for them from commanding to convincing to physically cuddling. It all depends on their maturity and the relationship parents have developed with each one.

        All the LORD's instructions can be summed by us loving Him, the LORD our God, with all our hearts and minds and body because He loves us above all things and we trust that He knows what is best for us and He has been progressively revealing this to us throughout His Word in ways that are appropriate to our circumstances and level of maturity. For instance if we really love Him and understand the principle behind the Sabbath rest we will really want to spend the day with Him.

  4. Weary and worn
    Which comes first? As we see coming from the bible, the Lord told his disciples to come aside to rest both during the week and on sabbath. Mark 6:31. Ps 4:8. I am one of the people who when I get home will sit in the vehicle for approx 15-25 mins resting. Away from the hustle and bustle of work, shopping, and traffic as well as away from family and activities when I entered the house. Some quiet time. Resting during the six days is important but its also a different type of rest. A physical one but can also be a mental and social one but not a spiritual one as the sabbath. Our bodies were wonderfully made and the Maker knew we need to rest the cells to reproduce more. Our brains need to recalculate. When we are weary we cant think clearly.

  5. 6000+ years ago before anyone ever heard about a pandemic God gave the Sabbath 'lockdown regulations'. And they're still relevant for us today.

    "God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man, even in Paradise. He needed to lay aside his own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven, that he might more fully contemplate the works of God and meditate upon His power and goodness.

    "He needed a Sabbath to remind him more vividly of God and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator." (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 48).

  6. Sabbath rest has become really important to me as I grown older. To really disconnect from all secular stuff. To truly spend time with God in nature etc. It allows my brain to settle down, decompress, brings clarity to the "important" things in life. I really look forward to the sabbath now unlike before.

  7. For me, Sabbath is the beginning as well as the ending of the calendar week of seven days, but it is also the constant, all encompassing and undergirding spiritual companion throughout the week.
    The old and young, the employed and unemployed, the farmer and city dweller, the citizen or the person assigned to the highest office of the land, the disciple of Christ's Faith, of any other religion, or of no religion - the land and all who live in it will benefit from this Rest - directly or indirectly.

    It is a liberating, good thing to know that one can rest his life in the hands of the Lord. His Rest is given for the benefit of the heart and mind of man, to remind man to re-calibrate the balance between the demands of the physical life and God's all-defining spirit which gives it purpose and meaning.
    Jesus invites everyone to join Him in the Rest which He demonstrated with His life; the Rest of a meek and lowly heart – for He says that it "gives rest to the soul"; the Rest which He enjoyed as He was joked to the will of the Father.

    Matt.11:15-30KJV speaks to the Rest Christ Jesus, our Lord, gives those who follow Him, who are His desciples –

    >v.19: “…. But wisdom is justified of her children.”
    v.20 – Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
    v.21 – “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack-cloth and ashes.
    v.22 – But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
    v.23 – And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell(Hades): for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
    v.24 – But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgement, than for thee.”

    v.25- At that time as Jesus answered he said, ”I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
    v.26 – Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in they sight.
    v.27 – All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knowest any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
    v.28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  8. Good comments to reflect on. For me I am worried that the Sabbath rest for those with church duties was no longer a rest. The Lockdown released many from their burden. So. Much so I am not sure they will return. What I found I was really able to enjoy adult Sabbath school. As I managed to do adult Sabbath school at a different time. I dont want get caught get up with too much to do in on a Sabbath again.

  9. I propose that as a part of "resting" in Christ, we abandon, at least for a time, the proof-texting method of Bible study. You know, the question-and answer approach that is also seen in our current lessons. The approach we have been using to introduce others to our belief system. I suspect that many don't really know how to really study the Bible because of this pre-conditioning.

    How about just letting the Bible speak as it was written - one story at a time. Our Sabbath School lessons can be adapted to this kind of reading by taking the "Read for This Week’s Study" texts and reading the stories in which they occur. This week that would mean five stories. You get to decide where the stories begin and end. Pray that the Lord may speak to you as you read. And if you get so absorbed in a story that you just want to continue reading and don't get to the other stories, that's okay too. Just rest in the Lord, letting His Word surround you and speak to your heart. After you've done as I suggest, you can go through the lesson day by day. You may be surprised at how much more rewarding this kind of study is.

    When a couple of nephews attended my Sabbath School class recently, I was delighted to hear that the inVerse Bible studies, designed for young adults closely tracked with the *The Promise* Bible studies, but in a format that encouraged deeper study and immersion in the Bible stories. (They attend the Young Adult class at Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan.) The publisher probably won't allow us to publish those studies online, but I encourage you to explore them at https://www.inversebible.org/
    Let us know what you find. (I'm actually thinking of using them in my class.)

    • I was unfamiliar with "proof-texting" as mentioned by Inge so I looked it up. Here it is for others who also didn't understand what it is:

      "Proof Texting Definition
      Ask a Question! - Newsletter
      Many times when someone discusses what the Bible teaches what they may use, even though they may be unaware of it, what is called Proof Text. Proof texting uses certain short passages, many times only a single verse, pulled from the Bible in support of a particular belief or doctrine.
      The problem with this method is that the person who is Proof texting usually gives their selected verses a meaning that may be entirely different from what the writer intended. The Bible is written in such a way that most verses cannot be correctly understood in a stand-alone fashion. The context of a particular verse, who wrote it, the time period in which it was written, where did they write it, etc. is needed to arrive at what God intended it to convey.

      Proof texting can easily lead to wrong conclusions regarding what is the truth of God. An argument or doctrinal stand that relies heavily on proof passages is ultimately considered weak. In fact, those who preach and teach others based on such special passages in Scripture are generally viewed negatively by true Biblical scholars and those who seriously study the word of God."

      • While avoiding "proof texting" we should be aware that we find the Word of the LORD under inspiration of the Holy Spirit uses Summary Texts. A easily remembered passage that sums up a longer passage or concept, here are 3 examples:
        The ten commandments are followed by some explanations of what they mean Ex 19:1-23:33
        The Beatitudes by Jesus are followed by explanations of how they apply Matthew 5:1-7:29
        Then we have Jesus who sums up all the prophets and laws in two texts - Love the LORD and your neighbour. Matt 22:37-40

        Of course summary texts are only useful if we remember their broader context and meaning but we should not reject them because others misuse proof texts.

    • One day, a Christian friend of mine came to my office door with a half-page Bible study against soul sleep, written by a well known preacher, which was piled high with proof texts. After I read it, he asked me what I thought of it.

      I told him I did not agree with what the author wrote because the texts looked like they were taken out of context, but if he was willing to give me some time, I would be happy to respond.

      Over twenty pages were needed to show that none of the texts in context supported the author’s premise. This stunned my friend, because his beliefs were founded using the proof-text paradigm, and had never considered studying the Bible otherwise.

      God is not the god of proof texts, which are the 19th century equivalent of the 21st century five-second sound bite. He is instead the God of relationships and relationships make stories. His call to us is to enter into a loving relationship with him so that we can make prophetic history with him. “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12, ESV.)

  10. On that first Sabbath as Adam and Eve looked around at all of the wonders of God's creation, how much had they contributed to that? Absolutely nothing. God did it all. As we look at the wonders of the cross and all that Jesus did for us there, how much of that did we contribute to? Absolutely nothing. The Sabbath is a beautiful weekly illustration of righteousness by faith. It's ironic that when most of Christianity thinks of the Sabbath they think of it from a legalistic perspective. When actually Sabbath is a weekly reminder that the Lord has done it all and so He alone deserves all of the glory. The Sabbath is also a beautiful illustration of the gospel. We first enter into God's rest from trying to work our way to heaven. And then, in the context of that rest we are compelled by the Lord's unconditional love for us to live for Him. 2 Corinthians 5: 14 tells us that "the love of Christ compels us."


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