Monday, February 08, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: That Wonderful Word "Rest"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The best Good News you will ever hear comes from the lips of Jesus when He says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). In the Greek Old Testament used in the days of Christ (LXX), that word "rest" is used continually to describe what one gets in keeping the Sabbath. Why is this true? Because His presence is in the Sabbath. At a time when Moses was afraid to face each new day with its problems, the Lord promised him, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest" (Ex. 33:14).

When we keep the Sabbath holy, when we cherish that precious gift He gave us from the Garden of Eden, as each Sabbath steals upon us with the setting of the sun Friday evening, we enter anew into the presence of Jesus. On that day He meets with us in a special way. Yes, He is with us every day, but He is with us in the program of work. He says, "Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Ex. 20:9). So, in the market place, the factory, the school, the office, wherever we go about our labor on the "six working days" (Ezek. 46:1), the Lord is with us in a working capacity. He Himself was a carpenter.

So we work with Him side by side these six working days. But on the Sabbath, Jesus lays down His tools, closes His carpenter shop, and goes to the house of God with other people who also "come" in response to His invitation, and we rest "with Him." He teaches us; He comforts us; He encourages us; each new Sabbath day we "learn of Him," for He says, "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me" (Matt. 11:29). We learn more and more about who He is, what it cost Him to save us, why He had to die on a cross. And our souls are knit with His soul, we become one with Him, His joy fills our hearts. And then comes verse 30: "My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

The joy of keeping holy the Sabbath day of rest is not merely physical rest (good as that is!), but the rest of soul; a day of heaven on earth. That wonderful word "rest" means rest from self, rest from anxiety. It's what the Bible speaks of as "justification by faith." You won't want to miss this precious gift!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 31, 1998.
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