Rest Is Obedience
“On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded: “Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.”’ So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, ‘Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.’ On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.’ So the people rested on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:22-30
When the Israelites complained about their lack of food, God sent manna. Each morning it would appear on the ground, and they would gather enough for the day (any leftovers would rot). But on the sixth day, God allowed enough food to be persevered for the following day so they could rest on the Sabbath. As per usual, the Israelites tried to do things their way—some went out to gather on the Sabbath and found nothing.
God didn’t create us as limitless creatures with the ability to run and do without taking breaks. Rather, we were purposely made weak, requiring rest, food, shelter, and help from others. When God established the Sabbath, it wasn’t because He needed rest but because we do—He was setting up a pattern for us to follow (Genesis 2:1-3). Sometimes obedience is resting when we want to work.
But how often do we mimic the Israelites—thinking we know better, pretending we are inexhaustible, and refusing to trust God to be faithful? Rest is trust, and rest is obedience.
What a beautiful reminder of the Gospel we have in the Sabbath. Just as I need physical rest because I am unable to keep going, I also need spiritual rest because I am unable to save myself. Ive tried to save myself by keeping the law and failed. But God, rich in mercy, sent Jesus to pay the full penalty for my sins, and He gave me His righteousness. I can rest secure in His finished work. Let’s set aside our constant striving and obediently rest—because we need it, and He has ordained it.
Lord, please help me to trust You with my days, and to trust You enough to rest when I need to. Help me to recognize my need for rest, and to rest in You—both spiritually and physically.
Try planning your week in such a way that all your work is done during six days so that you can focus on worshipping God and resting on Sunday this week.