“In Deuteronomy 5:12–15, God ties the Sabbath to freedom from [Egyptian] slavery. Anyone who overworks is really a slave. Anyone who cannot rest from work is a slave—to a need for success, to a materialistic culture, to exploitative employers, to parental expectations, or to all of the above. These slave masters will abuse you if you are not disciplined in the practice of Sabbath rest. [And] Sabbath is about more than external rest of the body; it is about inner rest of the soul. We need rest from the anxiety and strain of our overwork, which is really an attempt to justify ourselves—to gain the money or the status or the reputation we think we have to have.” Tim Keller
“The second [illness] is …excessive industriousness; the sickness of those who immerse themselves in work, inevitably neglecting ‘the better part’ of sitting at Jesus’ feet. Therefore, Jesus required his disciples to rest a little, as neglecting the necessary rest leads to stress and agitation. Rest …is a necessary duty and must be taken seriously: in spending a little time with relatives and respecting the holidays as a time for spiritual and physical replenishment, it is necessary to learn the teaching of Ecclesiastes, that ‘there is a time for everything’.” Pope Francis
“Most people mistakenly believe that all you have to do to stop working is not work. The [Jewish and later Puritan sabbath] rules …were meant to communicate the insight that interrupting the ceaseless round of striving requires a surprisingly strenuous act of will, one that has to be bolstered by habit as well as by social sanction.” Judith Shulevitz
“…for anyone who enters God’s rest
also rests from their works,
just as God did from his.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you a slave to the “need for success, to a materialistic culture, to exploitative employers, to parental expectations…?” What can you do to be more free?
- Do you provide “inner rest” for your soul? Do you do it routinely? (Sabbath keeping is the ultimate routine.)
- If “interrupting the ceaseless round of striving requires a surprisingly strenuous act of will, one that has to be bolstered by habit” then is what you’re doing to “stop working” sufficient? Is it strenuous? willful? habitual?
Abba, deliver me from slavery from within and without. Help me to rest in you.
For More: The Sabbath World by Judith Shulevitz
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”