Rest By Woodrow Kroll

Exodus 16:23

Then he said to them, "This is what the Lord has said: 'Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.'"


In 24 hours the average adult accomplishes much: his heart beats 103,689 times, his blood travels 168 million miles, he breathes 23,040 times, he inhales 438 cubic feet of air, he eats 3 1/2 pounds of food and drinks 2.9 quarts of liquid, he speaks 4,800 words, he moves 750 muscles, his nails grow .000046 inch, and he exercises 7 million brain cells. It's no wonder we need rest!

When God established the laws governing the lives of the Israelite people, He built into their schedule a time for rest. Physically it enabled their bodies to recuperate. Spiritually it reminded them that their salvation was not complete. They needed a spiritual "rest" that would come only when the Messiah would take away their sins. The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that even though the Jewish people practiced Sabbath-keeping, the real "rest" was a future event. He declared, "For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God" (Heb. 4:8-9).

In the New Testament the command to "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated--and for good reason. The spiritual rest that the Old Testament saints looked forward to and which the Sabbath represented is now a reality. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).

Taking a day to rest is still an important part of maintaining a healthy body. But it's a physical necessity, not a spiritual law. Now we can rejoice in the true rest that comes in Christ.

Rest is a matter of wisdom, not law.

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