Rest yourself Lord (I pray)

Genesis 18:3-5 lists out three requests of Abraham to the Lord when he saw the Lord with two other men standing outside his tent. Genesis 18:4 reads “Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:” The second of Abraham’s request (plea) was for the Lord to “rest” (under the tree)

In this fast paced life that we live in, we usually don’t take time to rest – rest in the Lord, but more importantly we seldom spare God time to rest in our lives. Abraham wanted the Lord to rest. This was his prayer.

Points to ponder:
Jesus said that man was not made for the sabbath (rest), but sabbath (rest) was made for man (Mark 2:27). Jesus who rested (not under but) on the tree (Galatians 3:13) of Calvary, by commending his spirit unto the Father God, and in the tomb until he was resurrected (Matthew 28:1), shows us how we ought to rest in the Lord as well.  But more importantly we must let God to rest in our lives (1 Peter 4:14). Like Abraham, can we pray that the Lord rest in our lives. Rest yourself Lord (I Pray).

Genesis 18:4 (KJV)
Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

God, the (first) Laborer

On the first Monday of September, people in the United States of America celebrate Labor day, annually, as a national tribute to the contributions and achievements, workers have made toward the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country, even though Labor day is not exclusive to the United States, wherein it is synonymously referred to as International Workers Day. Although the origin of the Labor day can be speculatively traced back to the early 1800’s, close scrutiny of the Bible, which is the Holy Infallible word of God, gives us insight, that the very first Labor day, is first recorded in the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis.

Genesis 1 and 2 gives us the account of God creating the universe and all of creation in it. Then Genesis 2:2-3 states “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Notice, how the verses read, “God ended his work and rested from all his work which he made and having rested he sanctified the day because of his rest” just as one today would rest from all the work they have done on Labor day. This not only establishes the fact that the very first Labor day was celebrated by God himself, but that God is the first Laborer and that there is no unfinished business with God. It further illustrates that sanctification can come from rest.

Points to ponder:
John 19:30 states that Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “It is finished.” God’s work for the salvation of mankind is finished and there is no unfinished issues in this matter. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invited all, saying “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” All we need to do is to believe in Jesus and rest in him (Hebrews 4:7-9) which brings about the sanctification of our souls (Matthew 11:29).

Many of us (me included) work arduously all year long and seldom take time to rest, often impacting the very ability to complete (end) the work we have at hand. From God, the first Laborer, let us learn to end our work and rest – rest in him, which brings sanctification. The sabbath (rest) was made for man and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27) says Jesus Christ, the Lord of the sabbath day (Matthew 12:8). Let us follow the best example of all – God, the Laborer – to finish the work, he has given us and take time to rest in him.

Genesis 2:2-3 (KJV)
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Labor day Ref:

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding Fathers of the United States of America is attributed to have quoted, “Early to bed, early to rise; makes a man, healthy, wealthy and wise.” Early to bed implies that one needs to rest at the right time and early to rise implies that one must not rest for more than what they are supposed to. The pursuit of health, wealth and wisdom has always been in man’s interest but as America celebrates labor day on the first  Monday of September, even the most ambitious seem to regard this day as a day of rest.

Rest is necessary to be rejuvenated and renewed. It is important to rest. The Bible says that God worked for six days to create the world and everything in it and on the seventh day, He rested. Unfortunately, in today’s world everyone wants to be healthy, everyone wants to be wealthy and everyone wants to be wise, which has made the world system a hamster wheel and you and me caught in its perpetual cycles. We are often foolish in our pursuits. We pursue health, wealth and wisdom and seldom take time to rest.

Rest does not mean laziness or sloth. Remember, Jesus said,”The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Rest, on the contrary requires action and is a reward that is given or a treasure that needs to be found. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He then added, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  (Matthew 11:28-30). To receive and find rest, we must act i.e., Come to Jesus, Take from Jesus, Be Yoked with Jesus and Learn from Jesus. Only then will we find true rest (for our souls). When we come to Jesus, we receive rest (Come; I will give); When we take Jesus’ yoke and are yoked with him and when we learn from that, we find rest for our souls.

Points to ponder:
Today, are you caught in the malady of busyness, spinning perpetually in an hamster-wheel world? Take time to rest as you are prompted to pursue health, wealth and wisdom. Remember the wise man is the one who does NOT spend the first part of his life, spending his health to pursue wealth and then the second part of his life spending his wealth to hold on to health. Rest was made for man and not the other way round.

Happy labor day, or should I just say: Happy Rest Day!

Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 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.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Lesser known characters :: Ahimelech

Ahimelech was the priest at Nob during the reign of Saul. When David fled from Saul to save his life, he comes to Ahimelech the priest. Upon being questioned by Ahimelech as to why David was alone and why no man was with him, David lies to him stating that king Saul had sent him on a secret mission and that is the reason as to why he was alone and had no one else with him.  Then David, in order to satisfy his hunger, asks Ahimelech for the loaves of bread that was in his place. Ahimelech, a priest and keeper of the law responds by saying that the bread that was in the house was sacred. He tells David that there was no common bread in the house and the sacred bread could be eaten by only the priests and their sons; by those who were sanctified and pure from carnal matters according to the Levitical law (Leviticus 24:5-9; 1 Samuel 21:4). David tells Ahimelech that he was carnally clean and so Ahimelech gives him the sacred bread. Later, Ahimelech also gives to David the sword of Goliath when David asked him for weapons (1 Samuel 21:1-9).

What can we learn from Ahimelech?
This act of Ahimelech giving David the sacred bread would be considered a direct contradiction to what the law prescribed. So how can a person who is supposed to uphold the law, be justified by breaking it? While on the surface, it may seem like a priest broke the very law that he was to uphold, which was to not give to anyone but to those who were priests, the sacred bread, under this act, is a hidden treasure that becomes evident upon deeper scrutiny. Jesus in fact, quoted this incident in the gospel according to Mark (Mark 2:25-28) to illustrate the understanding that Ahimelech had, which was that the law (sabbath) was made for life (man) and not life (man) for the law (sabbath). Ahimelech recognized that religious traditions and requirements were given to live a holy life, but when such requirements conflicted with the giving of life (symbolized by the bread – John 6:35), he must do that which was necessary to give life (Deuteronomy 15:7-8). Sometimes in our dedication to observe religious prescriptions, we often ignore the needy and those who need the bread of life (Jesus Christ) and this must not be the case. Additionally, we can also learn from this account that, that which was sacred was given to a common man. Jesus Christ, the sacred bread of life, is not only given to those who are religious and priestly but to the common man/woman; to the common thief, the adulterer, the murderer and to everyone.

Furthermore, in addition to giving to those in need (who are starving for being satisfied), the bread of life (Jesus Christ), we must also give them weapons (of warfare), as did Ahimelech give the sword with which David finalized the victory against Goliath.  this will help them to fight against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-18). We must give them the armor of God which includes the word of God, with which Jesus (referred in Ezekiel as the second David) won the victory against Satan, the goliath of all adversaries (during his temptation). The word is the Sword of the Spirit by which the victory over temptation and the devil’s schemes is won and finalized. “It is (thus) Written.”

1 Samuel 21:1-9 (KJV)
Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?
And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.
Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.
And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.
And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.
So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.
And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.

9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.