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: http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm

To rest or not to rest?


To rest or not to rest? – that is the question.

Genesis 2:2-3 records that on the seventh day, God rested. While we have heard several sermons about God resting on the seventh day, from which an extrapolation of the need and importance to rest, is exposited, it is important to note that the verses read that God “ended” his work and he rested. He “blessed” the seventh day and “sanctified” it (declared it holy), because it was the day when he rested.

The first thing to note is that we must complete the work that we have been tasked with i.e., just as God ended the work of making new things before he rested, we must end our work as well. The good news is that God who began the good work in us will bring it to  completion (Philippians 1:6) as we are ambassadors of his, making things new by presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ, for whoever is in Christ is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Also when we rest, we must bless the Lord for having given us rest. Jesus said, the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27) i.e., in other words, rest, that is important, is necessary so that man can take his mind and body off the things of this world, a chasing after the wind, and focus on God and the things above, blessing God and keeping the sabbath (rest) holy, just as God did. Well, the fourth commandment in the ten commandments is to “Remember the sabbath (rest) day, to keep it holy. ” (Exodus 20:8)

Points to ponder:
To rest or not to rest? –  that is the question. We must rest only when we end our work (and God will help being our work for him to completion) and when we rest we must bless God and keep our rest holy.

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.

Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Mark 2:27 (KJV)
27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Exodus 20:8 (KJV)
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

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)
28
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.