Open Heavens Devotional Wednesday May 17TH 2023 TOPIC: GOD WANTS YOU TO REST
“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” – (Mark 6:31)
READ: Numbers 8:23-26 (KJV)
23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
24 This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation:
25 And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more:
26 But shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charge.
Rest is very important to God. He rested on the seventh day after completing the work of creation and also blessed the day specially (Genesis 2:1-3). God went on to design various categories of rest periods for man. In Exodus 35:2, God ordained a weekly Sabbath of rest that was observed on the seventh day in the Old Testament. In Leviticus 25:4-5, God also ordained a seventh year Sabbath of rest when the land will not be cultivated, the people and animals will also take their rest from farming activities for a whole year. Surprisingly, Exodus 31:14 says, "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people". Rest is so important to God that He places a heavy penalty on defaulters.
Despite the observance of these holidays, the Nation of Israel continued to be more prosperous than their neighbours that did not have the tradition of taking any rest. This is due to the word of God in Psalm 127:1: "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain". Therefore, working around-the-clock everyday will not make you richer or more productive.
Jesus Christ showed us the importance of taking good rest in Mark 6:31, when He told the disciples after their very first missionary tour, "Come ye apart and rest for a while". David almost died in battle because he failed to rest. His commanders later said, "Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel" (2 Samuel 21:15-17). Many people, even ministers of God, are dying from stress-induced health challenges due to lack of adequate rest.
Brethren, rest is divinely ordained, refreshing and rewarding. I personally ensure I incorporate rest into my itinerary no matter how tight my schedule may be. Indeed, you'll even be more productive after resting adequately. Beloved, just as God wants you to be diligent, He also wants you to rest adequately.
Father, please help me to always take adequate rest from my labour, in Jesus' name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 2 CHRONICLES 35-36
AUTHOR PASTOR E A ADEBOYE
HYMNAL: 17 - PRAISE MY SOUL, THE KING OF HEAVEN
1. Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven,
To His feet your tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing.
Praise the everlasting King!
2. Praise Him for His grace and favour
To His people in distress.
Praise Him, still the same as ever,
Slow to chide and swift to bless.
Glorious in His faithfulness!
3. Father-like He tends and spares us,
Well our feeble frame He knows,
In His hand he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes:
Widely yet His mercy flows!
4. Angels, help us to adore Him!
You behold Him face to face.
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space,
Praise with us the God of grace!