Just wanted to share with you Doves-we need to get back to the basics as God ordained them. Everything in His Word is for a reason and for our good. We need to change our perspective to God's perspective!His Sabbath rest as well as our nightly rest are for our benefit!May this bless you as it did me!GinaLaying Me Down to Sleep
"God called the light 'day,' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there
was evening, and there was morning—the first day." Genesis 1:5 (NIV)
What time did your day begin today?
Did it begin as the sun poked through the widow urging you to wake? Or, did
the alarm buzz at 5:30 AM? Or maybe at 6:45? Perhaps you slept until 8:00?
What if I told you your day began last night as the sun set - would you
In the modern, westernized world we think of our days as sun rise to sun
rise. In other words, we rise, we work, and then we end the day in rest. We
rest to recover from our work ... with whatever time is left over after the
work is done.
However, in the ancient Jewish tradition the day runs from sundown to
sundown. That's quite a different concept. In other words, we rest, then we
rise and do our work. Rest becomes the source and fuel for the work rather
than merely recovery from it.
Where did the Hebrews get this seemingly backwards notion of the day
beginning in the evening? From the God who never sleeps, in the Bible. Notice
in today's key verse - in fact, in multiple verses throughout the Genesis
creation account - there was evening, and then morning and that was counted
as a day.
A secular rhythm of life makes work primary. We work first, then go from work
to vacation. In contrast, a sacred rhythm makes rest primary, moving us from
God-ordained rest into our vocation. The sacred rhythm is rest, rise, work
rather than rise, work, rest. Let that difference sink in and sway the seat
of your soul.
Internalizing this difference is the basis for connecting with God through
rest. Pastor and author Eugene Peterson describes this ancient rest-first
"This Hebrew evening/morning sequence conditions us to the rhythms of grace.
We go to sleep, and God begins his work. As we sleep he develops his
covenant. We wake and are called to participate in God's creative action. We
respond in faith, in work. But always grace is previous. Grace is primary. We
wake into a world we didn't make, into a salvation we didn't earn.
Evening: God begins, without our help, his creative day. Morning: God calls
us to enjoy and share and develop the work he initiated. Creation and
covenant are sheer grace and there to greet us every morning."
I don't know why God's Word marks out time in this way in Genesis, but I am
discovering I think and live differently when I adopt this view of my days. I
see each night's rest as something important, something to prepare for - and
something important that prepares me. I've long known that rest prepares me
physically to rise and work again, and now I'm finding it prepares me
spiritually to rise walk in grace and faith.
As I lie down, close my eyes, pray, and slip from consciousness, I do so with
the understanding that it is God who holds everything together during my
temporary absence from the world. And it's Him who will continue to hold
everything together when I rise and work in the coming daylight. At no point
- day or night - am I independent of Him. He even has the power to direct my
dreams should He desire.
So I've developed a theology of sleep that punctuates my days. It helps me
see my nights and my rest as set apart and holy. It helps me to see God as I
lay myself down to sleep. In fact, it helps me see that it is He who lays me
down for the gracious gift of rest.
What about you? How do you think about rest? How do you treat it? How might
God be calling you to look at it differently?
Dear Lord, thank You for rest. Thank You that I can rest while You continue
to hold everything together. Help me rest well and worship You through rest.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.