Thursday, February 9, 2023

God of Rest

Israel grumbled in the wilderness. A lot. One of the things that they grumbled about was not having anything to eat. So God sent them this heavenly food called manna, which appeared on the ground every morning and gave them just enough for the day. 

If you want to know what manna was,'re not alone. Even the Israelites didn't know. In fact, the word "manna" is Hebrew for, "What is it?" 

Nevertheless, it showed up every morning as faithfully as the dew, and Israel was given the instruction to go out and gather as much of it as they needed for the day. They could not keep any for the next day or it would be covered in maggots and worms by morning and they'd have to throw it out anyway. 

Except for the sixth day. 

On the sixth day, Israel was to gather enough manna for that day and the next, the Sabbath - the day of rest. On the seventh day, they would wake up with manna in their jars and no maggots, no worms. Just that good heavenly deliciousness. Early on, a few tried to wander out to find manna on the open ground on the seventh day, but there was nothing there; if it wasn't in their jar already, it didn't exist. 

This was important in the wilderness days, but it's also important now, as we live our lives in this world of constant busyness, afraid to slow down or to stop lest we miss out on something or the world passes us by or we find ourselves in some kind of want. 

See, the lesson of the seventh day manna, both then and now, is that God provides for our rest. He does. God prepares our lives to embrace the rest that He has not only prescribed for us, but commanded us. 

Just as the world didn't stop on the seventh day just because God rested, so the manna doesn't run out on the seventh day just because it doesn't appear with the dew. 

This is good news for our weary souls. This is good news for those of us afraid to stop. This is good news for those of us desperate to stop, but unsure of how we could ever actually do it. We can do it because God has already provided for our rest. God has already given enough to make sure that we can stop for a time and breathe...and still eat. God has given us manna for the seventh day. 

All we have to do is look in our jar.  

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