February 1: rest (Exodus 30-32; Acts8)

While in Kenya, I learned the Swahili proverb: haraka, haraka, haina, baraka – which means “hurry, hurry, has no blessing”. By the way I live my life, I am a picture of the opposite. In fact, most of the encouragement in our American culture is to do more and keep moving. But then I read in Exodus 31 that’s not what God does. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested. Do I have more to do than God?

The scripture tells us that the Sabbath will be a sign between me (God) and the Israelites forever. Rest. When in the course of my week is the Sabbath that I will observe? What I do (or do not do) is a sign between God and me. Not only that, but it is only in slowing down that we rest – the essential rest that makes time for God. As I said in last Sunday’s message: The more time you spend focused on the one you are talking to, the less you need to ask.

I wish today’s readings had ended here, but we were invited to also read Exodus 32 which contains some of the more troubling verses in the Bible (verses 25-29). A few years ago, I preached a series on difficult questions from the Bible. One sermon used these verses to address the Bible and the wrath of God. You can click on title at the top of this page if you would like to read that message. I hope you will find it helpful.

Look for the Blessings in your day!

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