I’m getting ready to go on vacation, so I thought I’d do a series of posts beforehand about the benefits of sabbathing (well, resting).
I really like the Lord of the Rings–and not just the movies. The books are super awesome. Out of all twelve hours of footage from the trilogy of movies, the one minute scene above is my favorite. In the midst of a terrible battle, there is hope (although, in the book, this quote doesn’t come until the very end, after Frodo sails away from Middle Earth). There is something to look forward to beyond this life. But while we’re here, there’s still work to be done.
God likes to use things to foreshadow better things. The Sabbath day was one such thing. He commanded the Israelites in the Old Testament to cease from their work on the Sabbath and focus on Him. The Sabbath day foreshadowed something better. The weekly day of rest, and the year off from work every seventh year foreshadowed an eternal Sabbath.
The Bible tells us about this eternal rest in Hebrews 4, in which the author warns the readers not to be stubborn and sinful like most of the ancient Israelites, who did not get to enter into the Promised Land because of their rebellion against God. The author of Hebrews then says that there’s a better rest. Look what he writes in Hebrews 4:9-11,
There remains a Sabbath rest for the the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience [that we see from the Old Testament Israelites].
When a follower of Jesus Christ dies, they rest from their work here on earth. They enter into an eternal rest with God. The truth for us to know is simply this: we must work while we have time.
None of us knows when this life will end for us. It ended for my grandma Violet after 102 years. It ended for my friend Mike Lease after 24 years. Both were very dear to me. Both now rest with God.
When we take time to rest, let’s remember that those moments foreshadow a permanent vacation from this life (what it’s like, we don’t have complete details, but from what I’ve studied I think it will be life as God always intended, with no sin, death, or illness, and where work will no longer be “laborious”). One day, we, too, shall enter in rest from our labor here. One day, we’ll no longer “punch the clock.”
Let’s be diligent to enter His rest. Let’s make sure our work here for the Kingdom is of the finest craftsmanship, fit for the King of kings. Let’s do kingdom work in the time we have given to us.