BY ELDER DR MASIMBA MAVAZA
Living in a 24-7 Society
_Memory Text: Psalm 84: 2)
Memory Text: “My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Tick, tock; tick, tock; tick, tock. The clock ticked steadily and mercilessly. Only two hours before Sabbath would begin, Mary sighed as she surveyed the small apartment. The kids’ toys were still lying all around the living room; the kitchen was a mess; Sarah, their youngest, lay in bed with a fever; and tomorrow Mary had agreed to serve as a greeter in their church, which meant that they had to leave home 30 minutes before the normal time. I wish I could find some quiet ness tomorrow, Mary thought wistfully.
At the same time, on the other side of town, Josh, Mary’s husband, was standing in line to pay for their weekly groceries. Traffic had again been a nightmare. The checkout lines were long. Everyone seemed to be doing their shopping right at that moment. I need some rest; I can’t go on like this, Josh groaned inwardly. There must be more to this life.
SABBATH: Our world now is about running the race of life—waking up, eating, working, sleeping, & doing it all over again. Our lives are ruled by rush hours, work hours, (medical) appointments, virtual meetings, shopping, family duties, & so on. Mary promised to be a greeter at church & still had more to do just 2 hours before the Sabbath. Also, her husband was caught in the traffic! Only God can give us rest here!
SUNDAY: “Though we have faster cell phones, faster computers, faster internet connections, we still never seem to have enough time.” God foreseeing the future created a day of rest for man—“a day to be & not to do”. This invitation to rest has no expiry date, it is perpetual! The Sabbath is knit into every fabric of time here (Mark 6:31, Ps. 4:8, Exod. 23:12, Deut. 5:14, Matt. 11:28). God knew we need physical rest.
MONDAY: Altered sleeping pattern due to stress is a problem. it’s more fatal when coupled with emotional trauma. Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, was greatly distressed & afflicted when told the wrath of God will visit Judah because of their sins (Jer. 45:1-5). This occurred about 605 & 604 B.C. The emotional trauma of God was greater than Baruch’s (Isa. 5:1-7). Yet, to quench Baruch’s fear, God promised to spare his life.
TUESDAY: Human activity should be crowned with rest. Biblically, rest is not limited to the Sabbath alone. “Shabbat” (Gen. 2:2, 3 & Exod. 5:5) means to cease work/rest/take a holiday. “Nuakh” (Exod. 20:11, Deut. 5:14, Job 3:13,, Num. 10:36, 2 Kings 2:15) means to rest/settled. “Shaqat” (Josh. 11:23, Deut. 28:65, Jer. 50:34) means “relief/be quiet”. “Shakab” (Deut. 31:26, 2 Sam. 7:12) means to “lie down/sleep”.
WEDNESDAY: In the NT, rest is also defined diversely; “anapauō” (Matt. 11:28, 26:45, 1 Cor. 16:28) means “rest, relax, refresh”. “Hēsychazō” depicts the “rest” of the disciples as Jesus rested in the grave & can mean a quiet life/to keep quiet (Luke 23:56, 1 Thess. 4:11, Acts 11:18). The Greek word, “katapauō” means to (bring) rest” (Heb. 4:4). Jesus care for our wellbeing & invites us to rest (Mark 6:7, 30, 31).
THURSDAY: Cain by his sinful acts made himself a “restless wanderer” on the face of the earth. He trusted his salvation not in the promised Saviour but Himself & made an unacceptable sacrifice to God (Gen. 4:1-12, PP, p. 72). Cain did not seek to find rest in God & soon saw that there was no place to find (true) rest. His attitude/motive was not what God desired. True rest is in God’s presence (Gen. 4:13-17).
FRIDAY: The religion of the rabbis was antagonistic to what God wish for man. While God desires for man to have rest in Him, the rabbis saw religion to be in dense activities. While God looks inwardly, the rabbis saw religion as an outward show. The danger of trusting in ourselves in the midst of increasing work looms; one might pray less & have less faith. God is the one who waters our works, rest in Him.
—Ellen G. White,The Desire of Ages, p. 362.
NT- New Testament
PP- Patriarchs and Prophets
SUNDAY- Worn And Weary
MONDAY- Running on Empty
TUESDAY- Defining Rest In The Old Testament
WEDNESDAY- Rest In The New Testament
THURSDAY- A Restless Wanderer
📌 The constant pressure of being on top of things, being available (physically or virtually) all the time, and trying to live up to ideals that are neither realistic nor God-given can make people sick— emotionally, physically, and spiritually. How can your church become a welcoming place for worn-out, tired people yearning for rest?
📌 Is it possible that we are too busy, even doing good things for God? Think about the story of Jesus and His disciples in Mark 6:30-32 and discuss its applications in your Sabbath School group.
📌 In 1899, a speed record had been broken. Someone had actually gone 39.24 miles per hour in a car—and lived to tell about it! Today, of course, cars go much faster than that. And the speed of the processors in our cell phones are much faster than the fastest large computers of a generation ago. And air travel is faster than it used to be—and is getting faster. The point is that almost everything we do today is done faster than it was in the past, and yet, what? We still feel hurried and without enough rest. What should that tell us about basic human nature and why God would have made rest so important that it is one of His commandments?
📌 Dwell more on the idea that even in Eden, before sin, the Sabbath rest had been instituted. Besides the interesting theological implication of this truth, what should this tell us about how rest was needed even in a sinless, perfect world?