• Jill Jarrell Newsome

God's Labor Day

Most of us look at Labor Day as the last summer event. It marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall even though in Wilmington we can continue swimming because it is so warm. When I was growing up it was the end of wearing white pants or shoes! Labor Day is a holiday when we are out of school and often off of work. It is a day of rest. Maybe this Labor Day we can remember that we have lots of days of rest throughout the year and this would be God’s Labor Day.

God’s Labor Day happens every seventh day. Following six days of work, God rested and He gave this law to Israel. Exodus 20: 9, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work…” Exodus 20: 10, ‘but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.” Exodus 20: 11, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Deuteronomy 5: 15, “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” God did not rest because He was tired. God looked at all that He had created and said it was “very good” and He rested. God was setting an example for us to rest after our work is done.

While work is important, so is rest! Work can make us physically, mentally and emotionally tired. We need physical rest. God wants us to take care of our bodies because that is necessary for us to have good physical and mental health. Without rest, we can become burned out and exhausted. And what are we to do when we feel this way? Matthew 11: 28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” This is where we find our rest - in the Lord. Psalm 62: 1, “Truly my soul finds rest in God…”

Can you imagine how pleasant work was for Adam? He took care of a beautiful Garden, one we cannot even imagine it’s beauty. I am sure he loved his “job” and took delight in it. When sin entered the world, God promised that work would be burdensome. Thorns and thistles would make man’s labors difficult and unpleasant. Now, man would have to eat by the sweat of his brow. Genesis 3: 19, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” But while we work we are to do it for the glory of God. Colossians 3: 23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…” There will come a day when we will rest for all eternity. Hebrews 4: 9-10, “ Therefore, a time of eternal rest exists for God’s people. Those who entered his place of rest also rested from their work as God did from his.”

On this Labor day let us remember that while we were made to work, we were also made to take a Sabbath - a day of rest. Work is an important part of life…but so is rest. Ecclesiastes 3: 13, “That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” Relax this Labor day! “Come to me….I will give you rest.”

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.” Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!


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