Friday, January 6, 2017

God’s Commands abouts the Manna

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January—Rest, Refreshing

            “Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, ‘This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” Exodus 16:21-23(NIV)

            God provides for His children. In this chapter, He provides food daily for the Israelites. Moses gives specific instructions that the people are to follow. They can only gather a certain amount of the flakes—one omer per person in their tent—each day. They have to consume each day’s gatherings without saving any for the next day. If they disobey and save any, it would develop bugs and acquire a bad smell.

            On the sixth day, Moses tells them to gather twice as much—two omers for each person.  They can fix it any way they chose but they have to save some for use on the seventh day because it was a Sabbath to the Lord and no manna would appear.

             We who live in our present time might find this passage hard to understand. As we study it, we see God’s provision for His children. We also see how those children disobey and the result of their disobedience. Do we sometimes find it easier to do what we want than to follow God’s guidance and direction? I sometimes I think it is. When I venture off and ‘do my own thing’ I find myself in some trouble with the Lord. Sometimes it takes me a while to realize I am not listening to God and have to tell Him I am sorry.

            I had a friend who said it this way, “We are not to run ahead of the Lord. Neither are we to walk behind Him. We are to walk with Him.”
When God tells me I need to rest from my activities, I know I need to obey. When I rest in Him, I come away more refreshed than I could imagine.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rest for Others and Ourselves

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January—Rest, Refreshing

            “The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, Ïf I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may wash your feet and rest under this tree.” Genesis 18:1-4 “(NIV)

            What do we see in this passage? Abraham sits at the entrance to his tent, his home, during the hot part of the day. He sees three travelers as they near his home. He hurries toward them and greets them. He offers to get them some assistance to wash and refresh themselves and to allow them to rest from their journey. When we read further in the scripture passage, Abraham instructs Sarah to make food for the travelers.

            I especially like the end of our focus passage. “Let a little water be brought, and then you may wash your feet and rest under this tree.” Abraham practices basic hospitality here. He even goes so far as to give up his spot under the tree to these three travelers.

            We had friends, both of whom have passed on, who always offered us iced tea, or iced water to drink every time we stopped by. When we went to their house on Christmas Eve, or the night before, she had a spread fit for royalty for us. Even when I went to check on them when one was ailing, someone invited me to sit and rest and partake of refreshment, if I could.

            As children of God, we need to learn that we are not indestructible and that it is imperative that we learn the art of rest, relaxation, and refreshing ourselves and others.

Monday, January 2, 2017

God Rested From His Labors

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January—Rest, Refreshing

     “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day, he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because, on it, he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:1-3 (NIV)

            God instituted the practice of rest from our work. This is evident in our focus verse. The writer of Genesis, thought to be Moses, went to great lengths to explain God’s reasons for choosing to rest after his work is done.

            I once heard a sermon on why we need to rest. Simply put, we run out of steam. As human beings, we can only go so long without depleting ourselves of energy. Doctors sometimes give people with certain medical issues the orders for bed-rest. A friend has a daughter who is pregnant. The daughter had complications that caused her doctor to prescribe bed rest. A woman, also pregnant, at our church has been given the same medical orders.

            When I received my first computer, I noticed one of the bloggers I read practiced a “cyber-Sabbath,” refraining from working on her computer on Sunday to spend time with her family. I try to follow her example. I recently read on another blog that we should take scheduled ‘blog breaks’ to keep fresh with our writing. By that, the blogger meant that, by doing this, writing stays something we enjoy doing not something we feel we have to do.

            Clergy persons, receive encouragement to have a day off from their duties in order for them to regroup and refresh their minds and their bodies. Some choose a weekday as their day of rest and receive encouragement to abide by their choice whenever they can. 

            For further scriptural reading go to Exodus 20:8-11. Focus on verse 10. It explains the reason why we should have a regular time of rest in our lives.


Happy New Year to each of you. My family had a nice Christmas. I look forward to completing some projects, writing and otherwise this year. 

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