by Donald W. Raub
In the pursuit of happiness, man has gone to great lengths to entertain himself with endless amusement, exciting people, and material gain, while ignoring the obvious pattern which Almighty God has given, not only by Word but also by example. Just as a child learns by watching his/her parents, even before he/she can understand words, we are able to learn by observing the actions of God.
“In the beginning God created” (Gen. 1:1) Creating is God’s work. Man can make things, assemble things, or change things, but he cannot create things (i.e.: make something from nothing). While creating is God’s work, man is expected to work if he wants to enjoy life. Before sin entered the Garden of Eden, God had instructed Adam to work both physically and mentally. Adam was to work in the garden (Gen. 2:15). That was his physical work. He was also to name every living thing that God had created (v. 2:19). That was mental work. If we sit around and do nothing, we will never find happiness.
At the end of each day, God looked at the work He had done, and “saw that it was good.” We, as humans, often complain instead of reflecting. Of course, our work is not perfect as God’s always is, but I believe that God has built into the work process, a certain amount of satisfaction for a job well done. We can learn to improve our lives if we take time to reflect. Whether our labor is mental or physical, it is good to reflect and assess our accomplishments. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians: “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing....” (v. 6:5).
After six days of creating, God rested a day. If we work seven days a week, we try to do something God would not do. I am not sure that God needed to rest, but rather He rested to set an example for us. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). The word “Sabbath” means a day of rest. Working without resting brings frustration to the mind and weariness to the body.
“In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed” (Ex. 31:17). This is such an amazing statement. It is hard to comprehend God needing to be refreshed, but if we study the Hebrew word it makes perfect sense. Perhaps an illustration will help us to understand what is meant: After you have worked hard all day, you stand on a mountain top and allow the gentle breezes to refresh you; or you look out over the ocean while the cool breezes bring a sense of calm and renewal to your inner being. Since God’s power could not have been exhausted, it seems that He just simply enjoyed the moment.
Could it be that we have ignored God’s design for an invigorating spiritual life and settled for the mediocre or even less? The church needs refreshing, preachers need refreshing, Sunday school teachers need refreshing. Do you need refreshing? Here is how:
1. Work to the best of your ability. It is good for you.
2. Rest from your labor, worship God, and fellowship with other Christians in a Bible-teaching church, at least one day out of seven. You will be blessed.
3. Reflect, not only on what you have done, but on what God has done for you. You will be satisfied.
4. Be refreshed by the gentle breezes of God the Holy Spirit. It takes time to be holy! We must not rush the process, as we follow God’s pattern for living.