It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your steadfast love in the morning, and Your faithfulness at night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For You, O LORD, have made me glad by Your work; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy. How great are Your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! The senseless man cannot know, the stupid cannot understand this: though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever, but You, O LORD, are on high forever. (Psalm 92:1-8)
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If you were given one day this week to do nothing but rest...what would you do?
What - in your mind - is restful? Maybe it is sitting down, reading a good book, watching a marathon of your favorite show, getting away from anybody and everybody, taking a long bath, going shopping, driving out of town, or simply going outside into the sun.
Whatever it may be, I am amazed at how different our definitions of rest are. To some it is doing nothing...while to others, rest means getting out, working out, or some other action verb.
Webster, however, defines rest in two, very similar ways: It is "to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength" and "to be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position."
Both definitions here denote a pause; a stop; a halt. It is saying that rest is a ceasing action that - with support - allows someone to stay in place.
Today's Psalm is talking about this kind of rest.
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At those dotted lines, some of you "go-getters" may have re-read the passage, noticed that it never states anything about "rest," and have now found yourself confused.
Today's passage does not mention rest because the Israelites would have already been resting while reading - and singing - this Psalm. In fact, this particular psalm was appointed to be sung in the sanctuary on the day of rest.
With that in mind, it speaks a lot about what our "days of rest" should look like. And if I were to choose one word to describe this Psalm, it would be thanksgiving: "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to Your name." (v. 1)
On the Israelites day of rest, they praised God's work during the other six days. It is as if they are singing: "I will celebrate your perfections; every single thing that you did, proclaimed, and revealed this past week. I will confidently speak of them all day long..."
You see, whatever their "day of rest" consisted of, every action - or lack of action - was accompanied by thanksgiving and praise. They realized that rest consists in being completely supported by God's power.
But to often, we make rest about ourselves.
On the weekends - the two days that we tend to designate for rest - we become so bent out of shape and frustrated if the day does not go "our way." We are so rigid towards our individual definitions of rest, that anything else is seen as a stabbing thorn in our side.
We make rest about pleasing ourselves.
But this Psalm reminds us that regardless of how the world would define rest, we are to experience it with God by speaking of God.
And do you realize that all of heaven is always doing this? That when we take time and dwell on God, we are doing something completely heavenly. That is crazy to think about.
This is why the "senseless" and "stupid" man cannot dwell in, experience, or speak of God's greatness. He is without that realization and thankfulness because he is without a heavenly home.
But we are born again. We are sons and daughters of the living God. We are blessed and able to declare His steadfast love in the morning and His faithfulness at night.
So let us today - and during our "day of rest" - experience true rest by dwelling on the Lord's work. Let's make it about Him. Only then will we know real rest.
When was the last time that you took a day of rest? We would love to know - feel free to comment in today's IG post! As always, please help us out by sharing today's devotion! The image and sharing icon below make it so simple.
Greg, Declare Glory