If you walk down the university today, chances are that you will find pairs of guys and girls walking hand in hand together looking like they’ve never been happier.  If that’s the case, then why do so many relationships breakdown?

Perhaps people who enter into relationships with certain expectations and sometime during the relationship these expectations are met?

Perhaps each party wants to change the other person but isn’t very successful?

What has the Bible got to say about a successful relationship?

What has God got to do with relationships?  Don’t we usually hope that God doesn’t interfere with our love life?  Don’t we think that God has bad taste?  I mean, it’s like having your parents pick out your future partner for you!  But God has everything to do with relationships.  After all, he was the one who designed a marriage partnership between man and woman. What was God’s purpose when he created a woman for man?

“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him” Gen 2:18

God made man for woman and woman for man so that they could be each other’s helper.  But what kind of helper is the Bible referring to?  How does a couple help each other?  What are your thoughts?

After creating the world and all that inhabited the world, God rested from all the work of creating he had done.  Why did God rest?  Does God need rest to take a break from his work?  This answer to this question is determined by our understanding of rest.  What is our usual understanding of rest?  I suppose that we understand rest as a chance to take a break from all the work we have done throughout the week.  We look forward to the weekends where we can exclaim, “TGIF!” (Thank God it’s Friday).

It’s true that rest is required for the body to replenish it’s energy for another week of work.  Studies have shown that sleep helps the brain to re-organize neural pathways, which are fragmented during an overwhelming day of absorbing new information.  People who immerse themselves in one form of activity, e.g. video gaming, sports, studying, etc. fail to understand the importance that refreshing their mind or body results in improved performance.  Others who aren’t as demanding on themselves, diligently work others around the clock.  This highlights a common characteristic in people: Utmost patience for oneself, but equally impatient with others.  But God is different.  He is extremely patient with his creation.  He understands the importance of rest, and so imposes a day of rest for the sake of man.

However, the concept of rest does not stop on the physical level.  When the Bible speaks about rest, what does God want us to learn?

Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeing your own pleasure, or talking idly;”

Resting is intended for us to stop thinking about ourselves, to ‘stop going your own ways, or seeing your own pleasure, or talking idly’.  For six days a week we toil and toil for our own sake, work for our own sake.  If resting on the seventh day simply means to take a break from work so that we can focus on doing the things that we desire for ourselves, then we have misunderstood God’s intention of rest.

God instituted a day of rest for a reason, and subsequently those who do not rest would face a drastic consequence.

Exodus 31:15 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.

This day is made holy to the LORD.  The consequence of not resting is death.  Although it appears as a harsh punishment, but God is highlighting that the failure to rest from ‘always thinking of oneself’ will eventually lead to death.  A person who cares only for himself will eventually be disconnected from the community.  After all, who wants to continue to associate with a selfish person? To the community of God, that means to be as good as dead.  God’s intention is for us to enter into his rest, enter into a lifestyle where a person cares not for himself, but for those around him.  A community whose members love and care for each other will find that they do not have have to worry that no one will care for them.

To be Continued…

Nov
02
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by logos on 02-11-2010

The first chapter of Logos Fellowship has begun. Follow the trail of discoveries made while studying the scriptures of God.

Oct
02

Title: Friday Night Bible study
Location: OISE Rm 4420
Description: A study on Genesis
Start Time: 18:00
Date: 2010-10-08
End Time: 20:00

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