God Ordained Rest


Summer. It’s a time for vacations, recreation, relaxation, and refreshment for body and soul. It’s also a time for projects, outdoor activities of all kinds, more time for meeting with neighbors and friends, and for youth camps and Bible school. It’s a time where almost all of us at least have a change of pace to our otherwise busy schedules. And while it might be tempting to think of all of these things as either superfluous or not very significant when viewed from an eternal perspective, the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, ordained time off from work and our normal routines.

In fact, the Lord himself rested on the seventh day of creation.

 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. (Genesis 2:2)

He also decreed that masters and employers needed to rest, so that all those who worked for him would get rest as well.

“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed. (Exodus 23:12)

Jesus also exhorted his disciples to take rest.

 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31)

In each of these examples from Scripture, the kind of rest being prescribed is not the normal, daily human need for sleep/rest. This is a special kind of rest that goes beyond that of sleep. This is rest for the mind and soul as well as for the body.

So, I have encouraged our students and our faculty and staff to take their rest, as they are able, this summer. It is a God-created need that all humans have, and it is a blessing of the Lord that he is the one who gives us the only rest that truly restores and refreshes.

May the Lord give you rest and refreshment this summer as well!

Tim Tomlinson

Prayer Requests:

  1.  Please pray for our students and faculty as they head into the summer break. For our faculty, this is a time for study and preparation for the coming school year. Pray for wisdom and productivity for them even as they gain their rest.
  2. Please pray for our just-graduated students. Many of them already know what they’ll be doing after graduation. However, some of them are still seeking the Lord’s leading. Pray that they would pursue opportunities and wait on the Lord in hope for their next destination.
  3.  Please also be in prayer for those of our faculty and staff who will be on international trips this summer. We have one team heading to Myanmar to minister among the Kachin. Another small team is leaving for Cameroon this weekend to prepare for an eventual church plant and extension site for Bethlehem College & Seminary.
  4.  And please keep our self-study writing project in your prayers as well.  These next two months are critical for us to complete the writing of this important document which we pray will extend our accreditation for another 10 years—if the Lord wills!