Restaurants and Rest!
Generous God, You provide for my needs and inspire worthy desires. Today, create a fresh desire in me for You.
Read Exodus 16:1-36
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“With every mouthful of food we chew, make us aware of our food-related responsibility in the world community. We are blessed in order to be a blessing” (Welton Gaddy).
In Jewish life, theology is done through food. Festivals are marked with special meals: unleavened bread at Passover, milk products at the feast of weeks (Pentecost), doughnuts at the Chanukah (the Feast of Dedication) and harvest products at the Feast of Booths (Sukkot). Food symbolizes the richness of God’s provision. Manna will be the Israelites’ “daily bread” for 40 years. Eaten baked, boiled or raw, it tasted like a wafer made with honey (14,31), or rich cream when cooked. It suddenly appeared from heaven, like dew (Deut. 33:28; Num. 11:9). The joy at its arrival was matched by dismay if they tried to preserve it, as it spoiled and smelled awful.
Israel learns daily reliance on God’s provision here. We must learn to be satisfied by what we have, and not want more than we need. The gift of manna is also linked to the celebration of the Sabbath. Gathering manna must only occur on weekdays. The principle of rest is not only a command to be observed, it is a privilege to be enjoyed, an imitation of God’s own creativity and restfulness (20:8).
Jewish people observe the Sabbath from sunset to sunset, ceasing from all normal work. Christians often become so busy on Sundays that they lose sight of the principle of rest and renewal. In Jewish life, three good meals and time for a nap come alongside being with friends and family and the worship of God to make the Sabbath a rich experience of a different rhythm to life. To “eat, drink and be thankful” is one of the great joys of love and reflects our thanks to God. Jesus, as Lord of the Sabbath, was able to rest, while also doing good works that show God’s presence, power and praise. So should we.
At your next meal, thank God for all his provision. Do you have a Sabbath principle? Is Sunday a day of rest and refreshment? If not, how should things change?
Lord, I’m so grateful for Your good gifts, especially good food and the gift of the Sabbath. Help me to enjoy them as You intend.