“Rest” by R. J. Rushdoony
One interesting word used in the Old Testament is the word “rest,” as in Deuteronomy 3:20. For us, rest means getting away from the normal routine and doing no work. This is a far cry from the meaning of the Hebrew word translated as “rest.” It means in Scripture to be settled in the land, to be free from the threat of enemies, and to be safe from the threat of homelessness. Above all, it means knowing that we have these things because the Lord is blessing our faithfulness and obedience.
Isaiah tells us, in Isaiah 57:20–21, that the wicked cannot rest, nor is there any peace for them. Because they are in rebellion against God, they feel no peace in their possessions, are ever fearful of enemies, and, however rich, are at heart always homeless.
Thus, to “rest” in the Bible means to rest in the Lord, and to trust in His government, to be obedient to Him, and to wait on His judgments. David tells us, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass” (Ps. 37:7). We are not to fret, David says, nor do evil but to know and believe that God’s judgment will come upon evildoers, and His blessing upon His people.
Vacations are fine in their place, but take all the vacations you want, and, if you fail to rest in the Lord, you will be no better off on your return.
The Sabbath, of course, means, above all else, resting in the Lord. It means the peace and security of a life of trust and obedience. If you are restless, it is time to improve your relationship with the Lord.
Taken from “A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life,” Vol. 4, p. 25.