Discipline of Rest – identity and trust

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on our soul’s need for rest.


Deuteronomy 5:12-15

12  “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.  13  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

15  You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

Observation and reflection

Context: After their 40 year wandering in Egypt, just before they were about to enter the Promised Land, Moses reminds this new generation of Israelites of the Laws God had given them at Mount Sinai.

  1. Summarize the fourth of the Ten Commands quoted above in your own words.
  2. To whom was this command given?
  3. What are the two things that the Sabbath day was a perpetual reminder and celebration of?
  4. From this command one can see that the identity of the Israelite was closely linked to the Sabbath day. What did the Sabbath day observance inform every Jew about who they were (and who they were not)? [don’t rush this answer]
  5. Respond to this statement: “The Israelites were no longer slaves of Egypt or slaves to their own work; in their Sabbath rest-day they declared that they trust God would provide for their needs.”

Personal reflection and Application

Note that the New Testament believer is not bound by this Law (Colossians 2:16-17) as Jesus said, “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

  1. Based on your observations above,
    1. Why do you need rest?
    2. From what do you need rest?
    3. What does rest do for your identity?
    4. What does rest do for your cares?
  2. How can you adapt your schedule for time every week for this type of rest?
  3. When will you rest in this way?


Thank God that you are not a slave to make a living, but a child of God who is in the care of God.  Reaffirm your identity as beloved child of God and declare your trust in God’s provision. Commit time to rest, asking that God will deliver you from sin of hurriedness and self-dependence.

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