Our Daily Bread (ODB) Devotional + Insight, 4 November 2020 – Relaxing With Purpose
Relaxing with Purpose
By Mike Wittmer for ODB
Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise.
Read: Proverbs 30:24–31
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 32–33; Hebrews 1
Ramesh loves to tell others about Jesus. He boldly speaks with coworkers, and one weekend each month returns to his village to evangelize from house to house. His enthusiasm is contagious—especially since he’s learned the value of taking time to rest and relax.
Ramesh used to spend every weekend and most evenings proclaiming the gospel. His wife and children missed him when he was out, and they found him exhausting when he was around. He needed to make every minute and conversation count. He couldn’t enjoy games or small talk. Ramesh was wound too tight.
He was awakened to his imbalance by the honest words of his wife, the counsel of friends, and somewhat obscure passages of Scripture. Proverbs 30 mentions trivial things, such as ants, roosters, and locusts. It marvels how “a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces” (v. 28).
Ramesh wondered how something so mundane made it into the Bible. Observing lizards required significant downtime. Someone saw a lizard darting around the palace and thought that’s interesting, and paused to watch some more. Perhaps God included it in His Word to remind us to balance work with rest. We need hours to daydream about lizards, catch one with our kids, and simply relax with family and friends. May God give us wisdom to know when to work, serve, and relax!
How are you balancing work and rest? Would those closest to you say that you love them? Why or why not?
Jesus, Your love frees me for productive work and meaningful rest.
Proverbs 30 is a collection of the sayings of “Agur son of Jakeh” (Proverbs 30:1). We don’t know who Agur or his father were, but they may have been from the tribe of Massa, who were descendants of Ishmael and settled in northern Arabia (Genesis 25:13–14; 1 Chronicles 1:29–31). If Agur and Jakeh were Massaites, the collection of Agur’s sayings in Proverbs 30 is an example of the multicultural character of Hebrew Wisdom Literature, adopted and shaped for Israelite theology.
One reason that the book of Proverbs sometimes “borrows” material from other cultures is because Wisdom Literature often drew lessons from the surrounding world and experiences of life. Such observations are universal and reflect the design of God’s good creation. Proverbs 30 contains observations from nature and social relationships that offer implicit lessons for wise living.
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