The Right Balance (in Work and Rest) – Scott Redd

The Right Balance by Scott Redd | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

TT - Feb 2015The third feature article on this month’s “TT” theme (“Labor and Rest: Finding the Right Balance”) is the one linked above.

Penned by Dr. Scott Redd, president and associate professor of OT at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., the article points us to the way to find the “right balance” in our labor and rest by helping us see the two extremes to be avoided – what he calls “work idolatry” (workaholism) and “rest idolatry” (sloth or laziness).

I found much profit in Redd’s thoughts and share a portion of them here. The quotation below is from the part of his article where he is describing the extreme of work idolatry, and showing us the importance of the rest God built into our lives by His own work and rest in the beginning.

The life that is marked by extended restlessness does not merely indicate a lack of wisdom; it indicates rebellion. We can see the weight of Sabbath-keeping in the way that humanity is called to care for the land throughout the Old Testament. In the Genesis account, God forms the man adam from the ground adamah (Gen. 2:7), closely connecting the two. He charges man to care for and rule over the ground, a charge that is often referred to as the “cultural mandate” (Gen. 1:28). Moses taught that such a charge over the land in Israel included the responsibility to set aside certain seasons of rest when the land ceased from the difficult work of producing food for God’s people (Lev. 25:1-7). Rest for the land was so significant that the failure of the Israelites in this regard is the trigger that Moses (Lev. 26:34) and the Chronicler (2 Chron. 36:20-21) give for the exile—the land had not been allowed its proper Sabbaths. Such passages should sober us since they indicate that a personal rejection of rest may result in a divine imposition of it.

We resist rest to our own detriment because it is through rest that we find rejuvenation and renewal for the work to come. More primarily, it is through rest that we acknowledge the Lord who calls us to this life of work and rest. Therefore, we ought to work and rest to His glory (1 Cor. 10:31).

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