ἀναπαύω (anapauō). verb. to rest, cause to rest, give rest; refresh.
We live in a society full of disparity. One of the biggest disparities in our society is the amount of work that a man needs to do in order to earn a given amount of money. I have been one of the Blessed few who God has Blessed with plenty. Indeed I am in the top 1 percent of income earners in the world, and in the top 9% of wage earners in the United States (data sourced from a website here: https://digg.com/2020/distribution-wage-income-visualized ) There are many in Corporate Information Technology who make twice, thrice, and even ten times what I make in a year. Yet, over the years I have had to work relatively hard for my money. Despite all my hard work over the years, and 28 years spent in the field of Information Technology, I have never had to resort to picking up a shovel to dig a ditch, or to perform any amount of hard work requiring manual labor. Indeed, I have never held a blue collar job in my life. I have never had to....! I have always been Blessed that Information Technology jobs have been plenty available and whenever I have wanted a job, I put out my resume and had between five and seven recruiters calling me every week, three interviews per week and an average of a solid written job offer a month. Yet, many are not so lucky. I have seen people struggle an entire month or three months at a Blue Collar job to make the same amount of money I do in a week. Many in third-world countries don't make in a year what I make in a day. Yet at the same time, some realtors on the show “Million Dollar Listing New York” take home the same amount of money in commission every time they buy or sell a house, that I make in an entire year. Many professional traders on Wall Street average million-dollar profit days. A group of traders I knew only worked between 9AM and 10AM EST at market open. They had honed their trading strategy so perfectly over the years that with minimal effort they were able to pull down an average of $30,000 each per day, then spent the remainder of their day on the golf course enjoying themselves. Some people like my CEO Ken Griffin, or Bill Gates or Elon Musk make much more money in a day or in an hour or in a minute or in a second than even those rich New York Realtors. According to data sourced from https://justrichest.com/how-much-does-bill-gates-make-in-a-day-in-a-second-and-in-a-year/ Billionaire Bill Gates makes $10.1 million each day, and $117 each second, all with very little work. So, what makes a poor man earn $117 a day, all while struggling to do the dishes at the back kitchen of a restaurant, and a rich man earn $117 a second all while doing relatively little? The LORD. The LORD, the maker of all the universe has deemed how much work and how much rest each individual will get while going through this life. So your next question might be --- why does an irreligious man like Bill Gates get to make so much money? Why does the LORD Bless him? The answer is a three-part answer which will be discussed in a different post another time. (a) The doctrine of Common Grace (b) The LORD's penchant for generational Blessings and generational curses and (c) Bill Gates' own generosity toward the poor and his work for the sake of the poor all over the world. "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:35-40
Indeed the Bible speaks a lot about work and rest. Even Jesus had a few things to say about it. In the Old Testament, קֺהֶלֶת, qoheleth the writer of Ecclesiastes writes:
"I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind." Ecclesiastes 2:18-26
Here is one that describes perfectly what I was talking about earlier: (See related graphic below)
"It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep." Psalm 127:2 This doesn't come across clearly when translated from the Hebrew, but essentially what it is saying is described perfectly in the graphic below. "It's useless to work so hard for a living; getting up early and going to bed late. The LORD provides for those He loves while they sleep." Psalm 127:2
So God speaks a lot about work and rest. Indeed, right at the beginning in the Creation account in Genesis, God created the world in six days and on the seventh He rested. “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” Genesis 2:2
Rest is a restorative break from labor and worldly striving. In the Bible it is an essential feature of the Sabbath—a day of rest on which no work was to be done. As a time of peace and calm, free from work, rest comes to symbolize salvation itself. Rest represents a break from physical labor and worldly striving. It provides a time for mental and spiritual restoration. In the midst of the sufferings and struggles of existence, people may long for rest. Rest requires a safe place, so the concept may be used to indicate peace (Deuteronomy 25:19; 2 Samuel 7:1) and possession of land on which to rest (Joshua 1:15). The promised land symbolizes God’s promise of rest after Israel’s time of wandering in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 12:10). Death, as the ultimate end to all earthly striving, is also regularly described as a time of rest (Job 3:17; Revelation 14:13).
שָׁבַת (šābat). verb. rest, cease, stop. To cease or stop action, or to rest from action. On the seventh day God rested or ceased (šābat; Genesis 2:2–3) from the work of creating; for this reason Israel is to observe a Sabbath day and rest (šābat) on it, ceasing from work (Exodus 20:8–11)
שַׁבָּת (šabbāt). noun. com. Sabbath. The Sabbath (seventh) day. The Sabbath (šabbāt) is the seventh day of the week. It is set aside as a holy day of rest (e.g., Exodus 20:8–11; Isaiah 58:13). No work is to be done on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14–15; Jeremiah 17:21–27). The Sabbath observance is dedicated to God (Exodus 16:25), who refers to it as “my Sabbaths” (example Leveticus 19:30; Ezekiel 20:12–13).
Indeed, even Jesus saw the importance of rest. He called upon all who toiled endlessly to go to Him. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Indeed in my 28 years of work in the Information Technology industry, I have seen jobs, companies and places where people strive endlessly without rest, and then there are jobs, companies and places where there is plenty of work-life balance and a lot of rest. While the important work gets done at both types of workplaces, the former are generally managed by non-Christian bosses while the latter managed by Jewish and Christian bosses who know the scripture and therefore the importance of rest.