“The heavens and the earth were completed with everything that was in them. By the seventh day God finished the work that he had been doing, and he ceased on the seventh day all the work that he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he ceased all the work that he had been doing in creation.” —Genesis 2:1–3
“Remember the Sabbath day to set it apart as holy. For six days you may labor and do all your work, 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 cattle, or the resident foreigner who is in your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” —Exodus 20:8–11
The word Sabbath is related to the Hebrew word shavat, which means “to cease” or “to rest.”
Make It Holy
God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. To make something holy means to set it apart for God’s use. The idea is that we take our eyes off of our everyday living and turn our full attention to God. Often a Sabbath is observed on Sunday, but perhaps for you it is celebrated on the day of the week when you gather with other believers for corporate worship.
Take a few moments to reflect upon the following questions:
When or which day of the week, do you intentionally set aside to give your full attention to God?
In what ways does keeping a Sabbath affect your relationship with God?
What do you think it means to give full attention to God?
If you set apart one day out of a week for God, what would (or do) you do in that day? What would (or do) you not do? Why?
God finished his work in six days, and on the seventh day, he rested. If it is good for God to rest, it is important for us to rest! It is important to have margins in our life. We cannot be always “on” 24/7 and expect to live a whole and healthy life spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
“But I am too busy!”
“I would get fired if I tried to take a day off.”
“My farm needs me every day!”
“I cannot rest when my competitors are working non-stop!”
“I am a single parent! I cannot afford to take a day off!”
You may be thinking that you simply cannot afford to set time aside. God knows your life and your schedule. Rest is still what he desires for you.
When God gave the Ten Commandments on the stone tablets to Moses, the observance of the Sabbath was the fourth commandment, given even before honoring of your parents. It’s that important to God!
Observing the Sabbath is essential for our personal, spiritual, and societal wellbeing. God knows that because He created us. We can easily see that honoring our parents, or not murdering or not stealing is moral and good for us and for our society. Observing the Sabbath is harder to measure, but it is good for us as well! The goal of rest, like of sleep, is to restore and rejuvenate.
As with anything God asks, observing the Sabbath requires his grace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Are there any changes you need to consider making in your life to better align yourself to the heart and will of God when it comes to observing the Sabbath?
How can you begin to
incorporate some of these changes into your life?