The Importance of a Sabbath Rest

1:00 AM

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genisis 2:2-3 NIV

I've been thinking a lot about the Sabbath of late. Why? There are a lot of deadlines and projects that feel like they have to be done...yesterday. For years, our family has kept all electronics other than our phones off on Sundays. We even turn off the internet. It is amazing how restful it is when you shut everything off.  We also don't plan on a lot of chores other than the things that have to be done.

On the flip side, I've been reading in the gospel where the religious leaders took this principle too far. They had come up with extra rules that made it a burden. They would water their animals but were angered when Jesus healed. They made the Sabbath so much about not working, it became a burden just to keep up. Of course, this was never what God had intended.

I went back to that first rest that God took. Those two verses that I shared at the beginning seem so simple on the surface. Take another look. When you are looking for the why behind the Sabbath, those verses say a lot. The biggest of which is that God cares a whole not about us. After all, the God who never grows tired or weary. He didn't need a break, he was setting an example.

The first part of the verse also stood out to me. He had finished what He had been doing. He hadn't finished all His work he would ever do (clearly since He is still working on me), He finished creation and took a rest.

Sometimes there are things that need to be done that spill over into my Sabbath. However, so many times, I'm giving into the tyranny of the urgent and missing the blessings that God has for following His plans. I've had a lot on my plate right now. It is hard to stop everything on Sunday, to not write that book review, schedule that blog post, or do just a little editing. Yet, I keep coming back to those passages of scripture.

This is something each of us must examine for ourselves. After all, Jesus also made it very clear that not all work was bad and that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

What do you think?

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  1. I love the Sabbath (we keep the Seventh day, Saturday Sabbath). But we aren't super strict like Jewish oral law. We just don't do much work or buy or sell unless necessary. Like if we go visit friends we might get gas. On rare occasion we'll buy lunch. We'll help others on the Sabbath. But most of the time... that rest is very much nice! I enjoy sleeping in, reading more, and writing less (since most of my writing is toward making money).