The Importance of Sabbath

The Importance of Sabbath

Genesis 2:2 – 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. 

In Genesis 2:1-4, God rested on the seventh day from His six days of creating the world to enjoy His handiwork. Do you think it’s because He was so tired and spent of energy that He needed the rest? Absolutely not. Psalm 121:3b-4 says, “…he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

God rested on the seventh day to give humanity a blueprint for how our lives should best function. Many have tried and failed to have eight-day, or 10-day weeks. It turns out that God’s way and plan is best.

In the United States, we are actually doubly blessed because we couldn’t decide between the Jewish and the Christian Sabbath, so we actually get a two-day weekend of Saturday AND Sunday. However, though we do get a full weekend, most of us don’t take a true Sabbath.

A Sabbath doesn’t necessarily need to be on a weekend. In fact, for those like myself who work in ministry, Saturday and Sundays are workdays. But it is important, like our Creator God, to carve out a day, if possible, to do something that’s out of the ordinary and that replenishes our energy. I understand that, for people like busy parents or those who travel a lot for work, a full day may not be possible but even a couple hours of Sabbath rest a week is crucial to our soul.

This pattern of six days of work and one day of worshipful rest becomes the pattern for the seven-day week and the Sabbath day as one of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:8-11, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

We often take more seriously some of the other 10 Commandments like not murdering, not stealing, or not committing adultery, but we need realize that God put “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy” on the same level as the other nine Commandments. I would encourage you, even if you start small with a few hours a week as a Sabbath, to follow the Lord’s example of Sabbath rest.

What are some small ways you can start to implement the practice of Sabbath this week if it’s not something you generally do?

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Mark Driscoll
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