Some call it a “park in time.” Imagine having a day every week to avoid work, to-do lists, and household chores without any guilt! A day to spend with your family and friends, or out in nature, or doing something nice for someone else. Sound like a luxury? It’s not; in fact, God designed a weekly holiday and built it into our very nature at Creation.
God Started It
“On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:2, 3). Because God rested on the seventh day, he designated it a holy day to be remembered for all time. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” He says in the fourth commandment. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8-10).
The Reason for the Sabbath
God designed the Sabbath for two main reasons: to commemorate creation and as a sign of our salvation. “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” (Exodus 20:11). “I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy” (Ezekiel 20:12).
The Hebrew word sabbath literally means “to cease.” Just as God rested from His creation work, we are to rest from our day-to-day occupations and refocus on what’s really important. It’s a day to push the reset button. Taking a Sabbath rest is an act of faith; it’s a reminder that no matter what we do, God is in control. When we cease from pursuing our material goals for one day each week, we’re saying, “God, I trust You to maintain control while I spend this day focusing on You. I trust You to provide for my needs seven days a week even if I only work for six of them. Regardless of how much money I could earn today, or how much remains on my to-do list from last week, today I’m going to rest my mind and body and bask in Your presence.”
Take the Opportunity
God knew that in our human tendency to further our own interests, we would need opportunities for spiritual growth, to refocus on things of eternal importance. The Sabbath is an opportunity to break away from the pressures of everyday living.
- Emily Thomsen