Remember the Sabbath and Keep It Holy

rest

Have you ever really thought about the Sabbath? I don’t mean about what day of the week it actually falls on or anything like that. That is something that scholars argue about to this day. In the scheme of things, it doesn’t make much difference whether a person thinks of Saturday as the Sabbath or believes that it is supposed to be on Sunday. The principle is the same, either way.

The idea is easy to grasp. One day out of seven, we are supposed to rest. Some people take that to mean that no labor at all is to be done on the sabbath, but that isn’t quite what the bible teaches. The bible isn’t that extreme. It merely says that we should rest and some people do rest and relax by doing what other people would think of as ‘work’.

For example, I find it quite relaxing to sit in my garden, pulling weeds. There are plenty of other people who would consider that to be back-breaking work. This is actually important, though it is different from one person to another and even though the idea of no labor at all on the Sabbath is old testament teaching, before Jesus gave us the new covenant.

First, it is important to understand that the Sabbath wasn’t meant for God, it was meant for man. Jesus said it plainly in Mark 2:27:

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Put in a different way, the Sabbath was created for us, for play. It wasn’t created for God, who does not rest. The part about ‘…keep it holy’ also makes sense. We are to rest, play, relax, but we are not to do anything that is sinful while we rest and relax.

This means that there is nothing in the bible that would prohibit me from ‘working’ in my garden on the Sabbath, since I don’t see it as work. I see it as play. It is relaxing to me.

What is even more important is the realization that God really does want to take care of us and He really does care about our welfare. He knows perfectly well that working day after day with no rest is a bad thing. People need to rest and He shows his understanding and love by making it a command that we are to rest one day out of every seven.

Wow! God really loves us and cares about us. He wants us to be healthy and happy. He wants us to make sure that we have play time!

Christians often think of the sabbath as the day of worship, and many would be shocked to learn that it has nothing to do with that. We should be worshipping God every day, not just one day a week, for a couple of hours. The sabbath is a day that is actually one that is set aside for you and me.

Mind you, in no way am I suggesting that you shouldn’t go to church on Sunday (or Saturday). Fellowship is important. Learning about God and the bible is enormously important. However, it means that we should take care of ourselves as he intended by working hard and playing just as hard.

Have you really ever given thought to the Sabbath?

What do you usually do on the Sabbath?


Posted in Deeper meanings and tagged , , , , , by with 13 comments.

Comments

  • Coral Levang says:

    Beautiful photo, or is that a digital painting? Whatever it is, it is wonderful!

  • Andria Perry says:

    Seriously I always thought Sabbath and church go together, but it makes more sense the way you explained it. I do praise God daily.

    • rextrulove says:

      @andriaperry, I suspect that a great number of Christians and even Jews have the impression that the Sabbath is for God. That may sound good and all, but it would create a contradiction. God never rests, yet the Sabbath has long been known as the day of rest. In the English translation, Genesis does say that God rested after creating everything, but the original word had a different meaning than what we think of as rest. Even if that wasn’t the case, why would we give more praises on His day of pause than on the days when he created everything?

      Also, there is the slight matter of us not knowing for sure what the time frame is. Second Peter 3:8 says, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This could have several meanings, besides pointing out how vast God is and how powerful He is.

  • I go to church on Sunday morning unless I’m sick. I’ve gone (and listened intently) more in the past five years than I have in my entire life. I feel like a sponge trying to absorb all that I can. 🙂 I work on things that I enjoy on Sunday. It’s not hard work, and I relax. I usually take a nap and a walk. I did a little around the yard today, but I enjoyed that too. You explained it very well.

    • rextrulove says:

      @kimdalessandro, thank you. Every week, I find myself really looking forward to Church on Sunday. I also go to church on Tuesday night and Wednesday night. In this day and age, it is more important than ever to do so. I’m very glad to hear that you attend regularly!

  • loiseryan says:

    Same here, many people think of the Sabbath as the day you go to church. I work most Sundays so the day of rest falls on my day off.

    • rextrulove says:

      @louiseryan, I understand that perfectly well. I’ll make a confession that I tend to be a work-a-holic. There have been many times in my life when I’ve worked hard every day for months, never taking time off. At one time, I had two full time jobs, neither of which had the same days off, so I literally worked from November until April, 7 days a week. One job averaged 50 hours a week and the other was about 60, so that gave me 58 hours a week to eat and sleep. Time off for myself was out of the question.

      The worst part is that I was ignoring what God was telling me, loud and clear. My wife was listening, though. She finally made an ultimatum; give up one job or the other. She pointed out that I was getting forgetful (more than normal), short tempered and was to the point where I was walking around in a daze all the time. Her message was simple; you are killing yourself and I want you around for a while. That was the same thing God had been saying, but I wasn’t listening.

      It is a far better idea to have a Sabbath every week as God intended. I’m getting better at it, but I still need to remind myself to remember the Sabbath. 😀

      • loiseryan says:

        I myself work 7 days before I have a day off. On night shift. There is one week where I only have one night off which that whole day I am trying to get everything done so for me it is not really a day off. The other days off during the month are better. I took advantage of a voluntary layoff for 5 weeks and this helps me get rested and have more time with God. My commute is an hour-and-half and I take that time to talk to God

        • rextrulove says:

          That is an excellent use of your time. 😀

          Just remember to give yourself some “me” time. God knows that we all need it and at times, he rather tends to force the issue. It is much better for everyone involved when we take the time for a Sabbath rather than waiting for Him to force the issue. 🙂

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