We are an on-the-go-all-the-time society. It seems to be a status symbol to be always “on.” If not a status symbol, maybe there’s a fear of what we might miss, “If I don’t keep up on the latest TV shows [sports team, books, music, Dancing With The Stars], I’ll feel out of place when my friends are talking about it.”
Even when we do slow down, often what we call a “rest” really isn’t. (Have you ever needed a vacation to recover from your vacation?)
This all-go, never-stop lifestyle is not only unsustainable and unhealthy, it’s also displeasing to God. In His love for us, God says we need to take a Sabbath rest (see Exodus 20:8 and Deuteronomy 5:12). The problem is: we think “Sabbath” means doing nothing, and we feel guilty for doing nothing when there is still so much to do.
Here’s the good news: Sabbath ≠ doing nothing.
Take a look at the origin of the Sabbath—And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. (Genesis 2:2 KJV)
That’s an unusual phrase—His work which He had made—which is repeated twice, so let’s dig into two specific words: work and made.
The verb tense for work is imperfect, which means God still had work to do. But the verb tense for made is perfect. So instead of trying to find more time in His week, God made His “To Do” list fit the timeframe. Then far from doing nothing on the Sabbath day, God reviewed His work, appreciated the beauty of Creation, and celebrated all that had been made.
This is what He calls us to do as well. Genesis 2:3, Exodus 20:8 and Deuteronomy 5:12 all tell us the Sabbath is to be holy = special, withdrawn from the usual … unique. God doesn’t want us to do nothing on the Sabbath, but to do what we don’t normally have the time to do the rest of the week.
Our modern cliché says, “You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone.” But the Sabbath says, “Stop, appreciate God’s blessings, and celebrate them while you can still enjoy them.”
God doesn’t ask you to take a rest. Instead He asks you to make your “To Do” list fit into six days, so that there can be a unique day of appreciation and celebration.
So … how are you doing on making a Sabbath?
Join me next Sunday as we continue our look at the Ten Commandments in our series The Love In The Law.