In the fourth commandment, God tells us that on the seventh day, we’re to have a change of pace. The Sabbath is to be unique, reserved and special. The way to keep the day holy is by using it the way God intended us to use it.
There are at least three biblical objectives for the Sabbath. First, God wants me to rest my body. Psalm 127:2 in The Living Bible reads like this: “It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.”
Would you say your body needs some rest? I hear it all of the time. We all know we need it. We just don’t get it. It is just not a priority. This principle is so important, God gave us an example.
When God created the world, he took six days to create the world, and on the seventh day, he rested. Why did he rest? Was God tired? Of course not. He is omnipotent, which means all-powerful. He doesn’t need to take a nap. God rested because he was modeling an important principal of life for us: Every seven days, we need to take a day off to rest.
It’s easy to be consumed by our career in today’s culture. There are a lot of tempting things that pull us toward our work — more money, more recognition, more promotion, a greater sense of fulfillment, more achievement, more productivity, etc.
And that’s not even to mention the materialistic side of things, like more toys, more gadgets and more stuff. We are driven to do more. We want more. So where does it all stop?
Our bodies were not built for nonstop work. If you continue to violate the Sabbath principle, something will break. It could be your health, your marriage, your relationship with your family, etc., but something will eventually have to give.
We all need time to renew, refresh and replenish. We think we get more done by pushing harder every day. But that is not always the case. Sometimes, we need to stop to sharpen the saw. We are to rest our body on the Sabbath.
Workaholics who never take a day off and never observe the fourth commandment sometimes end up observing a few Sabbath days in a row while they are sick or in the hospital. You should never feel guilty for doing what God commands.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at [email protected].