The Sabbath Is Not Optional

One of the things that I struggle with is Sabbath-rest.  We know that as Christians, we are commanded to take one day out of the week to rest and cease from all work-related activities.  This is not something optional.  This is not something God “suggested” as a good idea to follow.  In God’s Word we are “commanded” to obey the Sabbath and we find the precedent for this in Genesis 2:1-3:

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

God didn’t need to rest, but he did anyway.  The seventh day was to be a “holy day” and that’s why God rested.  In Exodus 20:8-11, we find the fourth commandment, which echoes what we just read in Genesis.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

The Scriptures are clear, but yet we still struggle with this one.  What it comes down to is having the freedom to just “be” without doing anything at all.  By all means, work your tail off for 6 days, but when the Sabbath comes around, remember that it’s a holy day – a day set apart for the Lord.  Instead of working and producing and accomplishing and checking things off the list, spent time in God’s Word, spend time in prayer, spend time with your family, and spend time in worship.  That was God’s intention all along and we must obey this command.

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