Why You Need a Sabbath

SabbathAs a general rule, I think most of us are terrible at resting. I’m not talking about sleeping or checking out for your weekly dose of housewives drama. I’m talking about taking time out of your busy schedule to relax and reflect. (I hope you just read that in a “spa voice” because that’s how I said it in my head.)

Due to our over planned lives, relaxation is now a lost art. And unless you’re standing in the mirror taking a selfie, you can throw the idea of reflection out of the window too.

We are so busy with work, chores, cooking, church activities, school activities, making time for our families or friends or significant other (or all of the above) and our hobbies that we often forget about taking time to rest. Those are all honorable activities that deserve our attention. However, we’re running ourselves into the ground because we can’t stop filling our calendar with things to do.

Lest you think that we are the only generation to suffer from this inability to rest & reflect, dear ones, let us go to Deuteronomy 5 and discover a people who struggled with this idea as much as we do.

They were called the Israelites, they were God’s chosen people and they worked too much. They had trouble with not only allowing themselves to rest but allowing their slaves to rest as well. Keep in mind, God has already commanded them to keep the Sabbath as a holy day of rest & reflection.

“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”  -Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Did you see that? God told them that the sabbath was not just for partaking in selfish rest but giving rest to those they had authority over. Why would God command something like that? Because He has set the example for us to follow. He has supreme authority over us and has given us rest.

He is saying to these people, “Remember where you came from. Remember that you were captive to rulers who never gave you rest. Remember that I, the Lord your God, delivered you from your captivity.”

I believe He is saying the same to us. When He sent His only son, Jesus, to die on that cross, it was not just for the express purpose of providing an eternal life with Him. His desire was to give us freedom here in the land of the living.

Living a life of unrepentant sin is like running around in circles. The only destination you get to is pain & exhaustion. All the while God is saying, “Don’t you see? Don’t you understand? I have rescued you from that! I have given you the option to be free! You don’t have to run from pain or be encapsulated by fear. I have set you free and you can finally be at rest.

We have the option to finally be at rest but we allow our busy schedules to rule our lives. It is said that if the devil can’t keep us from desiring God then he will make us too busy and tired to have time for God.

It is not only important to have a sabbath day each week for physical rest but also for spiritual reflection. It is imperative to regularly reflect on the wondrous truth that because of our Savior, we no longer have to run, we no longer have to be slaves to sin, we are free to rest.

We are free to rest.