Jesus: “The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings. …” Mark 2:27 (TEV)
God never created us to work 24/7. Maybe you’ve tried and are finding your soul is now restless and burned out. According to Greek legend, the great story teller, Aesop, explained, “If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”
We are like that bow. We all need to take time to rest. Our soul craves it! In our God hunt, we find the secret to rest in the fourth commandment. It’s the answer to what our soul longs for and must have to be recharged. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve read this and took it seriously. Let’s pause in our journey today to consider what God is saying in Exodus 20:8-11 (NLT).
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day He rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.”
What is a Sabbath? The sabbath is simply a day of rest. God never designed for us to work 24/7. He designed for us to work 24/6. We have 144 regular hours in the week and 24 hours that are to be different. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings. …” Mark 2:27 (TEV) God is telling us to take a break! Give it a rest! Your soul needs it!
If you review the fourth commandment, God begins by saying “Remember …” It’s so easy to forget to take a Sabbath. In fact, He goes on to say that the Sabbath is holy. The word, “holy” means “set apart.” It doesn’t matter what day it is, but we are to set apart one day, out of seven, to rest and keep it holy. Stopping our regular work is all about recognizing our limitations and our need for God. It is holy. No one is exempt. “On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you. …”
Why is the Sabbath so important? It’s about boundaries and balance. Our soul needs the rhythm of rest to stay in harmony. When reading this blog, that rhythm is found in comma’s and periods. Imagine trying to read this as one endless sentence! It wouldn’t make sense. Even seasons have their rest. Winter is a rest from planting and harvesting. Rests in music are symbols to breath. In traffic, it’s called a stop sign. In school, it’s recess. In the ocean, its waves coming in and going out. For our souls, that rhythm is a Sabbath. Your soul demands it. If you break the Sabbath, it will break you. If you don’t take this rhythm of rest you get stressed, worn out and soon burn out. Life begins to lose its joy. We become ineffective. In Ecclesiastes 10:10, Solomon wrote, “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.”
Are you becoming dull? Have you lost your edge? Is life losing its joy, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get it all done? Remember the Sabbath. Set it apart as a holy day to recharge your soul and find rest. God made the Sabbath for you! Take a breath and we’ll look at this more tomorrow.