A year ago, my husband and I committed to a weekly Sabbath rest day. At the time, we felt discontent with life (which had become consumed with work) and disconnected from each other. In an attempt to rearrange our priorities, we declared Sunday our “no work day.”
This title summed up the extent of our knowledge about observing the Sabbath. Yet, as we obediently set aside our work every Sunday, God began showing me that the Sabbath is about so much more than not working one day a week.
In Genesis 2, God created the first Sabbath day:
“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.” (Genesis 2:2-3 ESV)
From these verses, God gives us two important lessons about the Sabbath.
1. The Sabbath is a holy day.
Holy, means to be set apart as sacred. The Sabbath is different from all other days; on it we are to set aside our normal routine and dedicate our time to God.
2. The Sabbath is a day for enjoying God’s presence.
Have you ever wondered why God rested on the seventh day? The all mighty God did not in need rest, He simply desired time to sit and enjoy his creation. I imagine God walking with Adam on that first Sabbath; “Look at this! Oh and this! I made it all for you! Come, enjoy it with me.”
From this first Sabbath, one thing becomes abundantly clear; God created the Sabbath for our good. Jesus confirms this when he tells the Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 ESV).