Scripture Passage: Genesis 2:1-3
Observations on the Context:
While there were not chapter and verse divisions in the original text of the Scriptures (we have added them so we can read along together in church), Chapter 1 ended with God pronouncing all of His creation very good. Now, that the Heavens (outer space) and the earth are finished, it is day 7 and God rests from His work. While God does not grow weary as we do, He set apart the 7th day as a very special day. It is the day that God blessed. Verse 3 even says that God made the 7th day holy. We have a pattern here which will be more clearly taught to us later on in the Bible.
Taking a day to stop working and rest is important. Number one because God rested and blessed the a day for rest and made it holy, that means He set it apart for certain purpose. It is a good thing to have a day to be still, reflect on who God is, enjoy some food and just do nothing. It is not good for us if we do this all the time, but once-a-week, it refreshes our human frames. While we do not legalistically follow a set of prescribed rules on “the Sabbath” anymore as New Covenant Believers, it is important for every Believer to set aside a day to cease from their work (the world will go on without you and remind ourselves that God is in control).
It is not wrong to do good on the day of rest and your day of rest may not be the same as everyone else’s Pastors don’t really rest on Sundays. You may only have a Wednesday off. The point is, obey God’s command to rest. Far too often, God’s people have turned a day of rest into a travel and game day or even a day of outreach and church activities rather than actually resting. While it is getting ahead of ourselves a bit, I encourage you to take some time and dig into the design God gave the Jews for the Sabbath. Even in the wilderness, they were to observe it. Throughout the Old Testament here are just a few of the parameters God gave the people for the day of rest: do not buy and sell, do not travel far from where you are staying, do not cook but rather prepare your food ahead of time, and do not work. Work is not bad, but we are human beings not human doings. We are called to take a day to rest.
Father, forgive me for taking too many good things in my life and neglecting God-things. Lord, when I exhaust myself even for “holy causes” by working and serving 24/7, I where myself out and most importantly lose my spiritual focus. Help me to establish a day of rest with You, whatever day that You lead me to, to set aside as a day to cease from work, cease from purchasing and travel and to be still in my home, reflecting upon You, taking a refreshing walk, enjoying the food You have provided and, most importantly, thanking You and remembering that You are in control. Let my day of rest be a reset of my focus each week to help me live pleasing to You. In Jesus name I ask this. Amen.