The Sabbath is God’s burnout prevention plan. Here’s six reasons we know the Sabbath is important to God:
- God modeled it. In Genesis 1:3-2:3 God rested on the seventh day after creating the world and everything in it.
- God commanded it. In Exodus 16:23 and 20:8-10 God commanded the Israelites to work for six days and then rest on the seventh day.
- God gave extra attention to it. In the list of ten commandments found in Exodus 20 God dedicated 99 words to the Sabbath. In comparison, murder only gets 4. In writing this of course, I’m not trying to minimize the severity of murder, rather trying to emphasize the importance of the Sabbath.
- God issued a severe penalty for breaking it. In Numbers 15:32-36 we read of a man who desecrated the Sabbath and was consequently put to death.
- God repeated the command over and over (4x in Exodus, 3x in Leviticus, 1x in Deuteronomy).
- God rewarded its observance. God promised in Isaiah 56:2, “Blessed is the one who does this…who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”
The Sabbath is clearly important to God so it ought to be important to us too. Now that you know how important the Sabbath is, let me share three practical tips on how to keep the Sabbath successfully:
- Plan out your work week. In Genesis 1 God set out to create the world and everything in it in six days. He had a plan of what he would accomplish on each day. By finishing all his work in six he was freed up to rest on the seventh day. I’ve been planning out my work week like this for years!
- Prepare for the Sabbath. In Mark 15:42 the day before the Sabbath is referred to as “Preparation Day.” People in Bible times prepared for the Sabbath – it was something they got ready for – and that’s what we need to do as well. So do whatever you need to do the day before the Sabbath so you’re freed up to rest on the Sabbath (i.e. go to the grocery store, pay your bills, mow the lawn, etc).
- Avoid your regular work. Leviticus 23:5 says that on the Sabbath “…no regular work…” was to be done. If you’re not sure if you should do something, just ask yourself “Is this something I normally do?”
To learn more on this subject check out my sermon Is the Sabbath for Today? by clicking here.