Day 8: Take a Sabbath

Read: Genesis 2:1-3

After the stunning display of power that God shows by creating the world in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 of Genesis opens in an odd way. This God, who literally just created everything that is known to mankind by simply saying a few words, rests. How perplexing that the all-powerful Creator does this.

            God didn’t curl up in sweats after a stressful day of work. God didn’t have a sore throat from telling the world to form. He didn’t need a recharge from all the creating energy He had expended. The kind of rest spoken of in these verses is the rest of completion. According to verse 1, God rested because He had “finished the work.”

We live in a society that breeds us from a young age to be defined by what we do. Think about how early we haunt children with the question of what they want to do when they grow up. Even worse, we don’t ask what they want to do, we ask them what they want to be confusing the two ideas. In a world built almost completely on production and consumption, it’s hard to imagine a higher value.

This passage shows that God did not create His world to be defined entirely by what it does. It may seem that God is less powerful because He rests on the 7th day. But in reality, His resting is a demonstration of His power. He clearly shows that it is not His work that defines His power, but who He is, His very being. God didn’t have to do anything to have value, it’s just who He is. And being made in His image means you are valuable as well. You have value simply because He created you. He stitched and molded value into the very core of who you are, and while that image can be marred, it can’t be taken away, no matter what you do or don’t do.

This is the reminder the Lord gifts to us in the Ten Commandments by commanding His people to rest once a week. The Sabbath was a gift given humans (Mark 2:27) to remind us that our ultimate value is not in what we do but who we are! Sabbath is all about the peace and joy that comes from resting in a relationship that you know will never change. 

I once worked with a ministry in Hawaii who took the idea of Sabbath seriously. Once a week, the whole ministry shut down, and the whole team spent the day together worshiping, praying, and playing. The world might think it’s crazy to not do any work for a whole day and just have fun with people you love, but let me tell you, there is a Divine power in the gift of Sabbath, a kind of sustainability it gives you to rest in the Father with others. This is a concept that the Sabbath teaches so well. 

Do you often feel God is just this hardened Taskmaster who wants you to follow a bunch of rules and do a lot of good things? I wonder if this mentality comes from our total neglect of the Sabbath. Try “Sabbathing” this week. Start small! Block off four hours of time to do something that will refresh you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Go for a run and set your mind on Christ, hang out with some of your closest friends, visit an art exhibit and focus on the beauty of God. And don’t post about it! Remember your value isn’t defined by what you do!!

1 Comment

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jeffrey raughreply
August 13, 2019 at 7:14 am

I do believe God wired us to need margin in our lives. Being “on task” 24 x 7 x 365 is not healthy nor is it biblical, as this article points out. Thanks for the reminder to keep it real.

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