“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work.”Exodus 20:8-9
The Sabbath as a biblical practice is often forgotten and much misunderstood. The essence of it is not so much what we must not do, as what we must do—namely, “remember.” In Exodus 20, the Israelites were told to stop working on the first day of each week so they could remember God’s magnificent creative act. Doing so for one day was to entrust themselves again to the God who sustains all and has everything in hand. Keeping the Sabbath was an act of trust.
But in Deuteronomy 5 when the Ten Commandments were repeated 40 years later, Israel was instructed to remember God’s saving action in rescuing them from slavery in Egypt. On this one day, they were to cease from work so as to have space to remember what God had done. This was an act of gratitude.
Jesus Himself told us that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Through a Sabbath rest, we receive a small glimpse of the greater rest we will know with Him in heaven one day. Begin looking forward to it now by observing a Sabbath rest each week.
Are you setting apart a day for God? Take time to remember how He rescued you and know that you’ll have true rest with Him one day.