Life can be stressful, busy and tiring. The idea of rest is very appealing, something all of us could benefit from. At the beginning of the Bible God introduces the concept of rest and it is a theme that runs throughout the entire book.
In Hebrew (the language of the Old Testament) the word for resting or stopping is ‘shabbat’ – or Sabbath. The Bible teaches that this is a beneficial practice for all men and women. The idea of the Sabbath is first introduced in Genesis 2. God spent six days creating the world and then on the seventh day He rests and stops. He makes the seventh day holy and blesses it, setting that day apart from all the others, establishing it as a life-renewing day. The seventh day is a day to be, not a day to do. God wants our time and nothing else on this day.
Jesus used the Sabbath day to read God’s word, to teach about God in the synagogue and to heal many people. Jesus tells us that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. It is something that has been made for us to enjoy; a spiritual habit to practice, to reconnect with God and Jesus. Rest is a gift from God.
So what can we do today to practice the Sabbath and to spend time with God and Jesus?
Well, there are no set rules but from what we have learned this day of rest is a day for spending in the presence of God, a day set apart to be with Him and Jesus. This day could be spent with family, enjoying meals together just as Moses commanded, but could be better spent in worship or in Bible reading of remembering the sacrifice of Jesus. However you choose to spend this set apart day, try to embrace the opportunity to be energised physically and spiritually by a God-centred rest.