Sabbath Rest

Sabbath Rest

  • On July 2, 2024
Sabbath Rest
~Kathy Estep~

In our newsletter last month, Emily wrote about the importance of summer self-care. Longer days, warmer weather, and time off from school  and work encourage us to take care of ourselves. This month I am going to expound on that, by talking about Sabbath rest.

The fourth commandment exhorts us to “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.” Exodus 20:8-10. God is our prime example in this, for in six days He created the heavens, the earth, and everything in them. Yet on the seventh day He rested, and made the Sabbath day holy (v. 11). While we are not legalistically bound by the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments are given for our good – instructions on how to live life well, and be blessed. So what does this mean for us?

Sabbath rest is not merely a “day off,” it is a setting apart of time for “soul care.” The specific day is not important, nor even the amount of time. But what is essential is demarcating a chunk of time, in rhythm every week. Without a time set aside to rejuvenate, we can quickly run out of steam. If God rested and told us to stop our routines for rest, then it is good for us, both physically and emotionally.

Sabbath is not just a time for rest, but also for reflection. As we ponder the goodness and greatness of God, the reality of our stressors, anxieties and depression lessen in comparison. God is the source of all life, and He intimately cares for us. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26.

The Ten Commandments mark the Israelites as different from the cultures around them. As we honor the Sabbath in our lives, we are refusing to succumb to our Western culture that designates our value according to what we do and what we possess. It is good to stop our busyness and allow God to be our God, the author, provider, and sustainer of our lives. Setting aside a time to ponder Him increases our trust in Him, and we more fully allow Him to take care of us and our concerns. God becomes the focal point of our existence.

“My hiding place
My safe refuge
My treasure Lord You are
My friend and king
Anointed one
Most holy”

“I will Exalt You”