Often I find it hard to rest, feeling like there are always things to be done. Even on vacation, I find myself filling every spare minute with activity. Can you relate? Overworking ourselves by working too hard, too much, or too long can have negative physical and mental effects. Even the creator of our universe took time to rest. Who are we to think we can do more than God?
God values rest so much he made it a commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day to set it apart as holy.” Exodus 20:8. The Sabbath for the Jewish people is an observance and abstinence from work that lasts from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown. It extends to your whole family, workers, and even animals. God even commanded the land to rest in the seventh year. Exodus 23:11.
In preparation for the Sabbath, Jewish people will do all their shopping chores and cooking before sundown on Friday. This way, they don’t even need to cook on the Sabbath!
A day of rest allows time to recover, reduce stress and build deeper relationships with our loved ones. I’m not suggesting that you follow Jewish law; however, clearly, God intended us to rest and reflect at least one day a week. It doesn’t even need to be Saturday or Sunday.
Many of us have a couple of days off from work each week. It could be as simple as setting aside a day off to rest and spend time with family. Plan ahead, pre-cook your meals, and let the dishes go for a day. I promise they will be there the next day! Turn off your phone and the TV and spend quality time with your loved ones. Play games, read a book, tell stories, and spend time with the Lord in prayer. We will feel refreshed and renewed for the week ahead.
God knew what he was doing. He didn’t need to rest. He was setting the example of how we should spend our Sabbath. Set apart a day for rest and honor the Lord.