“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God…”
– Hebrews 4:9
We’ve been looking at what it means to store up heavenly treasures and how taking care of ourselves through rest is an important part of living in the abundance of God’s Kingdom. Today, I want to share the Biblical foundation for this concept — Sabbath.
The Shabbat (or Sabbath) was the key to Jewish culture and it distinguished the Israelites as a people; their lifestyle revolved around this day of rest that was always dedicated to leisure and learning instead of trade and labor. While it’s logical to think Shabbat was strictly a time of inactivity, knowledge and growth were also a big part of it. You see, the Sabbath was when everyone, including women and children, gathered in the synagogue to study the Torah and all were invited to teach, learn, and contribute to the body of knowledge in their community. In Jesus’ day, this stood out because the Jews were the only group who partook in such a prolonged period of rest and learning. Most people in the Roman Empire worked seven days a week, so God’s children were noticably different. Perhaps this is also why, throughout history, the Jews have been so successful at whatever they do; they’ve learned that work comes out of rest, and good decisions come out of learning.
Friend, you were made for the same kind of Sabbath rest that the Lord’s people have enjoyed throughout history! Nothing good comes from being worn out, overworked, and exhausted, and it’s not selfish to take a day away from the grind to invest in yourself. It’s actually a gift to separate from connection to your job or trade at least one day a week and use that time to slow down and apply yourself to something totally different. As you break from the routine, try writing in your journal, going for a walk, taking a drive, or researching how to begin that hobby you’ve been curious about for so long. When you intentionally do something new, your brain is challenged, your body relaxes, and the Lord meets you there to bless and refresh your soul!
I praise you, Jesus, for the gift of Sabbath. I want to follow your example and devote myself to breaking from the routine so I do not fall short of your best for me.
Do you Sabbath? If not, how might you make it a regular part of your life?