Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
The 4th commandment reveals God is a good Father who gives his kids rest. God created human beings for a six days on, one day off rhythm that He modeled after Himself in creating the world. After studying and preaching on the Sabbath this week, God has called me back to that rhythm, a rhythm of not just working hard, but also resting hard. So from now on I plan to intentionally remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, and here are nine reasons you should too.
1. To enjoy God.
God doesn’t want you to merely do for Him, He also wants you to be with him. The Sabbath is one sacred day you set aside to crawl into your Father’s lap and just enjoy Him.
2. To refresh and recharge.
“You are a human being, not a human doing”, says Justin Buzzard. As a human being, you were not created to be “on” all the time, and a weekly Sabbath is a chance to power down, rest, and recharge so you can take on the next week. You were created to work and rest, so take a weekly Sabbath to rest.
3. To declare you are no longer a slave, but free.
Under slavery in Egypt the Israelites had no rest, because there were too many bricks that needed to be made. But now in the wilderness they could take a Sabbath rest because they were no longer slaves, but free. Your weekly Sabbath declares your freedom as well. If you can’t Sabbath, you may still be a slave, not to Pharaoh, but to your work, reputation, status, phone, etc.
4. Because your identity is found in God, not success.
As slaves in Egypt, Israel’s identity was found in making bricks, so there was no rest. But now as rescued and free people their new identity was in God, not in their work. Like Israel before, if you get your identity from all the things you produce, you will find no rest because your identity is found in producing more and more. But when your identity is in God, you will be able to stop doing and producing once a week to just be with Him.
5. To remember God is God, and you are not.
As long as you believe the world can’t handle you taking a day off, you won’t take one. Your Sabbath must start with believing the only person in the universe that must be on 24/7 is God. So take one day off, and let your world depend on Him, not you.
6. To remember who’s kingdom you are really building.
Your Sabbath will be a weekly reminder of the more important kingdom you are building, and that’s not yours. This day will help you reflect on your past six days of work, and anticipate the next six, in order to make sure both are ultimately about doing His work, and not your own.
7. To worship the true God.
The command to Sabbath comes after two laws about having no other gods and making no idols. I think keeping a weekly Sabbath helps you keep these two laws, because it keeps you from becoming the center of your life and worship. Stopping one day a week to rest in the Lord will help keep Jesus on the throne of your life and you off of it.
8. To remind yourself what matters most in life.
We all know people are more important than things, but does our life really show we believe it. How many times do we choose work and productivity over relationships and people? The Sabbath reminds you the most important things don’t have screens and lights, but eyes and hearts.
9. Because you trust God.
The bottom line is, it takes huge trust in God to take a weekly Sabbath. If you don’t fully trust God, you will not be able to take a Sabbath. To Sabbath, you must believe God can run the world for a day without your help or input. So declare your trust in Him, by taking your hand off the plow one day to just hold His.
Do you remember the Sabbath and keep it holy to the Lord? If not, you should. As one pastor reminded me this week, we don’t just keep the Sabbath, the Sabbath also keeps us.
For more about the Sabbath you can listen to my latest sermon “Remember the Sabbath” here.