The Sabbath was made for us
Published 3:01 am Friday, October 29, 2010
“Remember the Sabbath” is the fourth commandment in the Ten Commandments, that list that seems to stir more controversy than any other list we know of. God was more calling this to our mind than handing down glaring rhetoric. Why? Sabbath means to rest. In God’s system, that is, the creation of every living thing, God instituted rest.
Rest is a comfort word and carries positive feelings. Rest is probably more sought after and not found than any other facet of life.
God set the supreme example of rest when He rested on the seventh day, after six days of very active creation.
God does not get tired. The psalmist said in Psalm 121:4 that God “will neither slumber nor sleep.” God does, at times, get weary with us, as declared in Malachi 2:17: “You have wearied the Lord with your words.”
People need rest. God hardwired it into our DNA. The relentless pursuit of everything we think we need to do will destroy us physically, emotionally and spiritually. God said, “remember the Sabbath,” rest!
Jesus Christ made a statement about the Sabbath in the gospel of Mark 2:27. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” In other words, God was not just making up one more rule to control our behavior, He was telling us to do something that would benefit us immeasurably.
God made us. He knows us. God wants us to be successful. God loves us. God made the Sabbath for us because He knew we needed it.
There was another thing God did for man’s benefit. In the midst of the creation process, God made man (the male) and put him in the midst of creation to take care of it for God. God watched the man and made this observation, in Genesis 2:18: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Regardless of what we might think about the role of the woman, the original concept was to help the man and complete him as a person. The point is, God saw a need and met the need. So it is with the Sabbath.
Man needs the Sabbath. God made it for him. We know that Adam was pretty excited when God introduced Eve to him. Maybe we should be as excited about the Sabbath.
In the Old Testament law, God was strict about observing the Sabbath because God cannot get us to do what is best for us without being strict with us.
Maybe we should explore God’s desire for us to rest. The ultimate rest is in Jesus Christ, but a rhythm of rest in our schedule will reap unimaginable benefit.
God does know what is best for us.
The Rev. Dan Puckett is a minister with Life Action Ministries.