GOD COMMANDED REST ON THE SABBATH
For those of us in the United States who are fortunate with an income of a good paying job or retirement to take care of ourselves, we live a life with all the modern conveniences to help us with our daily living:
• food in our cupboards, refrigerators, and freezers
• clean drinking water
• stoves, ovens, countertop appliances, and dishwashers
• automated washers and dryers
• indoor plumbing for baths, showers, and toilets
• vehicles to get us from place to place
• phones in our pockets and computers for work and communication
• store bought clothing and shoes, not handmade
• quick and easy front door deliveries for everything imaginable
With all these things readily available to us, we still have no time to rest. Our lives are extremely busy especially for those who are working and raising children. Even a lot of those who are retired say they’re more busy now than when they were working and raising children! We must stop and realize though that no matter how busy we are, observing a day of rest is so important according to the Bible.
IN THE BEGINNING GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY
So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. Genesis 2:1-3 NLT
A DAY OF REST IS INCLUDED IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. Exodus 20:8-11 NLT
WHAT DID GOD MEAN BY A DAY OF REST?
I think it meant a day of rest from anything considered a chore or job. For us living today, a day of rest is simply a day without laundry, mowing the grass, washing our vehicle, grocery shopping, gardening, household maintenance and repairs, etc. It probably includes hobbies as well as watching movies, entertainment, or news on TV. This is the same even for stay at home moms who have a job running a household and caring for their children. I personally consider cooking a chore as I don’t enjoy it at all but I think God is probably ok with us preparing meals and maybe cleaning up the kitchen afterwards…maybe, although I’m not quite sure on that one.
DOES THE DAY OF REST MEAN SATURDAY OR SUNDAY OR EITHER?
For most Christians, it seems to mean Sunday or through the ages has become to be Sunday. This brings to mind those who have to work on Sunday like when I was working as a nurse, there were times that I had to work on weekends.
Is it ok for us to dedicate a different day during the week for rest and worship if our job requires us to work on Sunday? That’s a tough one, I’m hoping it would be ok, otherwise how could you ever faithfully follow God’s commandment of rest but yet keep a job?
I read an article that said: “The Bible doesn’t say God commanded us to observe Sunday as a day of worship. He commanded us to rest on the seventh day, the Sabbath. That seventh day occurs from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset if Sunday is observed as the first day.”
Another article said: “The Roman emperor Constantine the Great issued the first civil Sunday law in 321 forcing all people, except farmers, to rest on Sunday. That civil law along with five others decreed by Constantine set the legal precedent for all civil Sunday legislation from that time to the present.”
DOES THIS COMMANDMENT NOT APPLY TO CHRISTIANS?
Yet another article said: “A day of rest in the Ten Commandments is not included in the New Testament and is not meant for Christians. Instead, it was commanded for Jews only.”
Whether for Jews specifically or not, I think a day of rest was for refreshing our body and mind. It shouldn’t matter if we’re Jewish or Christian, people are people, we’re human beings. That day of rest should be for Christians to read and study the Bible, pray, and worship God. Some may attend church, and for those that can’t, maybe watching sermons on TV is ok too, just not movies, entertainment, or news. The day should be devoted to rest, faith, and worship. Period.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
It is very confusing when you read article after article claiming to be Christian authority, isn’t it? What are your thoughts about resting? Is there a specific day for such? What about those who have to work on that specific day?