By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day, he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day, because on that day, he rested from his work, all the creating God had done.
For six days, God labored creating this earth out of a formless void. He called out the light from the dark, the sky from the water, he named the heavens and separated it from the earth, he created the stars, the plants, creatures of the land, sea and air, he created man and then woman. And after all this creating activity, God Almighty relaxed. It was the Sabbath day. And would you know, the world did not miss a beat. It kept humming along, because it was created by God.
In the Old Testament, we find the Israelites observing God’s Sabbath. They rested because God had commanded them to keep the Sabbath Holy. This was a test of their faith at a time when they felt that they ought to work harder, God required them to rest. On the Sabbath, they had to rest and wholly rely on God’s activity, and by doing so, they learned a very important lesson. They learned that even when they were not working, God was working on their behalf, God was getting things done.
Life in the 21st Century is a flurry of activity. We have forgotten what it means to rest. We work seven days a week, we burn the candle on both ends, we flit from job to job, and on the Sabbath Day, we mow our lawns, we clean our homes, we ferry our children to their sports tournaments and attend to a myriad of other things “which cannot wait.” We have forgotten what it means to observe the Sabbath, we have forgotten to do what God did. We have denied ourselves the experience of learning what it feels like to have the LORD God Almighty working on our behalf.
Harriet Crosby, a former teacher, preacher and missionary once observed, “Resting in God is what trusting in God feels like.” It is hard to rest, when there is so much work to be done and yet this is the essence of trust. It is the ability to fully rely on God, when all the human senses tell you otherwise. It is the habit of resting, that ultimately helps us cultivate a deeper reliance on God.
Today, God has set you free from the tyranny of a seven-day work week. He has personally shown you how to relax from your labor. He has blessed the Sabbath and given it to you as a gift. It is one of the most important gifts you’ll ever have. It’s a gift that will nurture you physically, spiritually and mentally. Trust him and know that even when you are not working, things are getting done. And as you rest from your labor, meditate on him and on his word.
Father, remind me again that you are at the helm. Remind me again, that without you, I would be nowhere; I would be nothing. Teach me to trust in you; teach me to rest in you. And as I rest, God I believe you will be working on my behalf. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.