And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:24, 27 ESV)
The Sabbath originated with God at the beginning of creation where he worked for six days and rested on the seventh day. It was meant to be a day of “solemn rest, holy to the Lord” where we acknowledge his work and our complete dependence on him as Father and Creator. The Lord invites us to rest along with him, to feel comfort and relief from the worries of this world. He created the earth and is in control of all of it, and he will provide all our needs. That thought alone should give us peace of mind in the midst of all its turmoil.
We can physically rest our bodies by abstaining from work, and we can mentally rest by dwelling in God’s promises, love, and blessings. The Sabbath was not made to be a day of rules and rituals. The heart of it is worship, where we can confidently be at peace with God and enjoy his goodness.
I would say most of us probably do not fully observe the Sabbath as it was intended to be…an honest full day of rest. When was the last time you took a nap in the presence of God? Hopefully, it wasn’t during the sermon! But seriously, I would like to encourage you (and me) to really observe the Sabbath. God made that day for us, and we should accept his invitation to rest.
We were not created to be awake for 24 hours a day because our eyes eventually get heavy and we fall sleep. We are finite beings, limited in our energies and capabilities. Quite frankly, we are not God. Therefore, we should heed his divine wisdom because there must be something about completely relaxing every seven days. So let’s give it a try for the benefit of our minds and bodies. Let’s rest with the Lord on the Sabbath and see what blessings come from it.