“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
– Mark 2:27-28
We all look forward to take a rest. For a young professional like me, rest/recreation/relaxation (whatever you call it) is something that’s greatly awaited for. So when there’s no work and the clock strikes 5:30 PM, everyone gets so excited to pack up and leave. Like a speed of light, one gets out of the building to catch that ride home. Or if there’s an upcoming long weekend or holiday, people immediately arrange their schedules and file for their hard-earned vacation leave. In this fast-paced era, if you were to offer someone to take a leave without considering the other tasks to be accomplished, I know, he/she will immediately accept it, without batting an eyelash.
There are many different forms of resting. Resting may mean sleeping the entire day or curling up in bed while reading a good book or strolling in the park or shopping or dining out with friends. And this list just goes on…
But don’t you realize that there’s a deeper meaning and purpose for resting than just taking a breather from the mundane week’s activities? The great and mighty God of the entire universe took a rest after six days of working on the creation. But why did He create the seventh day as the Sabbath day?
1. God knows our limitations. – This may be a more popular reason for all of us. Isn’t it a joy that our Creator really knows His creations? Not only does He know us, but He really does care. Because we are merely human beings, we get physically exhausted. And accordingly, God wants us to be physically strengthened by having that one-day time out. Even God Himself blessed the seventh day and rested from all the work.
2. God knows our needs. – You may think, “God is God so He doesn’t need rest.” Exactly. That’s why, He created Sabbath for man, not for Himself. I didn’t say that taking a good rest is bad. It’s just that there’s more to resting than just sleeping or feasting. I think much of the stress and fatigue in today’s world are caused not by being busy but by setting wrong priorities. Physical deterioration was caused by spiritual weakening. This is where the deeper purpose for Sabbath comes in. We need to connect with God and with other believers. God wired us for worship and fellowship – committing our lives, including our time to Him and to fellow siblings in Christ.
I admit there are times I forget the real reason for the season of rest God has given me. I get so immersed with the idea of rest that I forget its Giver. Much of the time was spent on worthless worldly activities. I’d not devote my time to the Lord or not go to our church’s bible study group because I don’t feel like it or because I still have other things to do. Wrong priorities resulted from a heart that was not right before God – a heart that beats for its own will than the will of its Maker.
God knows we need to connect with Him and with other believers. Our batteries should be plugged to the true Source in order for us not to explode. That way, we will not only be physically recharged but spiritually renewed as well. And if it’s rest day, it doesn’t mean that we need to take a rest from worship and fellowship. God reminds us that He is Lord of all our days, even our “rest days”.
God calls us to take a rest. Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” He invites us to come to Him and rest on Him, not on the world. The question is: Will we decide to go with Him? Will we decide to accept His invitation? 🙂