Until recently, to be honest, I never thought much about what breaking or keeping the Sabbath meant. To me, the practice seemed ancient, outdated, and very Hebrew. Then a funny thing happened. While directing a rehearsal for a Bible presentation, I listened to a recitation of the Ten Commandments by a group of eight-year-olds.
Why? I believe it has to do with the fact that people have a fallen nature that rails against authority. In this case we rebel against a heavenly Father who has our best interest in mind. We think we know better than He does, and we want to do things our way. Itâ€™s our time, remember? So we keep on going, driven by the clock, by the expectations of others, and by our own desires, racing along at someone elseâ€™s speed other than Godâ€™s. Our bodies ache, we thrash at night without sleep, and we live on the synthetic energy
So Godâ€™s original command to rest could actually be a first glimpse of the greatness of Godâ€™s purpose in Christ, calling us to a profound dependence on what we cannot complete or begin to imagineâ€”a radical reliance on Godâ€™s unutterable love and provision.
But it is curious to me that of all the commandments He would later give to Moses, this is the one that He chose to actually act out. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and surely all energy. Why in the world would He need a time out from His work? As I have read and reread the above section of Scripture aloud, I have come up with a theory. Moses seems to state and restate the obviousâ€” that God rested.
The bad news is that you may well have SDD: Sabbath Deprivation Disorder. The good news? Itâ€™s totally curable. The key to the cure is what God calls a Sabbath. The name literally means â€œrest.â€ Itâ€™s His loving provision for our stubborn weariness, our childish determination to keep on going without a break. And itâ€™s something Heâ€™s had in mind for us from the very beginning of creation. God designed everything, remember, in just six days. And then on the seventh, He did what He would later command His people to do. He rested.