What is the purpose of Sabbath? I guess I always thought of it as a time to simply rest and recover from the previous week and prepare for the week to come. I always thought of Sabbath as a holy day–a day set apart to pause from the daily grind and connect with God in a deeper way. I also enjoy connecting with my family and friends when life’s demands are set aside. It’s a time to gather with fellow believers to worship, pray and learn together.
I always had a picture in my mind’s eye of God kicking back once creation was finished to look over and enjoy His completed work. However, there’s more to it than that. As with most things, God has a deeper meaning to what on the surface looks so simple.
In a recent reading of the creation account in Genesis, I saw something new.
On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.
Did you see it? Read the verse again.
“…God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.”
I do a lot of my meal preparations using a slow cooker. As a mom of two young children I need to find cooking methods that have minimal preparation and labor. I like putting all the ingredients into the cooker, pushing a button and then a few hours later enjoying a wholesome meal with my family.
One basic instruction of using a slow cooker is that once you start cooking you have to resist the temptation to peek in and give the food a stir. It truly is a HANDS OFF cooking method.
I remember when I was in Kindergarten we had a class vegetable garden. I wanted to check to see how the carrots were doing, so I pulled one out for a peek. I still see the sad expression on my teacher’s face when I showed her the under-developed carrot. Then I understood. For the carrot to fully grow I should have kept my HANDS OFF so the seed could fully produce.
I believe a valuable lesson God wanted to teach us by instituting Sabbath is that there are times when we need to take our HANDS OFF of our work in order for it to produce.
“When we work God rests. When we rest God works.” –Larry Alberts, way of the LORD church in Blaine, Minnesota.
Weekly Sabbath is a great time to practice for the times when God asks us to trust Him–to take our HANDS OFF so that what He desires will come to fruition.