“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work…” Exodus 20:9-10
We hear our topic today and our minds quickly go to the 10 commandments – the law of Moses. However, within it is a wisdom that God has packaged for man’s benefit for as long as he exists on the earth. Remember the Sabbath! Remember? I believe we are asked to remember because it is very easy to forget it and the purpose for which God instituted it. Yes, very easy!
The word ‘Sabbath’ in Hebrew signifies rest or cessation from labor. It also typifies the rest that remains for New Testament believers at the appearance of Jesus. God, at creation, worked for six days and sanctified the seventh day as Sabbath, a day of rest. This presupposes that after prolonged periods of work, we should pause, cease from labor and rest. This is not an advocacy for laziness; “Whoever idles away time on any of the six days, is as guilty before God as he who works on the Sabbath.”- Adam Clarke
God took this law so seriously that He even instructed that Israel should let their farmlands rest in the seventh year (Leviticus 25:3-4). This is called in Hebrew, ‘Shmita.’
I want you to notice that God did not leave the determination of the Sabbath to Israel’s whim; He laid it first as an example and then commanded it. What is God saying here? Don’t leave your Sabbath to chance, PLAN IT and PLAN FOR IT! What you fail to plan for often never gets done. We can get so swamped with work and life that we forget to be deliberate about our need to have a Sabbath. I heard of a CEO whose work is so demanding; he works tirelessly for 6 weeks and takes a week break from any strenuous work or meetings, he devotes the time to leisure, rest and enjoy family time. I also know of people who have their holidays planned a year before or who take a particular time of the year to retreat, rest and play. Do you have a Sabbath? Is it planned? Where will you go? What will you do? How much would you need? How often would you go, etc.? If you value your health and life, you would do so. Your family, friends, office, business, etc., need you around for longer. SABBATH – REST!
Interestingly, in the Leviticus passage (Leviticus 25:1-7), God promised Israel that their land would grow food ‘of its own accord’ which they would feed on in their Sabbath year. If God so cared about land/farm, how much more does He care about your body/health? If the farm would reproduce by itself during Sabbath, how much more would your body rejuvenate itself while observing Sabbath and God supernaturally sustain you and your business while you obey the ‘Law of the Sabbath?’ THINK ABOUT THIS!
Take a calendar and plan out your next holiday of rest. You can plan for next year’s too. Where will you go? What will you do? Who will you visit?
Where applicable: Go ahead and ensure that you insist on your staff going on their Sabbath break. This will include your ancillary staff too.