Friday, August 4, 2023

How Do You Sabbath?

By: Lauren Thomas

How do you Sabbath? Maybe you don’t. But should you?  

Now if you’re already feeling shamed, I want you to understand that Sabbath isn’t about another thing you “have to do.” The Sabbath is a good thing, a gift! If you have overlooked Sabbath in your life thus far, it’s not too late to start! God meant for the Sabbath to be a “delight!” (Isaiah 58:13-14.) Jesus taught that sabbath was made for you (Mark 2:27). 


In Exodus 20 we find the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment is “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8-11). If we use the Ten Commandments to identify sin, why does number four get so little attention?

Many people consider going to church on Sunday to count as “remembering the Sabbath.” But even just a brief synopsis of this topic in Scripture shows that there’s much more to Sabbath than Sunday church attendance. 

So, what is Sabbath?

Sabbath means to cease, desist, rest. We first see this in Genesis 2:2. After God created the world and all that is in it, He stopped. He rested. Sabbath was first something God did: He completed creation; then he stopped.

Here are some things to note about Sabbath:


1.     Sabbath is a gift.


Exodus 23:12 (ESV)

“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.


God wants you to be refreshed! He doesn’t require you be a frazzled, exhausted woman who is on call 24/7 to meet the needs of those around her. He wants you to experience rest!

2.     Sabbath is a sign.

  • A sign of a special relationship between God and you; a sign of covenant. (Exodus 31:13)
  • A sign of separation. God made the Sabbath holy. You are to keep it holy. Holiness is about something that is set apart, unique, special. Sabbath marks you. It shows that your life is different from the world’s system of living. (Exodus 31:8-11)
  • A sign that memorializes God’s work of creation. (Exodus 31:17).

3.     Sabbath is a reminder.


We strive and stress and think we have control in our lives. Sabbath is a relinquishing of control. When we “stop” (aka, “Sabbath”), we are reminding ourselves that God is in control, that God is working when we are not, that we trust Him to take care of the things that we cannot manage. 


Here’s how to Sabbath: 

  • Start by making a weekly rhythm of ceasing from work. 
  • During Sabbath do something that helps you delight in God. 
  • Do something that brings refreshment. 



  • What is one thing that you could “cease” from for Sabbath? What is one way to “delight” in God? What is something that would bring you refreshment?
  • Is it hard to relinquish control? 

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