Sabbath Rest

by Rob Dunne

Image by Bart Soverijns
CC BY-ND 2.0

[B]ut in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Leviticus 25:4

When I was in high school, relatives from Ireland came to visit us. They spent a week with us, a week with my aunt and a week with my uncle. Then they enjoyed several weeks of sightseeing. All in all, they were on vacation for a whopping six weeks! Now that is what I call a vacation!

Here in the United States, we have forgotten the importance of downtime. Rather than taking weeks off for vacation, we take one week or a few days. Making matters worse, we bring work with us. That drive is not healthy for the body, mind or soul.

God understands the importance of rest.

On Mt. Sinai, He explained to Moses that the children of Israel were to work the land for six years. On the seventh year, no work was allowed. They were prevented from planting seed and harvesting anything growing on its own. That is because God was going to give them an abundance in the sixth year that would carry them for three years. What an incredible blessing!

For me, the Sabbath takes many forms. My wife and I sleep a little longer than we typically do during the week. One of my favorite activities is going for a hike and finding a nice secluded place to talk with God and write in my journal. Kellie really enjoys the beach. We set up our umbrella and a couple of beach chairs. The rhythmic crashing of the waves coupled with the gentle blowing of the ocean breeze quickly reminds me of the glory of God’s creation. Connecting with God under each of these circumstances comes quickly and easily.

During my hectic work week, lunch is my connecting point with God. I like to listen to a short teaching from a favorite speaker and then read my bible. With the computer right in front of me, it is easy for me to do word searches or consult a commentary if the passage is particularly challenging.

The whole point of a Sabbath rest is to connect with God. We take our minds off of work and the difficult things around us and place them squarely upon the giver of life. When we do that, it strengthens our spirits which directly impacts our souls and bodies. Father God understood that need and that is why He instituted the Sabbath. It’s for our own good.

Are you so driven that you bring work with you on vacation? Do you push yourself so hard each day that you neglect to spend time with God? Unless you run the company, they will quickly replace you when you leave. Therefore, why not take time to nourish your spirit, soul and body by taking an appropriate Sabbath rest and allowing Daddy God to love on you? You may find it is the best vacation you ever had!