July 1: Observing the Sabbath

Read Genesis 1:1-2:3

When you picture creation, do you see God like an artist? With sweeping brushstrokes, He fashions elephants and the starry host. Surely creation was easy for Him, right? Yes, perhaps. Yet Scripture calls God’s actions “work.” Genesis 2:2 records, “By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing…”

Let’s examine the action verbs revealed in the creation account. In Genesis 1, God: created, hovered, spoke, saw, separated, made, called (named), gathered, produced, marked, gave, set, instructed, finished, rested, blessed. Whew! God was very active in the work of creation!

God is God, so why did He need to rest? God might not have needed it, but He might have desired it. Here in Genesis, we learn that we are made in His image, therefore we, too, should desire rest.

God put a finished stamp on His work. Here is where we first- world folks struggle. We never feel done with our work. To-do lists carry over. Outside influences cram our calendars. But God set a finite boundary line even with creating. He decided He was finished. “By the seventh day he had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2. Perhaps our culture cannot set boundaries for work because we misinterpret work in the first place.

I know some folks who love to do lawn work. They feel renewed while hoeing or mowing. Others feel their energy zapped with every weed pulled! Maybe we need to reexamine “work” in our lives and consider what is a joy and what is a job. Then we set boundaries accordingly.

Our culture tends to not maximize the six days we are to do it in. God rested on the seventh day. He didn’t chill in front of the television on days 1-6! He didn’t troll social media. He worked, and then He finished, and then He rested! But don’t miss the action verb after that. Then He blessed! God blessed that Sabbath and set it aside. Think of other blessings in your life like a spouse, children, or even your living space. You set boundaries regarding those blessings. You know that in order to receive the blessing of marriage or parenting or ownership, you must set aside time to enjoy those blessings. The same is true with the Sabbath.

Heed the words of the song “So Will I” today and surrender to the the Lords calling to observe the sabbath and love others.

Sacha Kauffman (sk)

 

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