Our family schedule just seems to become more of a challenge with each passing year. There are so many possible activities and service opportunities to be involved in. We have had to become very intentional to maintain white space on our calendar. Down time doesn’t just happen. We have to plan for it. It is good for us to remember that God established a pattern in which we were to work six days and rest one day. This is not simply a Jewish thing but a human thing (established at creation).
You would think that this command would have been an easy one. Who doesn’t look forward to a day off! But they struggled to obey this command just as much as the other commands. They didn’t want to shut down their businesses once a week. They didn’t want to let their fields lie fallow one year out of seven. We have this anxiety that there are always things that we need to do. This is a heavy burden to bear. The Sabbath was intended to be a reminder that God sustains the universe and provides for my needs. What a wonderful and freeing reality!
As Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, they were warned about the consequences of disobedience. If they would not obey the Lord, they would be taken out of the land. And it is interesting that God focused particularly on the Sabbath command (Leviticus 26:34-46). God was serious about this command. If they would not humble themselves and rest in him, exile would become their Sabbath. He would give rest to the land one way or the other.
Will you humble yourself and receive the gift of the Sabbath? It will mean eliminating competing activities. It will require you to face your anxieties. But God wants to free you from the never-ending obligations and constant appeals. He wants you to rest in him.