What Is the Sabbath?

When God created the world, he rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). That’s the basis for the biblical Sabbath, when all people and animals rested (Exodus 20:9-11). God set aside days and weeks of rest, and he even rested the earth itself every seventh year (Leviticus 25:4-5).

“Make every effort to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:11). It’s ironic that it takes such effort to set aside time for rest, but it does. For me, and for many of us, it’s difficult to guard our schedules, but it’s worth it. The day of rest points us to Heaven and to Jesus, who said, “Come to me, all you who are weary . . . , and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

What is the Sabbath and what does it mean for Christians today? Former EPM staffer Julia (Stager) Mayo, with her usual depth and clarity, talks about this in an excellent 5-minute video. After listening to Julia, you might be interested in the resources I’ve linked to below the video:

If you’re interested in why the church started worshipping on Sundays when the Sabbath is actually from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, see this article.  

John Piper argues that believers should set aside one day a week for rest, though what that day is will vary for different people.

Finally, Mark Buchanan has written a compelling book I recommend, called The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath.

photo credit: Make Me Dance via photopin (license)

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries