What Is the Purpose of the Sabbath?
Everybody needs to rest, no matter how busy we are. We take weekends off and go on vacations. We need the respite to clear our minds and restore our bodies, to re-energize before turning again to work.
God doesn’t need to rest the way we do; He is almighty and never grows tired. But God rested after creating the universe:
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. (Gen 2:2)
Our loving Father knows our needs better than we do. It’s easy to be caught up in your own business, but God knows you need time to nurture your body and spirit. Out of care for His creatures, He established a weekly cycle and instituted the last day of every week as a day of rest. This day, called the Sabbath, is a day for us to put aside our daily routines and enjoy a much-needed break.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall not do any work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter nor your manservant, nor your maidservant… that your [household] may rest as well as you. (Deut 5:13-14)
That’s why the Lord Jesus said that the “Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). God created the Sabbath for us so we can rest and turn our attention away from our work. We can restore our focus on the right way of life.
Why do I need to keep the Sabbath?