Genesis 2:1-3

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak with you.

Bible Reading

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

– Genesis 2:1-3


The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word that means “to cease, to stop working.” It refers to doing nothing related to work for a twenty-four hour period each week. It refers to this unit of time around which we are to orient our entire lives as “holy,” meaning “separate, a cut above” the other six days (see Genesis 2:2, 3). Sabbath provides for us now the rhythm for an entire reorientation of our lives around the living God. On Sabbaths we imitate God by stopping our work and resting.

Keeping the Sabbath in Scripture is a commandment (see Exodus 20:8-11) – right next to refraining from lying, murdering, and committing adultery. Sabbath is a gift from God we are invited to receive. God worked. We are to work. God rested. We are to rest. After completing his work of creating the heavens and earth, God rested on the seventh day. It was the climax of God’s week in Genesis 1:1-2:4, and it is to be the climax of ours.

The Sabbath calls us to build the doing of nothing into our schedules each week. Nothing measurable is accomplished. By the world’s standards it is inefficient, unproductive, and useless. As one theologian stated, “To fail to see the value of sim- ply being with God and ‘doing nothing’ is to miss the heart of Christianity.”

When we miss the gift of rest, especially Sabbath rest, we miss so much of God. – Pete Scazzero

For more on Sabbath rest, download this booklet (PDF) from New Life Fellowship.

The Big Question

What steps can you take to begin taking a Sabbath day of rest every week? If you did take a Sabbath, what would you do to rest? To restore? To relate? To relax? Describe for yourself an “ideal Sabbath.”

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.