Theme of the Week: Vacation Without Guilt
Bible Verse: “Whoever serves, let him serve by the strength God supplies, so that in everything God may be glorified.” 1 Peter 4:11, ESV
Scripture Reading: Psalm 127:1-5
We don’t deserve our Sabbath. We don’t earn it. We simply receive it as a gift.
According to the Genesis poem, God rested on the seventh day. Adam, the first human being, was made on the sixth day. This means that our first full day on the planet as the human race was a day off. We began our existence on the Sabbath. God created us to rest before we work. If we violate this order, we damage ourselves and deprive those we love.
We begin our personal existence on the Sabbath as well. When we were being formed in the uterus, no matter how ambitious our parents may have been for us, we were not reviewing Mandarin or French flashcards. We were not practicing piano scales in the womb. We were simply in a state of rest.
We also begin our day in rest. Most of us view our day as starting in the morning when we wake up, or perhaps after we’ve had a shower or a cup of coffee. But from a Hebrew perspective, our day begins at sunset in the evening. From the Hebrew point of view, we begin our day at rest.
In the creation poem in Genesis 1, we read that there was evening and morning—the first day. There was evening and morning—the second day. This is why the Jewish people begin their Sabbath on Friday evening at sunset. It’s a formative practice, reminding us that we begin our days at rest, and while we are resting, God is at work.
God is at work all around us while we sleep. God is also at work in and through us as we sleep. When we face an intractable puzzle, sometimes we just need to go to sleep, and when we wake up, our problem will be solved.
In Scripture, God bestows great gifts on people while they are sleeping. Because God never sleeps, we can. Because God is always at work, we can rest. As Psalm 127 reminds us, it is vain to rise early and sit up late, eating the bread of sorrow, for God “grants sleep to those he loves” (v. 2). The fruit of our work is dependent on God.
Taken from Survival Guide for the Soul by Ken Shigematsu. Copyright ©2018 by Ken Shigematsu. Used by permission of Zondervan.
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