Sabbath: The Creation Gift

Daniel Denk

READ : Genesis 2:2-3

So on the seventh day he rested from all his work. (v. 2 NIV)

As human beings we need work and we need rest. Both are central to our humanity. Work and rest are creation gifts from God to provide for our joy and satisfaction in life. Jewish Bible scholar Abraham Heschel agrees when he turns conventional wisdom on its head and says, “The greatest hope for the progress of mankind is the Sabbath.”

God worked, and God rested. In so doing he established the cycle of six days of work and one day of rest. We can ignore this cycle, but only to our peril. The creation account provides a divine pattern and ordinance for us. The word Sabbath means to cease from our labors. This is not cessation of all activity but rest from the kind of activity we do the other six days. It does not suggest idleness but employing ourselves in other ways including corporate worship and activities that restore our soul.

The rhythm of working and resting is built into the creation. We desperately need this Sabbath rest, partly because we are human, and on account of the fall, because we are rebellious sinners. At the heart of the fall was a refusal to accept our creatureliness, our finiteness. In the Sabbath, we can embrace our humanity and declare our trust in God’s provision.


O God, you are very wise in providing for our rest from our labors.