Sabbath: Trusting God

Daniel Denk

READ : Genesis 2:2-3
Exodus 20:8-11

The seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord. On it you shall not do any work. (Exod. 20:10 NIV)

Resting from our labors is an act of trust. When we do so, we express our dependence on God’s care and provision. We need this protection, this insurance, against our tendency toward self-reliance and self-deification.

In the Sabbath we acknowledge that “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4; cf. Deut. 8:3). Resting is one way for us to say, “You are God and I am not.” Our survival, our sustenance, does not depend on us. We are called to work faithfully, but God is our real provider. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This childlike prayer recognizes our dependence on God. He is trustworthy and he will take care of us.

The workaholic does not understand this. Because the workaholic believes that he must legitimize his existence by his work, he works almost all the time, neglecting his family, neglecting his Sabbaths, and neglecting his health. When he stops working, he becomes restless and anxious.

As believers we can know that God’s smile is upon us, even when we are resting. God has given us work as a gift, not as a slave master.


Lord, I choose to trust in you this day for my daily bread.