Nehemiah 10:31 – And if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day.
Near the very beginning of the Old Testament, God set the pattern and precedent for what godly work and Sabbath rest should look like in the life of a Christian. He created the heavens and the earth in a six-day time frame (whether that was literal or figurative is up for debate) and on the seventh day, He rested from His work.
Here, many years later, in the 5th century BC, the families in Jerusalem covenanted to follow this exact example. In Nehemiah 10:31, as part of their de facto family mission statement, they said they would now buy or sell grain on the Sabbath.
These instances, and many others throughout Scripture, give us an important example of how God has ordained believers to live our lives.
It’s important to remember that the idea of Sabbath is a gift of grace from our loving Father, not an act of law. Taking a Sabbath day each week helps us to rest and recharge so that we don’t burn ourselves out. Depending on your schedule, there is also a lot of grace for which day is your Sabbath and this can change from week to week.
Oftentimes, we have a misconceived notion that if we work longer and harder that we’ll accomplish more. But we must realize that, as it says in Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
We’re foolish to think that we can accomplish anything anything without the Lord’s blessing and we can accomplish more in six days with the Lord’s blessing than we can in seven days without it. This is a similar principle in stewardship. God calls us to give a tithe, or 10 percent (or more) of our profit to Him and the same thing is true – with God’s blessing, we can do more by keeping 90 percent than we can keeping 100 percent without His blessing. After all, it’s all His anyway.
Does your family Sabbath together? If not, make plans to start one this week, even if it’s half a day or a few hours.