The scriptures provide many wonderful illustrations of how we should live our lives, how we should work and, most importantly — rest. As the world collapses around us, this simple fact has never been more important. With this in mind, Genesis 2:2 gives us the lesson of how to follow in the Lord’s footsteps as we work our course and then rest to reset.
Gen 2:2 (ESV) And on the seventh day God finished (כָּלָה – kalah) his work (מְלָאכָּה – mla’kah) that he had done (עָשָׂה – asah), and he rested (שָׁבַת – shabath) on the seventh day from all his work that he had done (עָשָׂה – asah).
The word (כָּלָה – kalah) associates with completion to the point of exhaustion. We spend time on our work and give it all we have until fatigue overcomes us: our strength vanishes. No shortcuts, but work to perfection—to the best of our ability.
kālāh: A verb meaning to complete, to accomplish, to end, to finish, to fail, to exhaust.
Just as a cloud provides shade or rain to the earth. Once it completes (כָּלָה – kalah) its job, it vanishes until it’s recharged, but not before.
Job 7:9 (KJV) As the cloud is consumed (כָּלָה – kalah) and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.
And once the works completed, rest.
And He rested
Now we must first understand God is never weary and needs no rest (cf. Isaiah 40:28)
Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
Which shows us how great He is. This is an example given for our well being, not His. It’s such an important need for us mere mortals, God dedicated an entire day for us to embrace if we so choose.
Some say it’s Saturday or Sunday (שָׁבַת – shabath), but what exactly does this work imply?
First, we must understand it’s a verb. Therefore, it requires action on our part to partake in this rest. Some believe it’s about ritual and following the law, but that’s not the case. It has more to do with the spiritual rhythm of life, not a law or order. Its purpose, to bring us quietness and rest with the Lord as it draws us away from our daily struggles. From the mundane realities of life.
It’s time given which is our cathedral to worship God in. And during this time we become the groom to marry (קדשׁ – qâdash) the day, to love with all our hearts, minds and souls. For without this love towards the rest, depravity set’s in against your bride, the Sabbath.
And here in Mark we can see it again once, and this time the Lord shows the example of how we marry the Sabbath.
Mark 2:27-28 (KJV) And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord (κύριος – kúrios) also of the sabbath.
The Lord of the Sabbath. The word κύριος also has the meaning of a husband, therefore just as the day is made for you to enter matrimony with, the Lord is also husband over this blessed day to worship God with our time: to treat the day as we would treat our spouse with love and honor.
The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.ref. Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath
So, in closing, the Sabbath is not about a law to follow, as many try to claim. But rather, it’s for our wellbeing, our benefit. It helps us to reconnect with God on a spiritual level, as we have a day to love so we can walk and talk with God without any earthly distractions.
“The Sabbath is a bride, and its celebration is like a wedding.”Abraham Joshua Heschel