We often think about the Sabbath as a time to rest from our work-a-day lives. A chance to get away from it all, recuperate and get ready for the next work week. Indeed, the Hebrew shabbat means to sit down or even to go on strike from a job. So yes, taking a break is certainly one reason to keep the Shabbat, but there’s something much more important and overlooked that can help us truly experience its promised rest.
“Surely you must keep My Sabbaths, for this will be a sign between Me and you for the generations to come, so that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” (Exodus 31:12)
The Children of Israel had just come out of Egypt and among the Torah commandments they are given on Mount Sinai is the Sabbath, which becomes the “sign” of their special relationship with the God of their fathers as they journey toward the Promised Land.
Just as circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham, the Sabbath became the indicator,...