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As I was thinking about this psalm, the thought occurred: how foreign the concept of Sabbath is to me? I’ve gone through brief periods of time where I was more intentional about taking a Sabbath day, but it never seems to last. The world around me seems to say that being busy is where my worth is found, that the world might stop spinning if I’m not involved often keeps me from simple rest and time with the Lord.
When I think about all the commands and parts of the Jewish life, I’m fascinated that one of the first (if not THE very first) ‘points’ the bible makes is ‘Take a Sabbath!’ Even God rests after he creates.
I think there’s also something powerful about the Jewish idea of taking a Sabbath as the very first day of the week, even though God rests at the end of the creation week, it happens to be the very first behavior that God demonstrates to Adam and Eve after he creates them. Day 1 for man is marked by rest.
It’s as if he’s saying:
I’ve already done the work,
and unless you learn to rest first,
you’ll never know how to truly live.
There’s a connection to Jesus there:
He’s already done the work, we must learn to rest in the fact that he has completed his task.
And like God’s initial creation, Jesus’ re-creation of our entire being: Body, Soul, and Spirit, has already been completed.
I used to always think of my Sabbath day as coming at the end of my week, as if I had to work extra hard to earn it during the week.
This next season I will try to begin with Sabbath, and the proclamation of this psalm:
It’s not that I rest because my works are great, I rest because God’s works are great.
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For you, O Lord, have made me happy by your work.
I will sing for joy because of what you have done.
How great are your works, O Lord!
Your plans are very intricate!