The Benefits of Sabbath-Rest

God gives those who delight in the Sabbath a great promise:

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, IF YOU CALL THE SABBATH A DELIGHT AND THE LORD’S HOLY DAY HONORABLE, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, THEN YOU WILL FIND YOUR JOY IN THE LORD, and I WILL CAUSE YOU TO RIDE ON THE HEIGHTS OF THE LAND AND TO FEAST ON THE INHERITANCE OF YOUR FATHER JACOB.”
—Isaiah 58:13, 14.

This passage suggests the Sabbath is a doorway through which we can experience the best things in life: we “ride on the heights” and “feast on the inheritance.” People today are trampling over each other in the rush to “have it all.” Individuals are burning out and families are falling apart under the strain. But God presents the Sabbath as a much better way to get there—to the good life—from here.

Let’s look at some of the specific benefits of Sabbath rest.

“In our culture, work has become a god. It is the pre-eminent factor in organizing human life and establishing personal identities. It so dominates people’s lives that there is little time for themselves or their families. The Sabbath is God’s answer. It serves as a counterbalance, establishing the inalienable human right to rest. It is designed to protect us from the dangers of physical exhaustion, psychological stress and the interpersonal alienation which result from idolization and over-identification with work.”—Richard Exley, The Rhythm of Life (Tulsa. Okla.: Honor Books, 1987), p.73.