When the surrounding peoples bring merchandise or any kind of grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or a holy day. We will also leave the land uncultivated in the seventh year and will cancel every debt. Nehemiah 10:31 HCSB

I can remember when nearly every store and business was closed on Sunday. The Sabbath was a day for rest and going to church. I can also remember when stores started opening on Sunday. I worked for a store when I was in college that required me to work one Sunday a month. I would have to leave church early so I could be there by noon to open the store. At that time, stores only stayed open from noon until 5:00 pm, but now nearly all stores and businesses are open on Sunday and have regular hours. Sunday has become just like any other day of the week.

From the beginning of time God established the Sabbath as a day of rest. God Himself rested from creating the world on the seventh day. We all need a day of rest and a day to focus on our relationship with God. The Israelites had forgotten to keep the Sabbath and they were renewing their commitment to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy by not working.

Challenge: Consider studying the new book, Breathe, by Priscilla Shirer. She says, “We are in bondage to busyness. We constantly strive to complete the limitless to-do lists that hinder us from experiencing all that God has for us. We miss the moments because we rush ahead to the next thing. It is time for us to breathe and build margin into our lives for God. Sabbath was intended as a gift, and it is still a gift to us today. If you are weary, worn out, and exhausted the concept of Sabbath will change your life.” Even if you have to work on Sunday, find another day during the week to have a Sabbath.

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