According to the United States Department of Labor, Labor Day was created to honor the contributions that workers have made to the social and economic well-being of America. President Grover Cleveland first made it a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day is the first Monday in September, falling on Sept. 5 this year. As an American college student myself, it makes a nice transition from working full-time to going back to classes for the year, giving summer one last hurrah.
God's "work week" is a marvelous schedule that works. He pushes us to work hard at our jobs and various other responsibilities throughout the week, and then gives us the seventh day off to both relax and focus on Him.
Here's an odd question: Have you ever stopped to consider God's perspective on labor, or, as we might say today, "work"? It's interesting to think and read about. God actually expects us to work for most of the week. In Exodus 20:9 we read God's command that for "six [out of seven] days you shall labor and do all your work." He also encourages us to work with passion and diligence: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Work is important and allows us to do many honorable things in life, such as provide for our families, grant help to those in need, and leave an inheritance for our children.
Are we then to work and slave away at all times? Certainly not! God understands that we aren't tireless robots who can run all seven days of the week. He tells us—commands us even—to take the seventh day off!
Let's return to Exodus 20 to get the rest of God's important directive: "Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work" (Exodus 20:9-10; emphasis added). God wants us to take the seventh day off so bad that He makes it the fourth requirement in the most well-known section of His law: the Ten Commandments!
But there's still more to the story besides not working! What are we supposed to do with these 24 hours of seemingly free time? The core of God's Fourth Commandment is this: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8; emphasis added).
One important way that we keep this day holy is by resting instead of working, as we already mentioned. Another significant way we honor the Sabbath is by attending church services, which are a holy convocation appointed by God Himself (Leviticus 23:3). Going to church allows us to converse with and encourage others who believe as we do and to worship and learn more about God and His truth. Please click here to find the congregation closest to you.
God's "work week" is a marvelous schedule that works. He pushes us to work hard at our jobs and various other responsibilities throughout the week, and then gives us the seventh day off to both relax and focus on Him. This "recharge day" doesn't come around just once a year; you can reap the benefits of God's Sabbath every week! As you prepare for fall and for the upcoming holiday weekend, remember to always put God first and keep His Sabbaths holy. Have a blessed and restful Sabbath and Labor Day weekend.
For a more in-depth look at God's instruction to keep the Sabbath, how to keep it, and its plethora of benefits, please reflect on the following writings:
Sunset to Sunset: God's Sabbath Rest—our extensive booklet investigating the seventh-day Sabbath as it is mentioned throughout the Bible, from beginning to end.
"The Fourth Commandment: Key to a Relationship With Our Creator"—a look at the Sabbath as a command from God, demonstrating its deep importance to you individually.
"The Benefits of the Sabbath"—this article examines just a handful of the many benefits that you can experience right now by keeping God's Sabbath.