Science wasn’t the first to discover the need for a cycle of rest. In fact, rest is part of the plan that God gave to us at the very beginning. He established an island of time at the end of each week for spiritual and physical restoration.

The book of Genesis tells how God provided for this rest. During a six-day period, God created all the living things on our planet, everything from crickets to crocodiles, from mushrooms to mangoes. He also made the first human beings.

It was an amazing week of work, and God knew it. “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” (Gen 1:31). Everything was good indeed. We’re still discovering today the awe-inspiring ways in which He designed even the tiniest of creatures — living things so small we can view them only through powerful microscopes.

But then watch what happened: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work” (Gen 2:1, 2).

What was God doing here? Was he worn out from His work? Not likely. Instead, He was exemplifying and building a rhythm of rest into our weekly cycle. This cycle is as much a part of nature as the rhythm of our hearts: beat, rest, beat, rest. God was creating an island of rest in our ocean of labor.

He would make that clear when he gave the world the familiar Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai. Among these basic moral principles is one that prescribes rest. The fourth commandment reads: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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” (Ex. 20:8-10). In other words, God is saying: “Great news! You don’t have to work this day, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. This is a day for resting.”

By the way, notice something else interesting about the weekly cycle of activity and rest. The seven-day week is the only part of our calendars that doesn’t correspond to some celestial cycle. Think about it.

We have the year, the time it takes the earth to orbit the sun.
We have the month, the period from one full moon to the next.
And we have the 24-hour day, one rotation of the earth on its axis.

But the week? Where does that come from? Nature has no seven-day cycles that repeat themselves again and again. Yet virtually everyone on earth observes a seven-day week.


The week was given to everyone by the hand of God. Going back to the beginning, it’s a direct link through time to the One who fashioned life on our planet. And at the climax of that week, God rested. He set aside a day to experience love — a practice that will bring you health.