ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Keeping the Sabbath (Even Jellyfish Sleep)

Updated on August 19, 2019

The Fourth Commandment

Of the Ten Commandments, the Fourth commandment seems to have caused the most controversy in terms of its application:

‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.’ (Exodus 20:8-10, New International Version)

Controversies have centred around whether Saturday or Sunday should be the designated day of rest or corporate worship. In the early days, Christians worship on Sunday to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. The early Jewish believers probably continued to observe Saturday as a rest day and worship on Sunday as well. By focusing on which is the ‘correct’ day, we may have missed the main points of keeping the Sabbath.

By focusing on whether to worship on a Saturday or Sunday, we may have missed the main points of keeping the Sabbath.

Even jellyfish sleep

Brainless jellyfish do sleep
Brainless jellyfish do sleep | Source

We’ve always known that sleep (scientific definition: a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body) is crucial to our survival and well-being. A study published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research found that even the jellyfish, a brainless organism with simple nervous system, need rest and if deprived of sleep, acted tired the next day (took them longer to start pulsing, as if they were groggily shaking off sleep when startled). This led scientists to conclude that even the smallest building block of life, the cell, needs rest.

When God ceased from His work of creation, it was as if He stopped to admire what He had done,

Just like an artist who puts his brush down when he considers his painting complete; he steps back, takes a deep breath and savours his handiwork. It’s one thing for the Creator to cease from work to enjoy His creation but quite another for His creatures to enjoy a similar perk. What are we to make of the command to keep the Sabbath in this day and age?

When God ceased from His work of creation, it was as if He stopped to admire what He had done,

He made us this way – our need for physical rest

Countless studies have tried to uncover the reasons for sleep i.e. the need to take a break. Whilst the origin of sleep remains a mystery, there’s no doubt it’s necessary not just for survival but for our well-being. Even simple organisms with no brain like the jellyfish appear to need sleep.


We are social beings

When we’re not at work, electronic devices (computers, ipads, iphones) still occupy our attention during our day of rest. We seem to be plugged in all the time; the more (electronically) connected we are, the less we engage in personal interaction. As unrelentless work hours take a toll on health and relationships, many have taken to turning off social media periodically. The struggle to take a break is also a by-product of living in a consumer-driven environment.

Curbing economic greed

In an ever-so-growing economy centred on consumption, there’s an insatiable drive to want more i.e. it is never enough. Instead of producing to meet the needs and wants of people, the economy is now feeding on consumers who are driven to keep on consuming beyond their needs. It seems we must work tirelessly to facilitate economic growth rather than the other way round.

Keeping the Sabbath is like hitting the ‘pause’ button on a work week, to regain our dignity, that we are not slaves to work. We also rest from the anxiety and strain of non-stop work, which may be symptoms of our greed or insecurity or both.

As unrelentless work hours take a toll on health and relationships, many have taken to turning off social media periodically.


Inner rest

The Sabbath can act as a break in my routine, to stop my preoccupation with issues close to my heart or running around. Instead, we seek God, listen to sermons, serve in church and commune with fellow believers. Externally, we’re ceasing from ordinary tasks in order to focus on God. Internally, we cease from self-efforts and rest on God’s promise of providence. Hence the day of rest is a demonstration of man having been created in God’s image, a day when we hang out with our Creator.

Rest for the land

The command to rest also extends to the use of land:

‘But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.’ (Leviticus 25:4, New International Version)

Studies have found that by allowing land to lie fallow periodically, it has the effect of restoring soil fertility. Research done by the University of Arizona found that fallowed soil has greater microbial diversity, required for better nutrient cycling which enhances crop production. A period of rest does not mean inactivity but instead results in the regeneration of the soil and increased harvest.

Studies have found that by allowing land to lie fallow periodically, it has the effect of restoring soil fertility.


Hanging out with our Creator

As we come to realize the benefits of keeping the Sabbath and recognize it as part of God’s blueprint for an abundant life - essential for the well-being of individuals, communities and the earth - we will look forward to keeping the Sabbath every week.

© 2019 CC Leau


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)