The Human Need and Biblical Prescription for a Stop Day

24-6God is using the entire Sleeth family as a prophetic voice to call the Church back into right relationship with our Creator and His creation. From their teaching and resourcing ministry, Blessed Earth to all their incredible written content being published, the Sleeth’s beautifully reflect God’s inspiration and revelation on how the human life should be.

Continuing the theme of creation care and a simplistic yet meaningful and contributing life, Matthew’s new book 24/6 A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life (2012) addresses the human need and divinely appointed commandment to remember and observe the Sabbath. The fourth commandment to rest isn’t just an Old Testament rule, but also a spiritual discipline practiced by Jesus.

Yet, in all the hustle and bustle of life in the Twenty-first Century, taking a day to stop and just “be” with God is a routine not often practiced by many in the Church. In addition to the desire for “the American dream” and what Max Weber called the “Protestant [Work] Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” the Western world is also experiencing a technological and informational overload. The busyness in people’s lives is undeniable.

That is one of the reasons why Matthew Sleeth advocates remembering the Sabbath, or “taking a stop day. In addition to man’s need to rest, the Sabbath is also the only commandment of the Ten that begins with “remember”.  To the generation receiving these words from God through Moses, they were a people who had known nothing but a life of slavery, hard work, and bondage in Egypt. When you are a slave, rest is not an option. With their deliverance from slave labor, God also gave them the freedom to rest.

This is a liberty that God experienced himself, for God rested after his work in creation. And once he unbound His people from the bondage of slavery (and their sin through Christ), he once again tells us to remember his provision and rest in his presence.

Matthew shares stories from his work experience in the medical field as well as Sabbath habits of his own family. Weaving the biblical mandate of taking a “stop day” through his writing and reflecting on both Old and New Testament passages, he has truly done the Church a great service in sharing this divinely appointed discipline in his new book.

In addition to the clear and compelling communication of Matthew, is a Forward by Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Eugene Peterson, a list of Scriptures dealing with the Sabbath, numerous quotes from several well-known pastors and theologians, and opening poems to each chapter. The book concludes with a series of blessings relating to family, communion, and service.

Just weeks after I received my copy of 24/6 I used it as the main resources for a teaching I did on the topic of Sabbath. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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