On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. ~ Genesis 2:2 (NLT)
I have a coworker in ministry who likes to use a particular word in his sermons, bible studies, books, online presence, and basically anytime he is talking about the Kingdom of God. That word? “Marinate.” For those who have never barbequed or grilled anything, this idea of marinating something might be a foreign concept. Basically, to marinate something, you cover it with a sauce or dripping of some sort (like barbeque sauce) before you put the item on the grill. Often times you do this hours in advance so that the seasonings from the marinade soaks in to the item to be grilled, which will add some great flavor once it is. Master chefs even have secret recipes for their marinade which gives their products a distinctively awesome and unique flavor. So, how does this word marinate apply to the Kingdom of God? Let me show you.
As people, we marinate on all kinds of things during the week. The stresses of our career marinate us with stiff necks, sore shoulders, back aches, headaches, and a hundred different things. The stresses of school marinate us in stress and worry about that next test, project, or the homework we didn’t get to in time. The relationships that surround us day in and day out marinate us in either sweet goodness or sour bitterness. Our finances (or lack thereof) marinate us in anxiety about whether or not we can pay that next house or school payment. Basically, every waking minute of each day marinates us in sweetness or sourness. Then comes Sabbath.
God created the Sabbath as a gift for you and me. He instituted it at creation, and, just to be sure, the Bible says He blessed it. In other words, it’s an extra special day unlike any other. You see, the Sabbath was meant to allow us to shift our focus off of the day-to-day grind and to help us marinate on the goodness of God and what it means to belong to His Kingdom. When we observe the Sabbath, God marinates us with peace, calm, hope, joy, and a million other things that can be in short supply during the week. If we allow Him, by keeping His Sabbath, His goodness soaks into us and prepares us for the fires which await us during the coming week.
Every seven days, God has built in a time to let go of work, of school, of drama, and given us a day to soak in His glory, His goodness. This Sabbath, marinate on that fact.