Kim bought her son Jack a remote-controlled monster truck, but didn’t give him any instructions about how to use it. What do you think happened? Yes, within an hour, the truck was in pieces, and so was Jack. He had taken it outside, set it off at top speed, didn’t know how to turn it, and therefore smashed it into a wall.

Kim felt really bad about this because she hadn’t taken the time to teach Jack how to use the truck properly. So she bought him another and this time spent hours and hours going over all the minute instructions. Then she added lots of rules of her own about how to use it, where to use it, and so on.

An hour or so later, she realized she wasn’t hearing Jack playing with the truck. Worried that there had been another accident, she went to check and found him sitting on the ground just staring at the truck, which was still in its box.

“What’s wrong, Jack?”

“I’m just so scared of using it. I keep reading all the instructions and then all your rules and I’m just so scared I’ll get it wrong.”

Without instructions, he broke the first truck. With too many instructions, the second truck broke him. In both situations, the truck was useless and Jack was miserable. The gift that should have given him and his Mom joy had made them both sad. They were sad because the first truck was misused due to lack of rules, and sad because the second truck was underused due to too many rules.

We can run into the same kinds of problems with how we use the Sabbath. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for humanity (Mark 2:27). It’s a gift designed by our Creator for our good and for our joy. But sometimes we use it wrongly because of lack of instructions. Other times we don’t use it at all because too many rules have made us scared rather than joyful.

So, let’s go back to Genesis 2:1-4, when God designed this gift, so that we can get God’s original instructions on how to use this great gift.


  • God rested from his work
  • We rest from our work

So I just spend the day doing nothing?


  • God packed blessings into the day
  • We spend the day unpacking the blessings

What kind of blessings?


  • We worship God
  • We worship together

We need some instruction to use the Sabbath gift happily. But too much instruction and too many rules, and we won’t use it at all.

Without instruction, we’ll break God’s Sabbath gift. With too many instructions, the gift will break us.


Use God’s gift of Sabbath rest, blessing, and worship to maximize your joy and peace.

This episode of Living the Bible lines up with Expedition 1: Day 4 in  Exploring the Bible Together: A 52 Week Family Worship Plan and Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids. You can catch up with previous episodes of the Living the Bible podcast here or subscribe on iTunesSpotify, and Google Podcast.

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