We were last looking into the third commandment that God gave Moses from Mt. Sinai:
That study was a three course meal in itself!
1 The Lord is my Shepherd: I shall not want,
3 He restores my soul:
I will fear no evil: for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
How beautiful ... and thorough ... is our God??!!!!
OK, finally, we pick up our study at:
8 ~ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Remember: means literally: to mark in the mind. I like that! I need my mind marked by God's will for me. Not by the other stuff that clutters it up, much like grafitti! Actually, in Deuteronomy 5:12 , "remember" was replaced with "keep." NOTE: More food for thought here!
Shabath: to desist from exertion. How could we possibly keep the day holy, when we are busy exerting our energies in every different direction, except towards God??? Additionaly, we usually busy ourselves with something we should have done or could have done on other days of the week. We so do not observe our rest-day as the so-very-special one that our God gave to us! SO special, to Him, as to call it holy. Wow!
9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:
Yes, we were created to rest 1 day out of every 7... BUT ... we were also ordered to work ... and get all of our work finished in 6 days! This is a part of the commandment that we have all chosen to ignore at one time or other. God did not suggest to us to work 4 days or 5 and rest for the whole weekend or holiday.... although, that is what seems right and fair to us!
He did not say, "do most of your work." He offers up no exceptions here. He does not say, "if you can," or "unless something else comes up." He said to do it all in 6 days ... then rest. YIKES!!! Here I thought I was a star-quality rester, but God's Word shows me otherwise.
I must confess; I often misuse the rest-days God gives me, by doing work that I don't get finished throughout the week! :( There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day, or the week, or the month, ... year.... Oh dear, it seems I have been minimizing the Lord's sufficiency, haven't I? Another trust issue??!!! I think so. :/
I am SO sorry LORD ... You are my Provider and my Provision ... You are All-Sufficient! I do KNOW You are!!!
10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates.
Only the Levites worked on the Sabbath. They were actually commanded to work, butchering and offering the sacrifices ... oh whoa, you pastors, what an honor!
God commanded man to work 6 days and to rest on the 7th, for many good reasons, physical and spiritual. As human beings, we were created to function in this manner. For healthy bodies, minds, and spirits ... we need to rest from our work on that 7th day!
Oh, how slack we have become ... and I speak of myself as one of the worst offenders! I have not made the Sabbath a priority for most of my life. God however, obviously considers this day so important a priority that He made it His FOURTH commandment!!! Helloooooo!!
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
We are to keep the Sabbath day holy. Holy to the LORD. HE treasured and hallowed the day of His rest ... should we treat ours with any less reverence???
During Old Testament times, all work was forbidden by law on the rest day, under penalty of death!
Thankfully, we are no longer bound by the Law ... indeed, Jesus took care of all that for us! HALLELUJAH! We are now free to observe any sabbath of our choice, there is no commandment in the New Testament on this subject, no penalty stated for not keeping it.
This does not alter the fact that the purpose of the Sabbath is for our good and for God's glory. He orders our focus on and fellowship with Him only every one day out of seven ... to rest, heal, and refresh our bodies, quiet our spirits, and refill us with and grow His Spirit in us. We thrive in the presence of and in communion with God.
Jesus knows His sheep: we would go on our merry way to destruction and miss our Shepherd's best for us .... if He had not included this special time to come aside with Him in the"big 10."
We need not take this to the extreme, like the Hebrews did in OT times. Unnecessary work is one of the keys. The law allowed for emergencies, necessary care of stock and such. Many of us have necessary chores that must be done, but I believe that we ought to consecrate every ounce of that time to God!
Not that I have attained to this standard yet, as I would like to, but keeping the Sabbath is a vitally important principle of well-being! It is a proven fact, that rest and recharging increases productivity.
God first gave the Sabbath to man in Ex 16:22-26. It was gift to man, meant to be a delight, not a burden. Like all of His treasure, this gift is right here, just waiting for us to accept it! Our LORD is SO good to us!
We really NEED to set aside a sabbath day each week, on the day of our choosing, rest from our finished work, minister to the LORD and allow Him to minister to us and give us direction for the week to come.
Jesus observed the sabbath: how dare we think that we can function properly without observing it?! Granted, He followed Jewish laws and traditions, but He also drew aside as a regular practice.
The LORD, in His infinite wisdom, has a total and complete plan for us. The perfection of detail that He attends to, just blows me away! It is so true: we are totally out of balance, if we fail to acknowledge His laws of work and rest! Again, as with the law of gravity, there are consequences for breaking the law and blessings for keeping it. We can choose to ignore it, but that doesn't change the force and reality of the law.
Also, by consistently stopping once a week, to acknowledge God as the Giver of every good gift and the Provider of our bread; we are letting Him (and everyone else in our realm) know, that we recognize that ALL we have is from Him, not from anything that we have done or earned! Don't you just love WIN, WIN, WIN situations??!
I will tie up this study with an excerpt from Jon Courson's Application Commentary Old Testament~Vol 1:
"Spend time in worship. Take a break. Kick back. Chill out. Pray. Read. Talk. Enjoy. Fly a kite. Take a nap. Listen to your kids. When a day is set apart, conversations begin to flow; people begin to open up. But it takes a chunk of time -- an entire day set aside. One day should be so free, so refreshing, so relaxing that dynamics take place that would not in any lesser amount of time. The Sabbath is a gift. Make it a time when your family, your health, your soul can be restored."
Thanks for stopping by. See you next time :)
Thank You for loving us SO much, that you
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