A daily break in your day to celebrate our salvation in Yeshua (Jesus) and our abundant life through the Torah

The Blessing of the Sabbath

Lake MacDonald - Harmony-001The Sabbath – we think of the Jewish day of rest, or maybe any day when we’re not working, or the day we attend church.  Yeshua says of the Sabbath, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27).  The Sabbath is one of the blessings God made for mankind to enjoy.  He practiced it Himself on the seventh day of creation.  Was God tired?  Had all the work He’d done on the first six days worn Him out?  I can imagine it could, but no — God created it along with the world and its inhabitants as a gift to man, animals and the land.

A day, 24 hours, of no work — to most people that is a luxury.  When I first got a hold of the concept that the Sabbath was to be a blessing for man, and decided to try it, it was difficult.  My orientation to life is being productive, efficient, always making progress on projects, never an idle moment.  I tried to distract myself with Christian TV shows, Bible study, going to church, napping.  But I found I was mostly concentrating on not doing things, instead of enjoying what I was doing without feeling guilty.  I had even worked extra hard in order to carve out a day that I could do no work.  That was good practice, but it felt more like I was serving the Sabbath, not it serving me.

As I learned more about it, I realized it’s actually about trusting God.  We strive all week to get everything done, to not get too far behind, to juggle conflicting priorities or just keep up with our various responsibilities.  But God is the source of our lives, He has provided our jobs, our homes, our families — all those things that keep us busy.  He doesn’t just give them to us and let us struggle underneath them all on our own.  If we will let Him, He wants to bless us with them.  That means He has to do some of the work for us.  He can get results that we cannot, and in less time than it will take us.  But we have to step back and let Him take over.  The Sabbath is that day.

In Genesis 2, the Sabbath was designated on the seventh day.  In Hebrew terms, the number seven represents completion.  God uses it over and over in Biblical history as a symbol of completion and perfection.  You could say the Sabbath is the day God completes the work He’s given us.  At the end of the sixth day, we can walk away and hand the reins back to Him to complete and bless our offering of work in the things He’s provided us.  With it comes an attitude of acknowledging that all we have comes from Him, and He alone is the One that brings it to its perfect fulfillment.  Wow – that even makes the first six days a lot easier!

But walking away is hard.  It takes a lot of restraint not to automatically do housework, clean up a few loose ends for work, or plan meals for the next week — at least at first.  But when you really begin believing that God is your source and trust that not only will He not let you fall, but He can actually finish your work better than you can, that’s when the Sabbath begins to serve you as it was meant to.  Freedom from the weight of responsibilities, guilt-free relaxation, anticipation of what God can do when you’re not around, knowing that He’s got better things planned for you that day, no distractions from enjoying your 24 hours — what a luxury, indeed!

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day,  if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.  For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:13-14

Related Resources

Resources for Observing the Sabbath
Recommended Messianic Teachers

 

5 responses

  1. chinedu charles

    pls has d seventh day sabbath been changed to d first day ‘sunday’ as yeshua resurrected on d first day? Please i need answer,keep me posted

    April 13, 2013 at 7:34 am

    • Chinedu Charles, thank you for your question and your openness to ask it. The Sabbath throughout the Bible has been defined as being on the 7th day (Saturday). While Yeshua denounced many of the Rabbinical teachings that were far reaching beyond the Scriptures, nowhere in his teachings or those of his disciples’, nor in any book of the Bible is the seventh day Sabbath replaced by Sunday. Look at Acts 15, which specifically refers to Gentile worship of God. It details three things they must abstain from in order to be accepted in the faith. Then verse 21 tells us that they can practice those three things and learn the rest of the Mosaic law in the synagogues every Sabbath. This is after Yeshua’s resurrection. The synagogues were not changed to Christian churches meeting on Sunday just because Gentiles were now accepted.

      The idea of a Sunday gathering for believers did originate out of Yeshua’s resurrection, however as late as 130 AD it was still observed as a day of worship in honor of his resurrection, not as a Sabbath. Both the Sabbath and Sunday were celebrated for a time as two different occasions. Christian services were still held on Saturday throughout the Christian world as late as the fifth century. In 321 AD Constantine, Emperor of the Roman Empire, honoring Sunday as the “Day of the Sun,” decreed that it be a day of rest from labor. In subsequent centuries various leaders increased the restrictions as to what was legal and not legal on Sundays, while forcing Saturdays as a work day. In the end the seventh day Sabbath is God’s instruction, Sunday is man’s idea.

      The Bible is your foremost authority, and it contains no instruction or example of replacing Saturday with Sunday. If you wish to also read others’ learned opinions, I recommend the paper: “How Sunday Became the Popular Day of Worship” by Kenneth A. Strand, and the video: “The Sabbath – Stunning Admissions” by David C. Pack – both are available online, just search on their titles. (Neither of these authors/teachers is Messianic.) I hope this information will be helpful in your spiritual journey.

      April 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

  2. First of all thanks for a nice blog. I am one of the few Christians who still observe Saturday as a Sabbath day and I have learnt a lot from your blog. I like the idea of looking at the Sabbath as a day of freedom. Freedom from stressful situations, freedom from work etc. If we all did that we would see that the Sabbath is a day of delight as promised by our LORD.

    Charles Chinedu, the Sabbath is still the seventh day or Saturday to those who use the Roman calendar. My blog on the sabbath supports the position taken by this blog that the observance of Sunday is a man made decision just as are so may beliefs that have creeped into christianity.

    October 11, 2013 at 5:49 am

    • Samuel, thank you for your comment. I agree, it does become a delight as our priorities and mind are aligned with God’s intention. Thanks also for the collection of Sabbath information on your blog: whatissabbath.net.

      October 16, 2013 at 6:59 am

  3. chinedu charles

    perfect!excellent teaching,yeah i hv been keeping,serving the shabbat but frm dis write-up i hv come to understand about trusting God as my source of wealth nd honour.tax alot,pls always keep me posted.Shalom

    November 8, 2013 at 11:20 pm

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