As our family has been reading through the Bible cover to cover, Tyler Ann noticed that Sabbath is mentioned more than any other command in the Bible. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that Sabbath is mentioned a lot in both the old and new testaments.
Today as we read, this verse was amongst our reading. Exodus 34:21 “You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.”
As a wannabe farmer, I have learned that this is a challenging verse. There are times when fields can’t be worked because of rain or lack of rain, or other uncontrollable events. So I can understand why it would be a challenge to obey this commandment.
But what does it mean to keep the Sabbath? Why should we keep it? Does it matter anymore? Who is this commandment to?
IF you want to learn everything that Scripture says about Sabbath, then go to this study and do it.
But for this post I just want to share a few verses and thoughts. You see I LOVE Sabbath, I think Sabbath is a blessing and gift from God Almighty to His children. I have no idea how I lived before keeping Sabbath. If I could give those I loved a gift, it would be the blessing of Sabbath.
Here are a few verses to help explain why I love it and what it is to me.
Sabbath was established by God the very first week of creation.
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Sabbath means both to rest, stop working, and seventh day. The name of the weeks in Hebrew mean Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. The only day that has a name in Hebrew is the seventh day named Sabbath. This day is set aside, sanctified, made holy by God the very first week of creation.
This is an amazing thing to understand. It can not be moved to a different day. And there is NO WHERE in the Bible that it is moved or changed.
God teaches His children the beauty of a day of rest from the very beginning. But when they go into slavery in Egypt they can not keep a Sabbath day of rest, because the slave masters worked them everyday long hard hours. So the next scripture on Sabbath, that speaks to me is when they come out of Egypt and God reteaches them the beauty of the seventh day rest.
This is in the ten commandments, Exodus 20:1-11
“And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
Wow, what a gift. God tells his people I made you, I care for you, take a day at the end of the week to just Trust in Me. Don’t worry, don’t fret, don’t work. I will take care of everything.
The next verse I love about Sabbath is in the new testament and it is a quote from Yeshua (Jesus). In Mark chapter 2 verses 23-27.
23″ Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”
27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
A few years ago I was reading and studying the Gospels and I found out the most amazing thing. That in the New Testament sometimes the word law is about the law of the pharisees and religious leaders of the day, and sometimes the word law is about the Torah (the law God gave Moses for His people). Once I understood this, I realized that Yeshua was not talking about the Torah in these verses, but rather the Jewish laws of men. Which as a Christian this should have been a no brainer. I mean why did I never think about it before, Yeshua could not disobey God’s law or condone the disobedience of it, or He would not have been the Messiah. But I never really realized that before. So, as I read this passage with new understanding my whole understanding of verse 27 changed.
YHVH God made a day of rest for ME! He doesn’t need a day to rest. He is God. There is no need for Him to take a day off. He made a Sabbath day of rest for man. This verse isn’t a verse that gives me liberty to do whatever I want on Sabbath, rather it says, “Don’t worry about it.”
When I decided to keep Sabbath as a day of rest, a day to focus on my creator and provider, my redeemer, I had no idea what that really meant. I wasn’t sure if I should just lay in bed all day. Should I read my Bible all day? Maybe I was suppose to go to church? I just didn’t know for sure.
It didn’t seem restful at first. When was I going to get my Saturday work done? But I was determined to figure it out.
I kept reading and studying out what the Bible said about Sabbath. It said to get together with other like minded believers and worship God, it said to not work and not cause others to work. That meant no buying or selling. But Yeshua healed and did other things on the Sabbath to help people. The other things I noticed is these commandments were for the children of God, and especially for when they entered the Promised land. I mean it was obvious that Daniel and others in captivity wee unable to truly keep the Sabbath in bondage. But they were men of God. So, how did they keep Sabbath?
I began to figure the answer out of the secret to keeping Sabbath and finding Shalom after a while. The secret is this…
Sabbath keeping is a matter of heart obedience. Sabbath is about Trusting in God. Maybe you do have to work on Sabbath and you have no choice. Maybe you have to buy or sell something on Sabbath because there just isn’t any way to get around it. But the question is: Did you do everything you could the six days a week to prepare to have a day off? Did you make a plan to obey YHVH? When we take the time to trust Him and take a SABBATH, He not only provides all we need, but He creates in us a peace that is not obtainable any other way. This peace that begins to build the more you keep Sabbath grows into something that creates better physical health, creates better mental health, creates better Spiritual health.
As I have continued to keep Sabbath as a day set aside to cease from work and worry, I have found I am not an emotional wreck over things. I no longer fall deep into depression that keeps me trapped. I still have worries and concerns that come into my life, but they do not consume me. No, each week I take the seventh day off and I focus in on my Provider, my Creator, my Redeemer, I know that I know He is faithful and trust worthy.
If you are reading this blog and you don’t know what it means to keep the Sabbath Day unto the Lord. Please do the Bible study and prayerfully consider what YHVH God is asking you to do. I truly want you to receive this amazing gift of peace and rest this side of eternity with Messiah. Why wait til then when you can know this blessing now.