During this time in our nation and world were everyone has been forced to stop and slow down, and stay home, I have been praying that my nation would take this time to really rest in Yehovah. Our society is all about getting it done. We are a hard working, fast paced nation. We put so much pressure on ourselves, our children, and each other. Employeers expect their employees to put their job above everything else. Employees think to get a head and to be secure in their job they must go above and beyond. There is no room for rest. Even in the church this is true. We need to have excellent programs, and go above and beyond at preparing amazing music and sermons, and lessons, and the list goes on and on. Our children feel enormous pressure to be popular, be the best athlete, be the best student, be the BEST. Society all around sends these messages that we must go Bigger and Bigger, we must work harder and harder.
But what is the goal? Why are we doing all of this work? What is the end game?
I ask myself these questions often, and I encourage my children to ask themselves what is my goal in this particular situation? Is the goal about me, or is the goal about GOD?
Yesterday, as we celebrated the weekly Sabbath, I realized something. What I realized is I have an advantage. You see knowing and understanding Sabbath is my advantage. Let me try and explain.
When I was a little girl, every week on Saturday night my family prepared for the next day. Often my mom would prepare the food for the next day, especially if there was a potluck that week at church, or if we were to have guests the next day for lunch, after church services. We would shower and lay out our nice clothes, so we wouldn’t be rushed in the morning. Then on Sunday, we would all go to church services. We didn’t go to the grocery, or out to eat, because none of those businesses were opened. In fact, pretty much every business was closed on Sunday. It was pretty much understood in our nation from coast to coast that Sunday was a day of rest. It was rare that people worked, and farmers especially understood this need to rest their equipment, animals, and bodies.
This was the norm. I am not sure when it changed. But I have a theory. I think it started with the church. You see the church began having more and more programs and activities on Sunday. The services became shows, and the children’s ministry became a carnival, and so on and so on. Coffee bars began to become an added feature of fellowship time. These little changes began to add up to a lot of work. This became a message to the church goers that Sunday is not a day of rest. So, they go home and get busy working too. More and more stores and resturants begin to be open, and slowly over time, we totally forgot what a day of rest looks like.
Now, that is what Sunday looked like when I was a child.
(But Sunday actually isn’t the commanded day of rest according to scripture. Sabbath, the last day of the week, the seventh day, is the commanded day of rest. If you would like to read more of my posts about sabbath, just search sabbath on the site.)
Why did we once as a nation shut down for a whole day each week? The answer is in the Bible.
In fact, the answer is in the ten commandments. It is the fourth commandment.
Let’s take a look.
Exodus 20: 8-11 and Dueteronomy 5:12-15
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
I highlighted the last two sentences in each of these passages, because they are the key to Sabbath and resting.
Every Sabbath, I pray a blessing. “Yehovah thank you for setting apart this day that we might be reminded of you our Creator and Redeemer.” This prayer is the key to understanding who God is and who I am. When we know and remember that the Creator of the universe, and all that is in it, is still in control. There is something amazing that happens when we stop and realize that nothing we do is really that big a deal. We can rest with assurance that our Creator has everything in His Hands. He doesn’t need us to run the world, He doesn’t need us to save the world. He already did that because He is also our Redeemer. Just like He redeemed the first born sons of Israel, on Passover, and brought them out of slavery, He has also redeemed us through His first born son, Yeshua.
When we stop and remember who Yehovah is, each and every seventh day then, we take God out of the box we have set Him in. God is not a genie, He is not a fairy god mother, nor is he just a far of being. He is our personal Creator and Redeemer. He is the same God who created Adam and Eve and walked with them in the garden. He is the same God who called Moses from a burning bush, He is the same God who chose Mary to give birth to Yeshua, our Savior. He is Yeshua, our Redeemer. He is the same God that is wanting you to rest in Him, and place your trust in Him.
The commandment to stop every seven days and rest, is a gift to us from our Creator and Redeemer.
The secret to success is resting in the knowledge of who God is and who you are. He is the Creator and Redeemer!
What does that make you?
Written by Katie
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