Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Purpose Of The Sabbath

The principle of the Sabbath Rest goes beyond a law to be obeyed. Everything Yahweh put in place has a greater purpose that we should seek to understand so that we can live it with purpose. It is more than a chosen day for worship. It is more than a day when we consider spiritual matters. These things cannot be contained within the restrictions of a calendar day. Worship and and meditation are infused into every day of the week. So what is the purpose of a Sabbath? Consider the Scriptures:

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 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. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)

Yahweh had finished everything he had set himself to do. It was finished. On this seventh day Yahweh created one last thing as he declared it was finished; rest. Rest is the intended purpose of the Sabbath. Do we really think that the Creator was tired and needed a break? Not at all, but having completed everything, he set into place the rest from labour. It was intended to be a time of recuperating strength. It was put into place as a thing of restoration.

When we examine the laws that were put into place under Moses we find this principle of rest. There was the seventh year, the Sabbath year, the year of restoration. In the seventh year the fields would be given rest; nothing would be planted. In the seventh year all lands that had been sold would be restored to their proper owner. In the seventh year, anyone who had sold themselves as a slave would be released. It was a year of rest and restoration. Now bring it back to the seventh day.

From the very beginning Yahweh had not created us to be machines, working without rest. Our body, mind and spirit need rest from work, to rest and be restored. We need a time to come away and relax, to take a deep breath, to reflect on our week and call it good. It is only natural that we would also use this day for corporate worship, for reflecting on the goodness of Yahweh, to consider our blessings and be refreshed and restored spiritually as well as physically. We need this daily as well but there are special blessings found in the corporate activity of worship.

We just need to be careful that we do not turn the Sabbath into a law that destroys its intended purpose. The one thing Jesus kept coming up against was the restrictive attitude of the spiritual leaders toward the Sabbath. Jesus said that Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath. Our rest should never keep us from doing what is right and good. It is intended as a day of blessed rest, not tortured restrictions. Yahweh intended it as a blessing for us, so practice the Sabbath, on whatever day you can, because you need rest and restoration. Be blessed in it and give Father the glory for the love and wisdom he pours out on us.

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