Will the Real Sabbath Please Stand up?

 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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. 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.” Exodus 20:8-11.

How do you view the Sabbath? Is it going to church on Sunday? On Saturday? Is it twenty-four hours of rest or just going to church in the morning?

Growing up, my family went to church on Sunday morning without fail. We went on Wednesday nights, revival weeks, missionary weeks, and when the Evangelists came to town.

But Sunday was special. We had a big meal in our home after church, most often with friends or family. We could not do laundry or clean, and we could do no yard work, either (we LOVED those rules).

But, it could be legalistic, too. Sometimes a girl needed to wash her favorite pants for school on Sunday night. Nope, not allowed. It was Sunday, we should’ve done that on Saturday.

Although, this seems extreme to some, I realized later, my parents were trying their best to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

My father loved sports. He watched all the games throughout the week and weekend, until one day…The Lord convicted him of spending too much time on Sunday in front of the TV, watching sports and ignoring Him and his family. From that day on until he was in a nursing home later in life, he never watched sports on Sunday.

God takes Sabbath rest seriously.

He set the example for us in Genesis 2:2-3:

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

Do you think God really needed to rest?

In Babylon, starting around 605 BCE, the evil king Nebuchadnezzar took the people of Judah captive three different times. God even called Nebuchadnezzar “His servant.” (Jeremiah 25:9.)

They stayed in Babylon for seventy years until king Cyrus allowed them to return to Jerusalem to repair the desolate city.

According to the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, the 70 years was “the exact number of years of Sabbaths in four hundred and ninety years, the period from Saul to the Babylonian captivity.” https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/understanding-the-book-of-daniel/daniel-9/

Not only were they to rest on the seventh day, but as a country, their land was to rest on the seventh year as well. They did not do this.

Why did God allow this exile and captivity to happen? Judah was disobedient and would not listen to the Lord. (Jeremiah 25:3-4.)

Bottom line, they did not keep the Sabbath for 490 years. So, God sent them to a pagan country where they might appreciate what they had, and have plenty of time to make up the Sabbaths they missed.

When I consider the time we are in with nearly every restaurant, park, movie theater, sports event, and anything fun closed indefinitely, I can’t help but consider how many Sabbaths have we missed?

Could the Lord be using this time to make up for our missed Sabbaths? Have we ever celebrated Sabbath like God wanted us to?

Rest.

Unless you are a healthcare worker or considered an essential business employee, we all have time to do that, right?

I wrote a post a while ago called Living out the Sabbath (Shabbat). I wrote about a time we visited Israel and ate a Shabbat meal with an Orthodox family. They explained the customs as we ate the meal and we watched them honor each member of the family. They wowed us the entire night.

There was not a dry eye.

Would it be so hard to carry out the real Sabbath, now? Can we enjoy the rest God has granted us once this is all over and (hopefully) things return to some normalcy?

God gave us the Sabbath for our rest—for our benefit. Rest allows our bodies to heal, our spirits to renew, and our minds to quiet down.

It’s God, family, and friends in that order on the Sabbath. It’s not a punishment, it’s a gift.

What changes can you make in your life, “To remember the Sabbath and keep it holy,”

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Well said ma’am. We must remember that we all need rest. We need to make time to calm our spirits, relax our minds, rest our bodies, and renew our souls. One way I try and do that each day is to finish my devotionals, study, and prayers. Then I sit back, close my eyes, and softly sing or hum a soft hymn. Other times I just silently talk with Abba and spend more quiet time in His presence. What a wonderful reminder ma’am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie P. says:

      Yes, rest is a good thing. Every cell in our body has a “resting” period programmed into it. It is truly a God thing! Thank you, J.D.!

      Like

  2. karentfriday says:

    So true, Stephanie. Love this: “Could the Lord be using this time to make up for our missed Sabbaths? Have we ever celebrated Sabbath like God wanted us to?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stephanie P. says:

    Thank you, Karen. We can all do better at keeping the Sabbath holy..

    Like

    1. Beautiful thoughts, sister. I love this article!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Stephanie P. says:

        Thank you, Diane.

        Like

  4. jabez1288 says:

    Great message Stephanie. I have written about it in the past as well. I grew up on a family dairy farm and the cows still needed milked morning and evening. But all other farm works was off the table. Sunday’s were the day for families to visit and they all seemed to come out to the farm.I liked the Rule to set it aside and keep it a special day. If the Covid-19 restrictions were not in place right now, we would be going to the morning and evening services at our church, along with the mid-week service.

    Sabbath means rest and too many forget to do that. Rest and reflect on all the Lord gas done the past week and what He will provide and do for the coming week. Workaholics LIVE for the weekends. Christians should be living for all 7 days, but letting their Sabbath be a time of coming together to worship the Lord. ~ Ben C.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stephanie P. says:

    Thank you, Ben. I grew up on a farm although we didn’t get animals. But, on our own little homestead with my husband, we had goats we milked every morning and evening. We still have ducks and chickens. But, even the farmer needs to rest, as well as working animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brita Alaburda says:

    You see through a Biblical lens with the acknowledgement of God allowing this pandemic to happen, creating a time of intentional rest for His people, opportunity to think upon Him, and study His Word for what He is teaching us through this experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stephanie P. says:

    Yes, I believe we must look at life through the eyes of Jesus to the best of our ability Of, course there is only so much we can know…His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours Thank you, Brita!.

    Like

  8. Doug Carter says:

    Well said, Stephanie. I’m also wondering if this time of isolation is a reminder to keep the sabbath. We’ve grossly neglected this command for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie P. says:

      Thank you, Doug! Yes, I agree, we allow so many things to take up our Sabbath. Most think it just means to go to church, but the Sabbath’s meaning is so much more.
      Thank you for following my blog, too!

      Like

  9. well said, my friend. Always God first, family and church in that order. Thank you for the reminder today

    Like

  10. Thank you again, Stephanie, for this reminder. I know I need to take more time to rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie P. says:

      We all do, LuAnn. Thank you.

      Like

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