And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:2-3, KJV)
Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD… See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath… So the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:23, 29, 30; KJV)
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God… (Exodus 20:9-10, KJV)
This may not be a challenge to everyone reading this post, but these days it seems that people are on the go more and more. It may not be working at your job every day of the week, but it may be running from one church meeting to another. It may be running from one soccer practice or football practice over to gymnastics and then on to the next thing. People are on the go like never before.
Here in the Old Testament we see that God, as it states in Exodus 16:28, gave His chosen nation Israel a command or a law to rest on the seventh day. Now in an earlier post I mentioned that the laws and the commands that God gave the Israelites always proved to be to their benefit. One example being the command to wash their hands before eating, which kept the Jews safe from infection and death during the Bubonic Plague.
I’d like to point out one word in the scriptures above that’s very important along with another very important scripture. In Exodus 16:29 we see that it states that God had “given” them the Sabbath, the day of rest. Also, in Mark 2:27 (KJV) Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.”
I like that. Once again one small word I want you to see in that scripture. It’s the word “for”.
God gave man a day of rest. God made a day of rest for man. God put something into place because He was thinking about His creation, man. It wasn’t about yet another law for man to keep. It was about Him keeping His man.
He created our bodies and He created them to rest at least 52 days a year.
Once again some of you may not have a problem with that but us high achievers sometimes find this hard to do. Just the other day I found myself at a loss for what to do next. I asked the Lord what He would like me to do that day. He wanted me to read a fiction book. My friends will laugh because they know I don’t read fiction. I love to study. I love to learn. I love to put together teachings to share with others, but I don’t like to “waste my time” reading fiction.
So I read the book. I enjoyed it. I read it in two days. Then I asked the Lord why He had wanted me to read the book. What was the great revelation I was supposed to get from it? What was the life changing part of it? What did He want me to share with others from it? His response, “I just wanted you to relax.”
God wanted me to relax. Why? Because He loves me. Because He wants to take care of me and my health and well-being. I like that about Him 🙂
One last thing about the Sabbath. In the New Testament we find that some of the religious people fell into the ditch on the other side. They became so legalistic about this that they would get upset when Jesus healed people on the Sabbath. Instead of rejoicing over their healing, they got onto them for it (see Luke 13:14).
That’s what was happening in Mark chapter 2. The Pharisees were getting on to Jesus for plucking corn to eat on the Sabbath. That’s when Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath”. It wasn’t about a legalistic law. It was about the fact that God cares for people and He’s trying to take care of His people.