Saved To Rest…To Serve Part 1
“And the LORD said to Moses, “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.” Exodus 31:12-13 (ESV)
I have a question I would like to ask you all this morning…What would spending just one Sabbath day with Jesus be like? I ask the same question to my Colony brothers and sisters at our recent reunion and the answer that stuck out the most was “restful”. And that is how it should be after all, the secular world uses the Sabbath day, or Sunday, as a day of supposed rest. I am old enough to remember “Blue Laws” but young enough to watch that not be enforced much, to maybe even outta existence now. It’s sad but the Sabbath day isn’t what the Sabbath day was meant to be. Jesus knew how to spend the Sabbath day but before I go there let’s start with a brief examination of the Sabbath from YHVH’s position.
Open your Bibles to Exodus 31:12-18 and read it (if you don’t you may be able to follow this) YHVH is repeating what He said in Exodus 20:8 about keeping the Sabbath as a day of rest. But in these verses He is being very absolute about things.There is a penalty for not observing the Sabbath isn’t there? Defile/Profane it and die! Make SHABATH filthy and tarnished or show it contempt and irreverence, give it no rest…BE PUT TO DEATH! Pretty drastic. In verse 13 He reminds the nation of Israel that there is a token of the covenant between them, of His being their God and they, His people. In verse 15 the term is “rest that is holy to the LORD.”
Watchman Nee had this to say about “rest that is holy to the LORD”…”The seventh day became the Sabbath of God; it was God’s rest. But what of Adam? Where did he stand in relation to that rest of God? Adam, we are clearly told, was created on the sixth day. Clearly, then, he had no part in those first six days of work, for he came into being only at their end. God’s seventh day was, in fact, Adam’s first. Whereas God worked six days and then enjoyed his Sabbath rest, Adam began his life with the Sabbath; for God works before He rests, while man must enter into God’s rest, and then alone can he work.”
And since that first design of rest got compromised way back in The Garden, YHVH is intentional that His creation will rest. If you look at Numbers 15:32-36 a man was stoned to death for just gathering sticks. In Ezekiel 23:36-49 we can read where the reverence for the Sabbath was just tossed away. There were two sisters, Oholah and Ohoilbah, and in Scripture God calls the elder sister a whore and says that younger is far worse. Now this story about the sisters are really a parable about Samaria and Jerusalem but for what they did it’s no wonder that YHVH would have these people exiled into a land that was not their own, to be ruled over by a people that weren’t of their heritage, and then after a period of time send them into their land after it had been destroyed and left for dead. God’s people should count their blessings that there wasn’t another Flood to wipe them out.
However…It would be between this time and the time when the iron fist of The Roman Empire arrived on the scene that more laws were enacted to enforce or better yet burden Gods children…the nation of Israel. In my next Freedom Fighter we’ll begin to see what a Sabbath day in the life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth would look like. But in the meantime ponder what you see as a Sabbath day. Is yours “restful” or is it full of Wal-Mart shopping like mine can get. Is it putting gas in the mower, the Phillies on the tube, burgers on the grill or is coming to a Sabbath rest. A day where worship is the only thing on the “Honey-do” list. Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger
Think About This:“It is not that we work for God, but that he works for us. God gives us our position of rest. He brings His Son’s finished work and presents it to us, and then He says to us, “Please sit”.—Watchman Nee
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24