Today I sat down and read every single verse in the Bible that had the word Sabbath in it. There are 150 of them. Most in the Old Testament, though the gospels are littered with mentions of Sabbath and the things that Jesus said were lawful to do on the Sabbath. As we jump into Sabbath, I think it’s important to define Sabbath and what the Bible says about it.
Sabbath first comes to us in the context of the Ten Commandments in the book of Exodus as the 4th Commandment.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Everything I read in the Old Testament regarding the Sabbath pointed back to focusing on God, what He had done for the people of Israel, and taking a break from the rules and regulations of life. God wanted to remind us that things really are good. That there is beauty around us.
Sabbath doesn’t really have a list of rules and requirements any longer. I think it’s God asking us to check our hearts. To sit back and recognize that He has given us this idea of rest. The idea that we must stop every once and a while (well, I guess that’s his only requirement because He does ask us to do it every seven days). Jesus asks us to learn on the Sabbath (he was always going to Synagogue and teaching), he asks us to do good (healing, serving others), and he tells us that it’s okay to do what is necessary (he said it was permissible for the disciples to pick grain to eat) and good or enjoyable.
What I found in scripture was an overview of all the things that Sabbath could be.
Sabbath is …
…a holy day.
…a solemn day of rest.
…given to us by God (created for us).
…a day with no work (Just as God rested on the 7th day, He would also like us to do the same).
…a day to heal.
…a day to give back to others.
…a reminder that God sanctifies us.
…a day for teaching and prayer.
…a covenant forever.
…shows reverence for God and all He does for us.
…something we engage in.
…requires active participation.
…revealed to us by God.
…necessary to keep our hearts from wandering towards idols.
…overseen by Jesus.
…a day for meeting with God.
These scriptures stirred something in my heart. They convinced me that there was something missing in my life. I knew that I had missed the boat on something that was incredibly important to God. And it was important to Jesus too. It wasn’t something I learned about at church (very often), so it was never on my mind. In fact, when I looked back on the last few years of journal notes, I only have one set of sermon series notes on the topic.
So, why are we so afraid of Sabbath? If it’s so important, why do we fail to talk about it, read about it, and practice it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic and carry on the conversation!
In case you missed any of the #BTPSabbath series, click Here to see the list of blogs!