Exodus 35-37; Psalm 26; Philippians 4

SABBATH REST

“For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is to be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord.  Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.” Exodus 35:2

“Of the ten commandments, why do you think that most modern day Christians don’t seem to take the Sabbath seriously?”  That was the question posed to our small group. One woman answered that it was because it appeared to be a victimless crime. Another thought that it was because it required relinquishing control for a twenty-four hour period. Another said she was living life at such a fast pace that she had difficulty slowing down without coming to a screeching halt (ie. falling asleep). We all agreed that ignoring God’s Sabbath rest prevented us from being still long enough to hear from God and that was what we longed for.

Regardless of what we do, God’s promise stands:

“If you call the Sabbath a delight and Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord.”  Isaiah 58:13-14

What was true for the ancient Israelites is valid for this busy, driven Christian (Hebrews 4:9). I have the joy of knowing Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath who gives me direct access to the Father (Matthew 12:8). I am not bound to the legalism of observing the Sabbath; I will not lose my physical life as the result of disobedience. When I disregard God’s Sabbath rest, in my hubris, I turn my back on the lover of my soul and life is taken in other ways. Anxiety replaces peace; anger shoves joy aside. There’s no room for the abundant life God promises. As for victims, ask my family about that, or the poor soul I just cut off in traffic so I could get somewhere on time. People become objects, not souls. Then I hear God’s invitations to rest:

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17  

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28           

Lord,  Forgive me when I proudly refuse your invitation to rest. Thank you that you never give up, but continue to call me back into your presence where you heal and restore. Thank you for how you use your Word to breathe life into me. May I delight in you today and sing back to you. Amen

klueh

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Filed under Exodus, Matthew, Philippians, Psalms

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