Sabbath Rest

So what’s on the agenda this weekend?  Catching up on things around the house, working on the car, running errands, trying to finish things for Christmas?  Saturdays for a lot of folks can be a nice respite from the work week and a chance to do a few things that have been on your mind during the week.  For the Old Testament believer it was kind of the opposite being their Sabbath.   I’ve mentioned in sermons at church that the Sabbath regulations added by the religious “elite” had reached ridiculous proportions like spitting on the Sabbath could incur the ire of folks “in the know” then because your spittle on the ground could cause others to come along and with their sandals “plow” the dirt and thus be guilty of farming or work on that day !   Better keep a good supply of tissues in your tunic then I suppose !

But the original intention of that special day focused God’s people back on the first Sabbath or “rest” as it means in the Hebrew when God created the heavens and the earth in six days then rested. “And on the seventh day God ended His work, which He had made; and He rested. . .” (Gen.2:2).  He wasn’t tired but simply ceased from His creative actions then.  The Sabbath even moreso points towards the ultimate rest we can only find in our Creator, Jesus Christ.    Wednesday at our church I was preaching on Ps.84 and in verse 3  the psalmist uses two birds to depict the state of people sometimes when they are not rightly connected to their Creator. He uses the sparrow and the swallow. The sparrow being a very common bird speaks to the idea of insignificance and the swallow being a bird which darts and flits about a good deal is a picture of the restlessness of the soul apart from His Maker.     Do you ever feel insignificant, you never are to God – the very hairs of your head are numbered and He died for you – proof positive you are valued greatly !   Do you feel restless, unsettled?  At times I suppose we all do, you are to make your “nest” resting in Him !  He is your ultimate Sabbath or rest as the writer of Hebrews summed it up so well, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” (Heb.4:9-10).

We need rest, we need to recharge the batteries and cease from the hecticness of life periodically.  It’s good for us and when we don’t get it our health is compromised in many ways. But spiritually speaking, its even more vital we find rest in Him.  Don’t allow the busyness of this season and the things you want to get done crowd out the rest Christ has for you.   Paul noted worry was one way that God’s rest could be thwarted and He scolded his readers to cease from that practice & instead pray and trust God and when we would “. . .the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil.4:7).  Rest in Him, its good for your mind,body, and soul !!

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