“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.”
The word sabbath means “a day of rest and religious observance.” The idea many people have regarding the sabbath is: that it’s just a church-established day of worship and rest. Ironically, if this were really case, wouldn’t it then hold true that people within the church would be the first to model a holy day of rest and focus on God?
Yet it seems that the opposite is almost true.
Churches cater to the desires of it’s attendees by scheduling earlier and earlier services, so that the people can come ‘worship’ and have their one hour with God for the week, and then run off to enjoy a day off of work, not a sabbath. It is opposed to the sinful nature of man to actually take a day of rest and worship of God.
How can I say that? Because church is engrained in our culture as something we do as opposed to something that we are. Jesus said in Mark 2:27: “the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” In other words, the God who created us and saved us, placed in our bodies and souls the need to actually rest once every seven days from our work. Yet the culture, and Satan who drives it, demands a constant work, racing through our lives to achieve and invest all of our energy, resources, and attention, into something that will not actually last.
The ultimate chasing after the wind in an effort to make a difference, or be remembered. When in fact, society is quick to forget. All each of us leave physically here on earth is our buried bodies that are given a headstone with a single sentence that defines our whole lives – and even that is forgotten and neglected. On the other hand, the very thing that the world cries out for us to neglect, the soul that will live forever, is what we neglect in our physical race.
On the seventh day, after God had created everything, He rested from all that He had done, and established that day as holy (Genesis 2:3). While God did not tire, and thus need to rest, He established the example for us, as a father would to His newly created children.
As the church, and we as Godly men, choose to neglect God’s example and command, we teach our children by example, that one can pick and choose what parts of God’s Word, Law, and Commandments to follow and which ones they will ignore. In other words, by our example of choosing to lift ourselves up as judges of God’s law, we become the primary examples for our children to ignore God’s word, and neglect our commands. After all, if we will not submit to God’s word and direction, why should our children submit to ours?
Do you think I am being harsh? Do you think that I am making a bigger deal out of our choices and example, and their potential consequences? Before you judge, lets consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:19 we are told: “anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
How do you spend your Sabbath days?
Do you make it a point to rest or to work, or to spend time cultivating your family’s interactions?
Challenge: prayerfully consider how you spend your sabbaths and compare that to God’s design and purpose for the sabbath. If there a changes that need to be made, enact them.