by Wayne C Anderson
For many years, I have been honored to be able to celebrate quite a number of Shabbat meals with my orthodox Jewish friends. I long ago concluded that Shabbat is less a religious practice and more a protection of the family and love of the scriptures, as well as peace and joy.
Through the years I have received many questions concerning the “rest” of the Lord. I’d like to try to simplify this issue so that you may understand the “rest” and apply it to your life. There is a “Sabbath” of the Lord. That “Sabbath” is not something that is considered the “law of sin and death” as some would teach.
You see, the first thing that we know about the Lord our God is that He is the Creator of all things. Please take a few minutes to look at these important scriptures. I have placed them in an order that will give you a liberating revelation of what the Lord has done for you. Now, in the creation of all things, before the law of Moses came to the people of Israel, we were given the foundations of our life in the “image” of God.
The First Day:
“And God saw the light, that it was good, and God separated between the light and darkness.” [Genesis 1:4 LITV]
The word “good” has emotion in the Hebrew language. It’s like a “happy dance” that the Lord felt because of the outcome of His own creation. The word “good” in ancient Hebrew, is “tob”; which means to be pleased with; there is a sense of emotion that arises in this word from within.
The Lord thinks a lot about these “days.” Let’s see what He thinks about the rest of the days of the week.
The Second Day:
“And God called the dry land, Earth. And He called the collection of the waters, Seas. And God saw that it was good.” [Genesis 1:10 LITV]
The Third Day:
“And the earth bore tender sprouts, the plant seeding seed according to its kind, and the fruit tree producing fruit according to its kind, whichever seed is in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning the third day.” [Genesis 1:12-13 LITV]
The Fourth Day:
“And God set them in the expanse of the heavens, to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night; and to divide between the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning the fourth day.” [Genesis 1:17-19 LITV]
The Fifth Day:
“And God created the great sea animals, and all that creeps, having a living soul, which swarmed the waters, according to its kind; and every bird with wing according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas; and let the birds multiply in the earth. And there was evening, and there was morning the fifth day.” [Genesis 1:21-23 LITV]
The Sixth Day:
“And God made the beasts of the earth according to its kind, and cattle according to its kind, and all creepers of the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
Please notice how every day that has been made is “good” in the heart of God the Creator of all things. Every day is good! So, no matter what day of the week it is, you can say, “It’s a GOOD day!”
“And God saw everything that He had made and behold, it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning the sixth day.” [Genesis 1:25 & 31 LITV]
Everything that the Lord God created was “good” to Him. Therefore it is good to me and it is good to you. Every day and all that was made in the day is good. So, we can now say that every day of the week is good.
The Seventh Day:
“And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their host. And on the seventh day God completed His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because He rested from all His work on it, which God had created to make.” [Genesis 2:1-3 LITV]
The Lord “sanctified” (khadesh) the seventh day, for you see, the seventh day is holy (khadesh). [qadash; means holy, set as sacred]
Holy, or, that which has been blessed, established with the greatest of honor; thus it is consecrated, sanctified, venerated, revered, spiritual, devotional in nature. Further more it is inviolable, inviolate, invulnerable, untouchable, protected, defended, and secure. The antonyms are: secular, profane, plain, disregarded (These are not the words that should describe the other days of the week which the Lord God called “good.”)
The seventh day was a “holy-day” and that is where we get the word “holiday.” (Kinda funny how the irreligious politically correct people want us to say “Happy Holidays” instead of Christmas.)
Hebrews 4:1, 2 & 7, speak of the New Testament believer’s rest:
“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard…” “He again fixes a certain day, ‘Today,’ saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’”
Everyday is good. One day is “holy.” It is the day of rest. Jesus clarified this to the religious Pharisees saying, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28)
The apostle Paul wrote a warning against the bondage of religion that binds the believer to a day, saying, “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.” (Colossians 2:16)
This, however, does not mean that the Lord does not intend for us to rest. There ought to be a holy rest for us all – a holy time – a day set aside for our good and for our freedom and not for our bondage.
Look at our lives today and how we don’t have days of rest. So many of us have sleep disorders, and far too many of us don’t even know what it actually means to rest anymore. Did we leave something behind? Are we so afraid of “religion” that we can no longer rest as our Lord has rested? Is there not a Sabbath that is made for man anymore?
I think that some of our dogmatisms set us in bondages that disable our abilities to see and experience the promised abundant life. We have established ourselves as Christ believers into a place above all other humankind, and some of us actually think that is holy. It seems more like a deception to me.
For instance, my experience in the homes of orthodox Jewish people who love God the Father but do not believe that Jesus Christ is their Messiah, have a love relationship than many Christ believers have. The love relationship I speak of and have witnessed is with God, family & community. We easily judge them from the high exalted positions of our dogmas but miss the fact that their children are not on drugs and sleeping around and doing the things that the children of Christ believers do – which we now term as natural. Take away the electronics of a child for just one day a week and expect that child to be attentive to each family member in conversation, physical touch, creative arts, and physical play. You’ll have a different set of priorities and values.
When you visit Jerusalem, Israel, the lack of working automation on Shabbat day can be bothersome when you don’t realize what is behind this cultural system. True, their culture might go farther than what you would like to choose. Still, their results in the family actually work and have not only proven themselves in centuries past but probably even more in this highly electronic world of today.
We have all chosen our lifestyles. We can also select what our lifestyles will be like. We need to rest. If we do not get rest, we will not last much longer, and our families will continue to disintegrate. My suggestion is that you change your future lifestyle to include rest and don’t be religiously irreligious. Find your day of rest and make it so.
May the Holy Spirit envelop you with His great and glorious love as you find your rest.
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