DAY 153 - BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE LAW
REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY BY KEEPING IT HOLY. SIX DAYS YOU SHALL LABOUR AND DO ALL YOUR WORK, BUT THE SEVENTH DAY IS A SABBATH TO THE LORD YOUR GOD. ON IT YOU SHALL NOT DO ANY WORK...
Reading: Genesis 2: 2-3; Exodus 16: 4-5, 22-23; Exodus 23: 10-11; Leviticus 16: 31
Are you one of those people who is constantly exhausted? This is not good (unless you’re the parent of a young baby, in which case, it can’t be helped!). God did not design you to live in a permanent state of fatigue. Rest, the ability to rest, the action of rest, is something that distinguishes the people of God from other people groups.
Yesterday we looked at the fact that rest, or sabbath, was given to the people of God as a sign of their covenant with Him. We may not think that rest is such a big deal, but this is definitely not God’s view on it. The Sabbath was so important for the Israelites, that God included it as one of the Ten Commandments. He also reinforced this practice over and over again, by establishing when they would prepare their food and when they would sow and harvest, and how they would treat slaves.
The Day of Atonement was also a Sabbath day and this was the most important day in the Jewish calendar. This was the day that the High Priest atoned for the sins of the nation, while the people…rested. Any person who worked on this day, thereby desecrating it, could be put to death.
Whaaat? Isn’t that a bit extreme? Why on earth was God so set on entrenching this practice into the culture and belief system of His people? Why was it so important that they rest on the seventh day?
This is what we’ll be examining over the next few days – so be sure to meet me here again tomorrow.
Thank you, Father God, that You have provided us with a day on which we can rest from our labour, as You did, after creating the whole world and everything in it.
For the family
Discuss with your children how Christians today recognise that because God rested on the seventh day, we too, rest on at least the one day of the week, where we also meet together with the people of God. This is not a rule, but rather an act of obedience in love to the Spirit that baptised us into one body, and also a reminder of the rest that God has provided for us.