Saturday, June 3, 2017

Loving God: Part 4

Commandment 4

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”  The Ten Commandments say that God’s people are to rest one day a week, in the same way that God rested on the seventh day of creation.  If we look at the Ten Commandments passage from the book of Deuteronomy, we see a slightly different version of this commandment.  It tells the people to remember that YHWH brought them out of captivity in Egypt, and they are therefore to keep the Sabbath day.  In this context, the Sabbath is a day to remember God’s provision.  A day to reflect on God’s protective care for them.  
God rested, and we are to rest.  However, this isn’t just a day to rest from all of the work that we’ve done.  
This is also a day to remember God’s love and provision.  
You'll sometimes hear people say that remembering the Sabbath means to “come to church on Sunday.”  As we look at this text and the one in Deuteronomy, however, we see that it’s actually telling us to rest, and to remember how YHWH cares for his people.  So if your heart’s in the right place, and you come to church with a worshipful, thankful spirit, then yes, that can be part of your Sabbath experience.  If going to church is simply something you do and tell others to do, but your heart’s not in the right place, then you’re Sabbathing wrong.  Sabbath is about rest for your body and soul, and remembrance of God’s provision.  Eugene Peterson says that to Sabbath is to “Pray and Play.” (Working the Angles, 73).
Take a day to rest and to remember God's love and provision.


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