Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Purposeful observance of the Sabbath

Purposeful observance of the Sabbath

S - Exodus 31:12-17 (NASB)

12 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. 14 Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. 16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

O -  Oh the sweetness and wisdom of the Sabbath always seems to draw me back to a core belief and relief.  Each time I read through the bible, I am in awe of how many times the Sabbath comes up , especially in the first few books of the old testament.  The Sabbath as explained by the Lord in this passage has many layered purposes.  One it is a covenant between God and his people.  The periodicity of this remembrance being every 7th day likely has much to do with man's ability to be self focused, and without a pause and rest from labor will forget to turn turn God and acknowledge this covenant.    Two it is a sign,  this sign likely was to differentiate God's people from all others.  God's people all stop and gather in praise and worship of him once a week, and throughout the world it can be recognized among the nations God's people as they gather today mostly on Sunday.  Third it is for God's people to be refreshed.  God design us, and created us in his own image. He also knows our fallen nature, and our toiling over the land for all generations to follow.  He knows that without a consistent regimen of rest, reflection, and refreshment we will not thrive as a people who honor Him, and help His plan for redemption of all mankind.

A - The application for me has always been disciplined observance of the Sabbath.  From today's scripture I want to be sure I am getting all God intended from the Sabbath.  First to be sure that once a week I am renewing my personal covenant with God, to follow Him.  This includes but is not limited to attendance at church and worship unto the Lord, and reflection on His word.   Second to be sure those around me on the Sabbath know that I belong to God, and my observance of the Sabbath is to be a light unto the world.  This is done mostly by boldly resisting temptation by friends and family to ignore the Sabbath, but also kindly proclaiming my love of God and his ways, even sharing the love of God so they may be drawn to him and refreshed.   Third is be sure my mind, heart and soul are refreshed on the Sabbath.  I can do this by making sure not that I do nothing, certainly no labor or tasks that drain me, but activity that refreshes and restores my body and soul. 

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord you reveal to me new ways to deepen my love and obedience of the Sabbath.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

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