In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth in six days and then we learn on the seventh day he rested. In Exodus twenty we read the Ten Commandments. One of the commandments is to honor the Sabbath by keeping it holy. God in various times has instructed his people to partake of the Sabbath rest. When God provided the manna for his people he gave enough on the sixth day so they did not have to gather on the seventh. When we look in the New Testament period they had all kinds of manmade rules about what was considered work on the Sabbath. They knew how many steps they could take before it was considered work. The Sabbath was very important part of the Law God gave.
In today’s reading I was reminded how important it should be to us as well. Many Christians do not follow the principle of a Sabbaths day’s rest. Many push forward seven days a week. I know I am one of them. And I don’t think that because the old covenant has been fulfilled and we are now under the covenant of Christ that we can go on without a Sabbath. Read again what God told Moses … “It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17 NIV84.
Now the Sabbath was a sign of the covenant to Israel just like circumcision was. God gave his people circumcision for many reasons but one major one was for a cleanliness purpose. We continue to circumcise today not because it marks a covenant but because it is much cleaner. I think God knew what he was doing when he commanded the Sabbath. Are we bound by the covenant God poured out through Moses? No, we in Christ are saved by grace for freedom from the bounds of the Law. But what God gave to be beneficial to His people then, I would believe is beneficial to us today. So how can we develop the habit of a Sabbath day’s rest in our life? Where do you need to start?
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