Is the Sabbath for Christians? (Part 1)
I used to be like most Christians, I went to church with my wife, heard a touching message, and decided that I wanted what I had seen in the lives of the people who were there with me.
So I said the prayer and changed many of my habits. I started trying to live a life that I thought would please God. I listened to the pastor teach about being a witness and pointing others to God.
I heard the message of grace and that God loved me no matter what I did. However, I also had a deep yearning for something deeper. What was being preached and what the Bible said never really matched.
Most pastors do not like to read the “Old Testament”. “We are no longer under that” most pastors would say. “It’s all about grace now” others would say. But then, they would say…..” God is the same yesterday, today and forever” Or “God is not a respecter of men, what He did for one he will do for others”.
And then I started to read it from a new perspective. What if my foundation was skewed? What if their foundation was off and the ones who taught them and so on and so forth?
Enter the Sabbath.
Everyone I’ve talked to about God’s commandments all agreed that the 10 commandments are just that, commandments. Most of us would never argue that we should not murder, steal, lie, dishonor our parents, etc.. But what about the 4th commandment?
Deuteronomy 5:12–15 (TLV)
12‘Observe Yom Shabbat to keep it holy, as Adonai your God commanded you. 13Six days you are to labor and do all your work, 14but the seventh day is a Shabbat to Adonai your God. In it you are not to do any work—not you or your son or your daughter, or your slave or your maid, or your ox, your donkey or any of your livestock or the outsider within your gates, so that your slave and your maid may rest as you do. 15You must remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Adonai your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore Adonai your God commanded you to keep Yom Shabbat.
How about a different version for those who don’t like the original names?
Deuteronomy 5:12–15 (NIV)
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 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 ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
The bottom line is as followers of Yeshua, those who have repented from their sins and accepted the free gift of eternal life by Yeshua’s (Jesus) death, we are to observe all of God’s commands, not just the ones that fit into our lives.
But let’s not forget why. It’s not that God is wanting us to be enslaved but rather freed.
Here is what honoring the sabbath does:
- It keeps your relationship with God at the center of your life.
Unlike our calendars, the Hebrew calendar does not have names for each day of the week, such as Monday, Tuesday, etc.……no, only one day has a name…..That’s right the Sabbath day. Why? Because of all the days of the week, it is the one of most importance.
From the 1st day of the week up until the 6th we are to have one eye on the sabbath. Why? Because it is a day that God has given as a feast and a day of rest.
Even before the command was given under the law, God our Father sets the precedence when he created. And you and I are created after His image and …..His likeness.
- It causes us to trust Him as our source.
Honoring the sabbath means you must commit your time to Him. And ……your source of provision. Here is a secret, your job is not your source, and you are not your provider, Yahweh is. And by you and I protecting the sabbath and choosing not to work on that day, we are declaring as Joshua did: As for me and my house we will serve Adonai.” (Josh. 24:15)
- It rids us of unnecessary stress and anxiety
Finally, let’s be honest, we are a people who thrive in busyness. We love the hustle and bustle of life, but at what price. Loss of health, time with family, enjoying the life God has given us?
From work to sports and keeping up with everyone else, we strive to be just like everyone else in our society. Maybe this is why Yeshua said for us (believers) to come out from among them (the heathens- those who don’t believe)
The sabbath restores the balance of not just putting God first but spending time with family. Setting the example with our children on what is really important, what matters most to us. Sabbath is the way we disconnect from the world and its culture and sets us apart for Adonai with our family.
Isaiah 56 reads:
Isaiah 56:2 (TLV)
2Blessed is the one who does this, the son of man who takes hold of it, who keeps from profaning Shabbat, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
If you want your life to be blessed, if you want your faith to stand out to those who know you, start keeping the sabbath.
The sabbath is the 7th day of the week. It is the only day that God has set apart as a holy day. You and I cannot make a day holy. We do not have that kind of power. We don’t get to say which day is holy above another, only the Father can, and He did by giving us the command to keep it Holy.