Is the Sabbath for Christians? Part II
There are three areas that most people struggle with who encounter their Hebrew roots, or that are in conflict with it, The Feasts (Lev. 23), The Dietary Laws (Lev. 11), and Honoring the Sabbath Day (Ex. 20, Deut. 5, Isa. 56). But why? If God has commanded His people (Israel) to keep these days and that these days are His holy days, why is it that followers of Yeshua would not want to keep them.
But it’s for the Jewish people!!!
Simple answer: We have been told that those were not for us. That they were for only the Jewish people. Unfortunately this is not true. As a matter of fact, if you will look at the text, it does not say to the “Jew” but to His people Israel.
Leviticus 23:1–2 (ESV)
23 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.
PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, Not the Jewish people! You and I are part of that, no matter what you have been taught. The Jewish people are a tribe of the Nation of Israel, they are not Israel. As a matter of fact there where 12 tribes of the nation of Israel, unfortunately 10 of them are lost, or better yet scattered aboard. More on this at another time.
The truth is…..They don’t belong to the “Jewish” people, they belong to Adonai!!
“……they are my appointed feasts.”
The Jewish people are but one tribe. All of us who make the decision to become followers of Yeshua become grafted in to (See Acts 15) not the Jewish people, but the nation of Israel. This is why you and I are to honor the Sabbath. We honor it, because it honors the Father, not the tribe of Judah or the Jewish people.
But how do we do it? How do we, honor the sabbath day and keep it holy?
First. You and I as stated before, do not get to decide when the sabbath day is. God has already done that after he created everything.
Genesis 2:1–3 (TLV)
1So the heavens and the earth were completed along with their entire array. 2God completed—on the seventh day—His work that He made, and He ceased—on the seventh day—from all His work that He made. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing.
What we do get to decide is whether we are going to listen to man, or to Adonai? God has commanded us that we should do this.
I want to say here that there is sooooo, much information on line about sabbath. So much so that it can become quite confusing. I’d like to extend some wisdom that I have heard as I have come into the greater understanding of our roots.
“When tradition meets scripture, tradition has to go”. Let God’s word, the Torah, decide. When it is silent, use sound judgement and wisdom. Yes, it’s that simple.
The Sabbath begins on Friday night at sundown and runs until Saturday evening at sundown. It is encouraged to make this a night that is different than all other nights. Make your family’s favorite dish. Invite friends and neighbors to join you. The best way to describe the evening would be that of a weekly thanksgiving dinner that can be celebrated by all.
Spend time sharing a passage of scripture with the family. Pray together. Fathers, should take some time to bless first, the wife (use Proverbs 31 for help) then laying hands on the children, first the boys (bless them), then the girls (bless them). This sets the stage.
In our family, My wife lights a candle, then says a blessing, welcoming in the Sabbath. Then I take the unlit candle and while holding it over the lit candle (until it lights) I tell everyone, that the lit candle represented Yeshua and His light in us, and how God did not give it to us to keep for ourselves (about that time the other candle will light), but to share it with others. I then take the now lit second candle and pass it to the person on my left, who pass it to their left and so on.
We then set the lit candles on either side of the Challah or bread.
Read the Shema together as a family.
Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (TLV)
Shema Israel, ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI Echad
4“Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5Love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These words, which I am commanding you today, are to be on your heart. 7You are to teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. 8Bind them as a sign on your hand, they are to be as frontlets between your eyes, 9and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Many Sabbath homes make “challah” meaning bread in Hebrew. It usually is braided and pulled apart during meals and used for taking communion. There are a ton of DIY recipes online.
Using wine or grape juice remember to honor and thank Yeshua for the blood he gave for the remission of our sins.
Have Fun and EAT!!!!
Then spend the evening eating and celebrating all the Lord has done over the week. Play a game together, sing and worship together.
The idea of the evening is that it stands out as a very special evening, welcoming in the Sabbath of Adonai.
On Saturday, it is a day to be without work. A day to be resting and spending time worshiping and praying with your family. This may be hard at first requiring forethought in preparing meals for Sabbath especially with small children. Use paper plates instead of ones that need to be washed, eat leftovers that were prepared during the week. Use the week to prepare for Sabbath. In many Jewish customs it is said that the entire week one keeps one eye on the sabbath meaning that you are always preparing for it.
There are many great teachings to watch on YouTube and other places that the whole family can sit and enjoy. Go for a walk, to the park, go fishing, take a nap or two and enjoy the beauty of life Yeshua has given to us.
We are not to go out to eat or shop. Why? Because God has commanded us that no one should work, and that we should not cause anyone to work as well.
Exodus 20:8–11 (TLV)
8“Remember Yom Shabbat, to keep it holy. 9You are to work six days, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Shabbat to ADONAI your God. In it you shall not do any work—not you, nor your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, nor the outsider that is within your gates. 11For in six days ADONAI made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Thus ADONAI blessed Yom Shabbat, and made it holy.
Remember this may feel odd at first, because you have never honored it before. It is for you and the Lord. It is His day, He has given it to you and I so we may find rest and blessings. It is not a burden. So protect it. It is a day that is “set a part” or “ko’desh” meaning holy. God is the only one who can make something holy or set apart. You and I can not.
The results of the Sabbath is blessings. Is. 56 tells us that when we honor the Sabbath, God will bless us. So many families are growing apart not only from each other but also from their Heavenly Father. Yet God has created for us a time to honor Him and reconnect with each other. It is time that we as the body of Messiah, get back to what was stolen from us by religion. It’s time for us to welcome the sabbath back into our homes.
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