Summary: “To honor the Sabbath and to keep it holy means to rest and worship the Lord. It is designed by God to re-energize you each week by Worship, His presence, His Words and His power.”
Rest in the 7th Day
Introduction to series:
What would you say to an offer which came from your boss in which he said, “Mike once a week you have to take a day off – it’s mandatory – no excuses! It's a guilt free day!" "You have to rest from work!"
Could you imagine a day were you do not have to work, do household chores, no to do lists, no being on call, a day to hang out and just relax, a day to spend with family and friends, A day to go boating or doing an outdoor adventure, or a day to help out another person? And here is the best part- you get to do all of this guilt free! Does it sound too good to be true? Some of you are thinking “I am in!” but who is going to talk to my boss – my spouse – my employer?
How about God? He has addressed this subject very clearly in the Bible!
You may be thinking -This sounds like something the rich and famous get to do, the celebrities or the wealthy but for everyone – for all people – all workers - of all ages and even animals? This is really God’s idea?
Yes, this is what God prescribed and ordered for the human race – he basically said, "I created you and everything in this world. You have to follow my example and take the 7th day off." Yes, God wants you on the 7th day to rest – This really means rest-relax but it also means to take some of that time on this day to worship and honor him. He wants you to take time to focus on Him, to lay back into His arms and relax in His presence. To spend time with Him!
The word - Sabbath - rest means more than the obvious. The Hebrew definition from hebrewscholar.com is:
The word Sabbath – Hebrew ‘Shabbat” literally means rest, or interruption, cessation, desist. The interesting thing about the word is that using the Pictograph addition method you get an interesting picture. First of all, the letter Shin, which means teeth has a point on the upper right hand corner a Chowlem. This point means the opposite, or the emphasis of the letter is opposite what it stands for. The second letter, used in the Sabbath commandment and in law commentaries in the Bible, has an internal point. The emphasis here is intimate, or deeply internal to the letter.
The three letters added together are as follows:
• Shin (Chowlem) = Stop Chewing, stop processing
• Beth (Shurwreq ) = House internal
• Tav = Covenant
The picture is of cessation of work, inside the house, however, it has a covenant attatched to it. This covenant envelopes or brings further meaning to the cessation of activity. It points toward purpose, that is why the Beth is internally pointed.
The Sabbath does mean rest, but it is far from being just cessation of work. It means that the cessation of work has a picture to it; it points to a rest spoken of in the Law, or the covenant.
Our Scripture for this series addresses this spiritual phenomena - Isa. 40:29-31:
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope (rest) in the Lord will renew their strength. They soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."