Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why God Made The Sabbath Holy -- Exodus 20:11


For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”
 
In the verses preceding this one, God tells us to remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy, and that it is His Sabbath.  Here in verse 11 God arranges to record for us why He made the day holy and blessed it.
Our text says God made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in the heavens, the earth and the sea in six days.  Now, even though this was not difficult for God, our text still implies that it was ‘work’ because it says that God rested on the seventh day that followed.   He stopped creating.
(As an aside, we pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that the Bible says in this verse that God made everything that we know to exist – everything.  Not only did He make the heavens above, the earth, and the seas below – but everything in them.  That means all the planets we can see with a telescope or without; it means all creatures that we can see with a microscope or without – everything means everything.  We either believe that or we do not.  But if we believe the Scriptures to be the true and God-inspired Word of the Almighty, then we have to believe it.  No room for flexibility on this one.)
So on the seventh day God rests, the text says.  We may well ask, “Did He rest because He was tired or does ‘rest’ have a meaning other than to catch one’s breath or to allow one’s physical body or strength to recover from some strenuous activity or illness?”  Let me suggest that God does not get tired – even after creating our universe.  So let us look at the meanings of the Hebrew word translated by us as ‘rest’.
The first and primary interpretation of the Hebrew word ‘nuwach’ means to settle down and remain; or to repose and be quiet.  No recovery from anything is implied.  The secondary interpretation means to make quiet, cause to alight, set down, lay, deposit, remain, abandon.  It is only when we get to the third and last meaning of the word that we get close to something that relates to recovery – to obtain rest, to be granted rest.  And I maintain God did not need that kind of help.  He simply stopped creating.  I cannot even bring myself to say that He stopped working because I know from other Scripture that my God is always at work; He never sleeps.
So what then are we left with?  Why did God ‘rest’ on the seventh day and why did He bless that day and made it holy?  I believe it was in celebration of what was accomplished for mankind during the week and in recognition of His very being -- the Who it was that accomplished it.  And that is what I believe our reasons should be for keeping the Sabbath and making it holy.  Each seventh day we are to celebrate what God has done for mankind, and to reflect on why He did it and Who He really is.  If we want to take it one step further, we can also celebrate the opportunities God has given us in the previous six days to serve Him through our own labor and creativity.  God wants us to stop every seven days and specifically focus on His creativity, His work in creation of the universe, His provision for our salvation through His Son, and in the opportunity He gives us for service to others.
That is why He blessed the Sabbath; that is why it is Holy; and that is why we are to remember it and keep it as such.  It is not because “if God needed to rest, so do we” – at least that can no longer be our primary rationale for turning into couch potatoes on our Sabbath.
_____________________________________________________________________

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.  And while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.  Ken.
________________________________________________________________________

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

No comments:

Post a Comment