We all know the origin of the Sabbath. After six days of creating, God rested from all His work. He made the seventh day a day sanctified and set apart for rest. The Sabbath.
For a long time I’ve been wanting to study this topic. I finally decided to do it when I was standing in front of the sink looking at a pile of dishes wondering if it would be a sin to do them on a Sunday. And I realized that for a topic as weekly relevant as this one I really should find out more of what the Bible says on it.
I will preface my study with this, I am not going to tell you what to believe when it comes to the sabbath and what you should or should not do. Each person should be fully convinced in their own heart and true to their own conscience.
Ok, here goes.
So as I was saying, I’ve been meaning to study the sabbath. From the verses that call for death when it was not obeyed and the pharisees’ lack of truly understanding the heart of the Sabbath with their many rules, to the people in more recent history who observed it at all costs, I realized I had not really looked in to all the Bible said on it and tried to understand it for myself.
After doing so, the outcome has been nothing short of freeing and exciting, as is expected of a command from our Father who loves us.
As most things in the Old Testament, this is an earthly symbol of something fulfilled in Christ for eternity.
The sabbath, like the sin offerings, was a symbol of God’s Son and of things necessary for salvation. That is why the punishment for breaking these things was so severe. It meant death if you worked on the sabbath. No wonder the pharisees built many laws around the sabbath making sure no one defiled it. But of course, in doing so, they lost the purpose of the sabbath. As Jesus said, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Mark 2:27 It was not meant to bind and burden us but to bless us. Jesus says again in Matthew 20, that God desires mercy, not sacrifice, and that He, Jesus, is Lord of the sabbath. He tells this to the Pharisees who are rebuking Him for healing on the Sabbath. He recounts in scripture where David “breaks” the sabbath by picking grain to eat. The point is not to oppress but to bless and make holy. And this is through the Lord of the sabbath.
What the Pharisees did was from fear. There is good fear of God that causes people to hear His words and tremble and obey, and there is fear itself, which causes people to act on self preservation rather than faith. Or as the Bible puts it, “perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.” (1 John 4:18)
When God’s punishment is feared without knowing Him and what He says about Himself
…that He is Love. That He is slow to anger and abounding in love. That His love is patient and longsuffering and keeps no record of wrongs… (thanks to Christ)
…then His word is kept with trembling, but it is not added upon.
It is not necessary to be paranoid and make sure you do not go 100 miles from anything resembling breaking the command, as the pharisees seemed to do. Because you understand the heart of God. That His commands are given in love for the perfect blessing of His creation.
❤ Kara J