In the frantic pace of today’s society, the concept of rest sounds like a quaint antique. However, Sabbath rest is biblically fundamental to the kingdom of God. Sabbath rest is highlighted in the Ten Commandments, where God goes out of his way to remind us to “remember” the Sabbath. In the agricultural age of the Bible, letting your land rest every 7th year meant you would trust God to provide 3 years’ worth of food in the 6th year. Trust and faith, therefore, are key to understanding Sabbath rest. The Bible has many other examples of prescribed days and years of rest for his people – as our Creator, he understands better than us that our bodies and minds need rest. Remember also that Sabbath rest is a time for gathering together with other followers of Jesus, not a time to just sleep or binge-watch TV. God packs many promises of blessing us into his words about Sabbath rest. Don’t miss out on those by working till you drop.
Seek First: Rest and Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11)
Verse 8 In this command there are two statements. Remember the Sabbath, and keep it Holy.
• This is to be a lasting ordinance.
• And we are to keep the Sabbath Holy, a day set apart to the Lord
Verse 9 For this command to rest God defines the parameters.
Verse 10 God now gets specific with what that day of rest is to look like – a Sabbath unto the Lord your God.
• In the concept of Sabbath, the primary focus is the Lord.
• Now it says that your sons and daughters are to rest and even the servants and aliens.
o So you couldn’t pass the buck and get others to do your work.
• This was very much a societal rest.
Verse 11 This whole idea of Sabbath comes from the fact that God rested on the seventh day.
• This verse ends by saying the Lord blessed the Sabbath, and made it Holy.
o This is the verb to bless that really means to bring life. The Lord brings life to the Sabbath
Exodus 34:21 God is taking away all the excuses. “Oh but this is my busy season.”
Exodus 23:12 Even your ox and donkey are to rest on the Sabbath.
Lev 25:3-7 The land was to have rest every 7 years.
Lev 25:18-22 When God ask something from His people, he also makes a way.
Lev 26-31-35 Talks about God’s judgement related to failing to rest
Other Days of Rest: The Lord also gave them other specific days of rest throughout the year.
• Feasts of Trumpets Lev 23:23-25; The Passover Feast, Lev 23:7-8
• The Feast of Weeks Lev 23:21; The Day of atonement Lev 23:28
• The Feast of Tabernacles Lev 23:35, 36; (The Year of Jubilee)
Rest is a big deal to God. The idea of rest, is tied to trust and faith.
• We must trust God to take care of things while we are resting.
• The trust that comes in resting also seems to be God’s antidote for our anxiety.
So now let’s ask why the rest?
• The Lord created us and knows the limitations of our bodies better than we do. In the rest is the care of God.
• The rest and Sabbath are tied to honoring God.
• Rest and Sabbath are about community
• Rest and Sabbath are about thanksgiving
• Rest is also tied to the concept of Atonement Lev 16:29-31
Why is it so hard to rest? The two lies of the enemy.
• If we don’t believe God is good, then we don’t believe He will take care of us when we rest.
• If I question who I am, then believe I must keep