Monday, March 19, 2012

Walking With the Lord: Honoring the Sabbath

Sunday is my favorite day of the week, even with the stresses that seem to come with it. Trying to get kids up and out of the house and to church on time always is a bit overwhelming and both my husband and my patience is often challenged during this time. Even after church, kiddos can be cranky and tired, but what I love about Sunday is first, I truly do normally enjoy going to church. I think it's wonderful to be surrounded by fellow believers. More than that though, is that Sunday is the God ordained day of rest. It's the only day where I don't feel guilty if I don't get things done. It's the only day that, if the kids actually allow it, I can sit and read a book during the day and relax.

Yesterday was one of those more relaxing Sundays. The weather in Minnesota right now is more similar to weather we see in June instead of March. It was sunny, with a breeze and in the upper 70's. That pretty much falls into the perfect weather category in my world. After lunch was done we put kids down for naps. Thankfully our youngest actually fell asleep and even our oldest stayed in his room for a while quietly laying down. I took that time to sit down out on our balcony and read in the glorious sun. This pregnant, overly tired and worn out momma needed that. Needed it in the extreme.

We have a lot going on right now and it's been that ways for a while. It's been a period of time for us where we have so many directions to head in that we don't know where to go first. Not ideal by any means, nor something we like to see happen in our lives, but it is what it is right now and there isn't much we can do to pull back the reigns. Throw into the batch of things to do, illness that has been lingering in the family for over a week and even the toughest is going to get worn out. As much as we have to do, with certain deadlines creeping up very quickly, I spoke with my husband Saturday night and said we were going to set everything aside on Sunday and relax. In general we try and keep Sunday as a day of rest in our home. It's a time for family and for the Lord. However, the last couple of weeks we haven't been so good at following God's command for a day of rest and I've seen it reflect itself into our week(s).  It's easy to think that "we must get this done", yet forgetting to follow the guidance of the Lord. In doing so I have felt that the Lord has often pulled back some of His blessing on the week going forward. Mondays have started out far more stressful and by mid-week after not having any break I find myself short tempered and flat out exhausted.

That's why I wanted to write just a little bit about the Sabbath. There are so many who look at the Word of God and only see laws and rules that must be followed, almost as a form of punishment. This is hardly the case. Instead much of what God lays out for us to follow in the Bible is there for our best interest. He's protecting us and helping us.

The sabbath or day of rest is spoken in the Bible from the very beginning. We first read about it when God himself takes a day of rest after creating the world.
By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Genesis 2:2 (NAV)
That the God of the universe would take a day of rest in and of itself should clue us in to just how important it is for us to do the same.

As the Jews wondered during their 40 years after leaving Egypt and before entering the promise land, the Lord established the Sabbath for them. Giving them manna on only six days. On the sixth day of the week they were to gather up twice as much manna, so that on the 7 day, the sabbath, they could rest. (You can read about this starting in Exodus 16 on into chapter 20.)
[B]ut the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 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.
Exodus 20:10-11
As you continue through the Bible there are many places where the sabbath is written of, including in the New Testament where Jesus further helps people to understand that it is a day "made for man" (Mark 3:27 NAS). God designed this day, because He knew that we needed it. He knew we needed a time to rest and to set our work aside.

Throughout the Bible people have gone different directions with what a day of rest should look like. On one side people try and make it a day about laws, you can't do this, you must do this and so forth. On the other hand, people go far in the opposite direction seeing it has the perfect day to catch up on tasks that they didn't get to during the first part of the week or an excuse to sit back and do nothing at all from sunrise to sundown (more a form of laziness than rest). I'm not here to tell anyone that there is a perfect formula for observing the day of rest. I think that it's important to seek the Lord and openly reflect on His Word and allow Him to guide us to what observing the Sabbath should look like for our families. 

Ultimately it is a day that we should be drawing close to the Lord. It's not only a time to allow our flesh to rejuvenate itself, but it is also a time for a soul to be fed and nourished. It's a time to dwell on the Holy Spirit and learn about our walks with the Lord. This is why church is perfect for the Sabbath and perfect at the start of the day, because it puts the focus in the right place from the get go. I'm not saying you must go to a church building, but speaking of the importance of keeping God as the focus and learning, and one excellent and very necessary way of doing this is by surrounding ourselves with fellow believers who can challenge and strengthen our relationship with God.

The sabbath is such an important day that it is even written of in the 10 commandments, alongside that we should not murder or steal and honor our father and mother.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.  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."
Exodus 20:8-11
Always remember that the Lord our God is the PERFECT father and He is laying out laws, commandments and guidelines that are there to help us. To help us not only become more like Him, but to help us in our day to day lives. Respect the Lord and follow what He has laid out in His Word. Seek Him and His understanding and pray for wisdom and guidance. 

Today, I start my Monday ready for the very full week ahead, ever so thankful that we did take our day of rest yesterday. We took time to learn about our Lord, we spent time in prayer, we relaxed, we played together and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Everyone needs a break. After the break and feeling more rejuvenated, I for one am far more ready to hit the road running this week. I am beyond thankful that the Lord has set aside a day of rest for us. This way, no matter what the world says I should be doing, I know what the Lord really wants and His desires are the only ones that matter.

I encourage everyone to read more in the Bible about the Sabbath and to reflect on what it means for their week and their own walk with the Lord. Note, especially how Jesus speaks of this ever important day in the New Testament. 


  1. I love your blog and especially the posts about your faith!!!! But I found out that the original day of rest in the bible was always Saturday. The catholic church changed that to sunday tho'

    1. Thank you and you're right! I wish our culture still celebrated the sabbath on Saturday, but for now Sunday it is.


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