Where do I begin? So much has happened since I wrote about the birth of my baby boy who is now almost 8 months old.
I guess I should start by addressing the title of this post.
Jereme and I recently made a decision to begin observing the Sabbath—on the actual Sabbath day, which is apparently Saturday and not Sunday as we’ve all been taught by mainstream church doctrine for the past God-only-knows-how-many centuries. But I’m not going to debate that here…
Disclaimer: Before I go any further, I should stress that this whole thing is very new to us. We are still learning, studying, wrestling, and trying to figure everything out. It’s a lifelong process, but we believe that God is speaking directly to us on these matters, and our actions and lifestyle changes come out of us simply desiring to listen and follow Him out of gratefulness for His blessings. I’m embarrassed to say that even though I’ve been a Christian for many years, I have never read most of the Old Testament nor had the desire to until recently. We are not Bible scholars nor seminary-trained theologians. We are simply humans who are blessed to be in relationship with the creator of the universe. So as I begin to share my heart, I ask that you please be kind, and if you have any concerns or negative thoughts about the path we are on, take it up with Him.
All that said, here’s what I do know about the Sabbath day (which isn’t much):
Scripture defines it as a day of rest, during which God’s people are to do no work (Exodus 20:10). Besides our normal vocational pursuits, “work” may also include the buying and selling of goods (thereby causing others to work), as well as the elaborate cooking of meals.
I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I must admit that taking a day to rest is very difficult for me. But I believe that—just as children obey their parents out of thankfulness and a heartfelt desire to please them—we are to keep our Father’s commandments as a response of gratitude and love for the gift of grace that we’ve received.
In the words of Yeshua himself: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” — John 14:15 (KJV)
(By the way, Yeshua is Hebrew for Jesus … did I mention that a lot has happened in the last few months?) We’ve been praying and asking the Father to show us how to love Him, and we believe he has begun to answer those prayers.
From what I’ve been reading and studying in Scripture, the Sabbath seems like a pretty important day to God. Throughout His Word, he tells us to do certain things (like keeping the Sabbath, not committing adultery, not stealing, not murdering, etc.) for our good. These are not salvation requirements. They are the expectations of the one who desires a genuine, intimate relationship with His people whom he created and to whom He gives all things.
God knows how we are, and He knows what’s best for us. Just as I command my toddler not to stand up on a wobbly kitchen chair because I know she’s accident-prone and likely to fall and hurt herself, God commands that I should take one day a week, during His appointed time, to rest in Him, study His Word, and fellowship with other believers. He knows these things are necessary for me, and for my relationship with Him, to continue growing—whether I understand it or not.
He promises blessings to those who observe His rest:
“If you keep your feet from trampling the Sabbath,
from pursuing your own interests on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable;
and if you honor it by not going your own ways
and seeking your own pleasure or speaking merely idle words,
then you will take delight in the Lord,
and he will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
and he will make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob, your father.
“Yes! The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” — Isaiah 58: 13-14 (ISV)
I haven’t written anything on this blog in quite a while, mostly because I’ve been too busy working. But since we started down this path and began taking rest in Him from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, God has poured out tremendous spiritual blessings. So as I continue to observe His Shabbat (Sabbath), I’ll use this space to reflect on His goodness and to share the work that He is doing in our family’s life.
I hope it is a blessing to anyone who reads this.