Greetings Friends and Readers!
The Sabbath is on my mind this morning. I am currently reading through the book of Jeremiah and am struck once again with the great importance that YHVH puts on Sabbath rest. We learn in the book of Exodus that the Sabbath is to be a sign between YHVH and His people, Israel. (If you are unsure if this applies to you, remember that in the book of Romans, Paul reveals the great mystery that gentile believers are grafted into Israel). Here in the book of Jeremiah, we read the following:
Thus says Adonai, “Guard your souls! Carry no burden on the day of Shabbat or bring it in through the gates of Jerusalem. Nor should you carry a burden out of your houses on Yom Shabbat or do any work, but keep Yom Shabbat holy — as I commanded your fathers.” Jeremiah 17:21-22
The context here is that Judah is being disobedient. You may recall that Jeremiah was the prophet that YHVH used to warn Judah that she would go into captivity shortly. There are a plethora of reasons for Judah’s punishment, but among the pie slices, we definitely see that this disregard for YHVH’s Sabbath was among them.
But why does this matter? Why does YHVH put so much emphasis on Sabbath rest?
I believe it is because Sabbath rest is the physical practice that teaches YHVH’s people to rest spiritually in Him.
Throughout scripture, we are given examples of physical actions that lead to spiritual understandings. Passover is a great example.
Sabbath rest is the physical practice that teaches YHVH’s people to rest spiritually in Him.
So thinking along these lines, and looking back to the scolding that YHVH gave to Judah in Jeremiah, we see that He focused on the burdens that His people were carrying on the Sabbath day.
Why would it benefit YHVH’s people to learn to release their burdens on the Sabbath day? Could it be because learning to put down physical burdens might train a person to also put down their spiritual burdens?
I talk to a lot of believers who claim to do that very thing. They tell me that they give their spiritual burdens to The Father. I hope they do. But when I look around me, I don’t see many tangible signs of this. I see believers living in fear and fear is a thief of joy and a snare to the believer. Fear is a burden.
In the education world, we often talk about returning to the “basics” of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Perhaps in the world of believers, we need to think about returning to the basics as well. Perhaps if we learn to put down our physical burdens on the Sabbath, we can begin to do a better job of putting down our spiritual burdens as we walk through difficult times.
Difficult times are not going away, but we have a choice:
We can be cursed by trusting in man and depending on flesh (Jeremiah 17:5)
We can be blessed by trusting in Adonai. (Jeremiah 17:7)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
And I think that FRUIT is what it’s all about.
We are to be known by our fruit. May we do a fruit check and seek ways to experience true spiritual rest in the Father through the completed work of Messiah Yeshua.
I believe Sabbath rest can teach us how.
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