Shabbat What?

October 6, 2018

BY Roland F. St. Gerard

What about the Sabbath? Why do Jews observe it? Why do the Seventh Day Adventist members observe it?

We know that the Jews observe the Sabbath because it was given to them by God via Moses as part of the Ten Commandments to observe. As you recall, the Ten Commandments are as follow:

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make idols to worship them.
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor you father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet.

Every principle for living successfully is found in these ten commandments. They are how we interact or behave toward God and toward others. And while there are various types of Sabbath the Lord has given the Israelites to observe, we are, nonetheless, referring to the weekly Sabbath.

The Sabbath is a day of rest, reflection and worship.

In Exodus 20:8-11, Moses told the people to, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shall not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy strangers that is within thy gates:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.”
Why should you observe the sabbath?

The reason just about anyone and everyone should observe the sabbath it that before it was given as a law to the Israelites God had already set the example Himself. We read above that after the six-day creation, God rested on the seventh day. As the Creator Who knows best, if He, the unlimited, All-powerful God rested on the seventh day, I think everyone of His creations should follow after His example. Consequently, you would not observe it as a law, but more as an honor to your Creator.
God is not looking for you to be forced to do it but to choose to follow His example as an honor. Not only that God set the example for us follow, but the author of Genesis writes that not only did God rested on the seventh day, He also hallowed the seventh day.

The seventh day is sanctified

“Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.

And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:1-3).

Effectively, everyone should observe the sabbath because God rested on the seventh day, and then God blessed and sanctified the seventh day. That is, although God made all the days, and all the days are good, but He specifically blessed and consecrated the seventh day. Logically, if something is set apart from the rest, then that something is special. For that reason, I believe that everyone that set his or her heart to observe the sabbath, not as a law, but as an act of honor to God, shall receive a special sabbath day blessing. For, that day is special and blessed.

Be mindful that I am not referring to observing sabbath as law. Jesus made that clear in the gospels when He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark2:27).

How should you go about it?

My suggestion is that you set your heart to seek the Lord daily. Then, on Saturdays, try your best not to get to involved in customary work. If it is possible to avoid it altogether on that day, then do it. But, don’t feel burden down, if there are somethings that require for them to be done on that day. If you can sacrifice it, the better. But no burden.

On that day, wake up worshiping the Lord, meditating His word, and keep a relaxing attitude. From this basic foundation, be open as the Holy Spirit lead you one step at a time. I would suggest that you don’t try to do any drastic changes in your schedule. You might then feel burdened and discouraged. One sabbath at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time.

Closing prayer

Heavenly Father, Most Holy One. We thank You for bringing us into existence. Thank You for creating us according to Your wisdom for Your good pleasure.

We have heard and seeing various people, especially the Jews observing the weekly Sabbath. And we have seen how they are blessed by doing so. Lord, as I set my heart to honor You on the Sabbath day, help me by Your Holy Spirit how I should go about that. Help me Lord, so that I will always do it from the heart, willingly in honor of You and never as an obligatory act.

Thank You LORD that Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach) carried the cross and was crucified on it to grant us everlasting rest.

It is in His glorious name I pray. Amen.