07 June 2013

He makes me lie down

55/366 Joshua at rest by bobmendo
55/366 Joshua at rest, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.

Sabbath is God's idea. It was memorialized in the book of Genesis as history, when God worked for six days to create the world, and then took a day off. Then in the book of Exodus, when God gave us the 10 Commandments, the 4th one listed reminds us of that Creation event. "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." (Chapter 20, verses 9-11)

There is another reason to celebrate Sabbath, listed in Deuteronomy 5.15 "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day."

So we take the day off to remember Creation and Redemption. Both are about God being active in our world. And our being inactive. For a day.

Mark Driscoll says, "Although we don't live in a traditional Jewish world with 6 days on, one day off. I think it's important for churches to hold to the biblical principle of the Sabbath. You will take a Sabbath. The Sabbath was made for man. Paul tells the Romans, 'some guys Sabbath on this day; some guys Sabbath on that day... love Jesus, get a break.' " Then Driscoll says, "If you don't take a Sabbath, one will be imposed on you. Burnout, breakdown, frustration. Heart attack. You will take one voluntarily or involuntarily. It will be at the beach with a Bible and a drink, or in a hospital with an IV, and a gown with no backside. Either way, you will take a Sabbath."

The Psalmist in the famous 23rd Psalm said this, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters."

How good is that. He the Good Shepherd cares about our lives. He wants the best for us, so that we can give our best for Him. And Sabbath observance is not about duties and prayers and carrying or not carrying. It's about rest. It's about restoration. Therapy, you know?

God is a good God. Get to know Him. Today is good. Or this Sabbath is good. Anytime, find rest in Him.

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