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Topic: Rest (06/14/04)
TITLE: The Sabbath Rest
By Linda Miller
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The passage of Scripture found in Genesis (2:2,3 NKJV) known as “The Creation Story “ talks about what God did on the seventh day. It states, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
One of the “Ten Commandments” talks about resting as well. Exodus 20:8-11 (NKJV) says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it, you shall do no work . . . for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
There is a promise from the Lord concerning the Sabbath in Isaiah 58;13,14 (NKJV). “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth . . .”
I remember the Sabbath day growing up in our home. We went to church in the morning. We usually spent the afternoon around the house. Once in awhile we would go swimming at the lake. My favorite time was when my mom would get her accordion out and play hymns and we would sing together. Those days were so restful.
“The Andy Griffith Show,” filmed in the late 1950’s and throughout the 1960’s, has an episode called, “Man in a Hurry.” It is about a businessman who lands in Mayberry on the Sabbath in his broken-down car. He couldn’t find anyone to help him because the gas station was closed. He spends all day fretting and worrying about getting his car fixed. Finally, his car is fixed. As he starts the motor to continue his trip Aunt Bea brings him a bag full of sandwiches. Opie is upset because he isn’t staying overnight and Andy is concerned about his welfare. Gomer tells him there is no charge for fixing his car – it was a pleasure to work on it. As he is looking at each person, he realizes they had a relaxing and restful day while he worried it away. He decides to spend the night.
Whenever I think on the above verses from God’s Word, and the Andy Griffith episode, I realize how far we have come from the rest that God intends for us. We have a hard time just resting and relaxing. We have become a pleasure-seeking society that takes every day, including the Sabbath day, to “do our own thing.”
For those who have to work on the Sabbath – there might be another time you can set aside to the Lord. Remembering to keep the Sabbath holy is not about rules and regulations. It is not about the “do’s and don’ts” of Christian living. It is about setting time aside to rest, to put God totally first in our lives, to spend time at a church of our choice. God deserves time from our busy week. We should make time to think about His blessings and mercy and grace, and yes, time to rest in Him.