The last article showed that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. This article will take a closer look at exactly what the Sabbath was created for, and for whom it was created.
For us to really understand the Sabbath we have to think about why we were created to begin with. Was it to work day in and day out to scrape a living off the land? Were we created to run the register at the local Walmart? Perhaps God made us to trade stocks and bonds on Wall Street? Was the intention of the creator that we should change the oil of every vehicle that drives onto the grate overhead? Are these occupations the design of the creator, or the invention of man in his pursuit of the dollar? God provided all that we needed in the Garden of Eden. There was no need for a Walmart. The fruit grew freely and there was no need for clothing. There was no need to scrape a living off of the land. The earth provided abundantly. There was no need for money. Everything was free. There was no need to change the oil because there was no oil nor reason for its use. The life we live now, simply is not the life that God originally laid out for us. Humanity has chosen this life. We were created to serve God. One part of serving God is to obey God. When man refused to obey God, then things changed for man. No longer was everything free and perfect. We had to work for almost everything.
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
From that moment on, man was destined to work to provide for his needs. Yet God had made something as a reminder of exactly what had been lost. God had given us something to show us what we could look forward to in the future. From the very beginning, before there was Jew or Gentile, God had created something for Man. What was it? A holy, sanctified day of rest.
Gen 2:2 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. Gen 2:3 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.
This holy sanctified day of rest is called the Sabbath.
Exo 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Who was this holy sanctified day of rest created for? It was created in the very beginning before there was Jew or Gentile or Muslim. This day was not created for the Israelites. This day was not created for the Jews. This day was not created for the Gentiles. This day was not created for the Muslim. There is not one scripture in the Bible that tells us that the Sabbath was created solely for one particular set of people. On the contrary the Bible tells us that the Sabbath was created for man. Jesus told us that the Sabbath was made for man.
Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Jesus told us that he was lord of the Sabbath in the books of Mathew, Mark and Luke.
Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Luk 6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Jesus kept the Sabbath not only once or twice, but we are told that it was "his custom" to keep the Sabbath.
Luk 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
The Gentiles and the Jews kept the Sabbath not just once, but "every Sabbath".
Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
We are told more than once that the Gentiles kept the Sabbath.
Act 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
Act 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Exodus 20:10 doesn't just tell us that the Sabbath is for all people. It tells us that the Sabbath is even for the animals.
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
The Sabbath wasn't intended to be just for a select group of people. It was intended for creation. God made the Sabbath holy and sanctified it for the entire world, Jew, Gentile, Muslim, man, beast, everything.
We are told that the Sabbath will even be kept in the new heaven and earth.
Isa 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
I have specifically avoided the time of the "Law" here because I wanted to show that the Sabbath was created at creation before the "Law". It was kept by the Israelites before Mount Sinai and the "Law". It was kept by Jesus, the apostles, Jews and Gentiles. It was kept after the death and resurrection of Jesus, when the "Law" had been "nailed to the cross", and it will be kept in the future.
This topic often raises the blood pressure of many Christians who immediately start talking about the "Law" and "this wasn't designed for us" and "we don't have to keep it". I am not sure that I understand the objection. Here is a day that God says is created for us, where we are not to work and all we have to do is praise God and do good. What is so bad about that? God is giving us a day to rest. God is giving us a day to get closer to him, our creator. God is giving us an opportunity to experience what he had originally envisioned for us, a taste of the worry free life in the Garden of Eden. Forget about whether or not we are "required" to keep the Sabbath for a moment. What possible reason could we have for not wanting to rest every Sabbath day, and get closer to God, and do good things, and receive blessings? Would we rather make more money? Would we rather worry about life? This is a gift from God. He is telling us to stop what we are doing. Take a step back from our lives. Look at what is really important, and just rest this one day. We have this one day, that we can focus on praising God and doing good, and simply resting. The Sabbath should be the most joyous of days. Why have we allowed this to become such a bitter topic? The Sabbath is not a curse. The Sabbath is a blessing.
By Robby Lockeby