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Sabbath Made for Man, Part 1

And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.
GEN 2:2-3

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..." God created all the matter and energy from nothing. He created the stars in the heavens and our star, the sun. He created the earth and made it capable of supporting all manner of life - the plants, animals, birds, and fishes. And it was all very good. Finally, when the earth was fit for human habitation, He formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life - a touch of the divine. He made man in His image, in the image of God He made him.
O come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make ajoyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it; for his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would hearken to his voice!
Harden not your hearts. . . .
-PSALMS 95:1-8.
God is the Creator, there is no other. So when the Creator-God finished His work, He rested; and by resting, He blessed and hallowed that first Sabbath. Then He commanded all people, made in His image, to partake of His holy rest each week, to be refreshed and renewed in body and Spirit.

Since God says His holy Sabbath rest is so important, we ought, therefore, to delve into the divine significance of His Sabbath - the why's and wherefores’ of this holy day.
What is the Meaning of Sabbath?
The Hebrew word for Sabbath is Shabbat. There are seven levels of meaning for Hebrew words. Let us dig down into the roots of Shabbat.
Rule
Shabbat is an all-powerful day given to us by the rule of God to pay homage to Him.
Rest
It is a holy day of rest, a cessation of exertion. It is a day of peace and tranquility, free from trouble. It is an interruption and an intermission from the usual workweek, a holiday to remember who and what God is and to ponder our relationship with Him.
Seven
Shabbat is the seventh day of the week. It signifies a completion, like the completion of creation. It is the sacred full one. Therefore, the seventh day is the only holy day that completes the week.
Interweave
Shabbat is connected with the tabernacle; the bodies of the believers are the temples of the Holy Spirit. On this day, God intermingles so closely with believers that it would seem they are one.
Praise
On this day, people made in the image of God are to proclaim and sing of their love and loyalty to God in a loud voice. It is a day to meditate and speak lofty thoughts. It is a bright and cheerful day. In the old days, the blowing of the ram's horn called people to the Sabbath convocation.
Prayer
The Sabbath is a day to ask God in prayer for our needs - our daily bread, forgiveness, and protection. It is a day to ask God about the meaning of His Word and how He wants us to keep it. It is a day to make decisions based on God's Word.
Growth
Everything about the day has to do with growth. On this day, wisdom is increased and knowledge is enlarged until we
overflow with joy. It is a day that shows the way to God; a day we branch off from the normal workweek to God's rest. Jesus said out of our hearts would flow streams of living water because of God's copious love for us. It is a day to be observant to God's way and circumspect about our faith.
God's Sabbath Is the Only Sign between the Creator and His Believers
'" It is a sign for ever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'"-EXO 31:17
There is only one God, the Creator of the universe. There is none like Him. People worship many other gods instead of the living God. If a person believes in God, Yahweh, the Eternal One, he must bow down before His Word. If a person believes that God created the heavens and the earth, he must obey His commands.

God, who created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, rested on the seventh day and thereby made it holy, as I pointed out. But, a person may say, most scientists say the universe was not created in six days; it took billions of years. How could a person believe in God when it is obvious that a six-day creation is impossible? Then resting on the seventh day makes no sense either.
Scientists’ dilation now understand that time is not a constant. Time can be relatively longer or shorter depending on speed and gravity. For example, a clock left on the moon will go barely measurable milliseconds faster compared to an identical clock on earth because the moon's gravity is one sixth of the earth. It is also true that time goes milliseconds faster or slower on a plane traveling east or west compared to an identical clock on the ground.
Therefore, when the Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, it is true. Wherever God was in the beginning, His clock took six twenty-four hour time days to complete creation. The complexity and interrelationship of the creation had to happen in our time frame because all has to work in the time frame like creating the infinite complexity and interrelationships of say breathing and seeing in the then now.
                                                                                                                                    He rested and was refreshed on the His Sabbath. The day became holy because God set the twenty-four hours of the Sabbath apart from the rest of the week for His use, for our good - to rest and worship Him.

No other god has commanded people to rest on the Sabbath because no other God created the heavens and the earth. No other people rested on God's Sabbath except those who know God is the Creator and demonstrate that knowledge by resting on the day He commanded. It is the only sign between the Creator-God and His people
God's Sabbath is the day the Creator meets with His people to bless them and give them His holy rest. On God's Holy Sabbath, His people offer Him praise and thanksgiving in return for His giving them life and life more abundantly.
God's Holy Rest

"Be still and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!" -PS 46:10
The only day God manifests Himself (through Jesus) to His people in a special way is on the Sabbath. Whoever is working or otherwise occupied on the Sabbath cannot hear what God has to say or receive His holy rest. A person can rest any day but resting on the Sabbath gives a spiritual as well as a physical holy rest. It is a day to be at one with God. By resting at the same time God is, a person receives relief from all cares and worries Just as physical rest and sleep heal and rejuvenate, spiritual rest, on God's holy day, heals and rejuvenates the spiritual part of a human being. On God's Sabbath, a believer may tune into His wavelength, His Word, in a special way.
You cannot hear God, that is, be attentive to His Word unless you are still, quiet, resting, and away from every worldly care. It is in this holy stillness, that you become united with God on the Sabbath.
How to Enter God's Holy Rest
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever enters God's rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his.

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and
marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
HEB 4:9-13
The Sabbath is there every week, but only a few seem to take advantage of the rest God gives. Why is it some few keep God's Sabbath and many others do not?

God says when someone hears His voice, or reads His Word, he must not harden his heart as in the day of rebellion. God is referring to the rebellion of Israel when they refused to obey God in the wilderness. Their refusal prevented their entering the land of Canaan. God compares entering the Promised Land to keeping the Sabbath, entering God's holy rest.

God further says that, that the ways of the world and the habit of sin can deceive people and bring them to "an evil, unbelieving heart," that will prevent them from entering God's weekly rest as well as His eternal one. (HEB 3:12-13) God says that hearing the Good News of the Kingdom of God will produce the faith necessary to enter the Sabbath rest. The only impediment is to adamantly refuse to believe and obey the Word of God.
People must strive to enter the Sabbath rest by faith because resting on God's Sabbath makes no sense otherwise. There are dozens of reasons for not resting on God's Sabbath. There is only one reason to rest on it: faithful obedience to God.
Sabbath Covenant

Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. EXO 31:12-16
Only one commandment of the ten was raised above all the rest and made into a perpetual covenant, the Sabbath commandment. What is so special about God's Sabbath that it should be the covenant commandment?
God unites with man. Every Sabbath God and man bond in love and purpose. On God's Sabbath, mortality is joined with immortality in a perpetual covenant lasting into eternity.
First, God came down from Heaven to Earth and formed man. Then when God gave man a touch of the divine by breathing into him the breath of life, He permanently linked Himself with mankind. On that first Sabbath, of course, the Creator rested and, by resting, set the day apart from the remainder of the week, that is, made it holy.
When we rest with God, we not only acknowledge Him, but we show our awareness of our special relationship with God - we are made in His image, we are like Him, and we will be changed into immortal beings and live with Him forever as part of His family.

  • When we keep God's Sabbath, we enter into a solemn covenant with God.
  • When we keep the Sabbath Covenant, we show our perpetual oneness with God.
  • When we keep the Sabbath Covenant, we acknowledge God as the Creator.
  • When we keep the Sabbath Covenant, we demonstrate our thankfulness to the only One who blesses us.
  • The first commandment mentioned in the Bible (in Genesis 2) is the one most forgotten. People do not remember the Sabbath Covenant and, thus, miss their appointment with eternal destiny.

When we keep the Sabbath Covenant, we show our perpetual oneness with God.
When we keep the Sabbath Covenant, we acknowledge God as the Creator.
Lev. 24:8 (NAS95S) “ Every sabbath day he shall set it in order before the LORD  continually; it is an everlasting covenant  for the sons of Israel.

Ex. 31:13 (NAS95S) “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘ You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is  a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

Ex. 31:14 (NAS95S) ‘Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you.  Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
Ex. 31:16 (NAS95S) ‘So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to  celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’
The Ten Commandments
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.-1 John 5:3
The Sabbath commandment is part of the Ten. Therefore, if we love God, we obey all ten of the Commandments. But, it may be asked, are not the Commandments for Israel only?
Not at all. John told the Christians to obey the Commandments. Paul said that the Commandments are holy. (ROM 7: 12) He said nothing is more important than keeping the Commandments; it is the only thing that counts. (1 COR 7: 19)
God expects all nations that could be aware of God's Law to obey it. He sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn them of disaster because of their disobedience to God's Law. Of course, Jonah did not like Nineveh and really did not want to warn them. Nonetheless, he did, they repented, and God kept them from the curses of disobedience.
Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon when Daniel warned him that God was going to punish him for disobedience of His law. The king refused to change, and God cast him out into the wilderness to grovel as a beast until he repented. There are other examples of God demanding obedience from people and countries other than Israel.

The Commandments are holy, as Paul said - holy in and of themselves. And they are a blessing to all who obey them.

The reason God gave Israel the commandments, the Sabbath sign, and the Sabbath Covenant was because they were the only people who believed in Him. As I said, since God only deals with people who believe and obey Him, He gave His Laws to Israel, but not exclusively, just first. Eventually, Israel refused to keep the Sabbath Covenant as well as the other Laws; God, therefore, exiled them. When the Israelites of Jesus' time refused to believe he was the Messiah, God brought non-Israelites, who had faith, into His Church.

All who want the blessings keeping the Commandments (including the Sabbath) bring, will obey the Living God.

I shall highlight some of the innumerable blessings for keeping the commandments.

The only way to know God is by obeying His Word, which is available to all. There is no other way.

God shows His steadfast love to all who love Him by keeping the Commandments. That is an important blessing. God will not forget or abandon those who faithfully love and obey Him. (DEUT 5:10)

God says He will bless everything believers do and prolong their lives when they obey the Commandments. Obedient Christians will obtain a very long life - eternal life. (Matt 19: 17)

Those who obey God will receive whatever they pray for, whatever their hearts' desire, according to His will. God will also keep His believers free from the diseases of Egypt. Those who acknowledge God by obedience will be wiser than their teachers or enemies, for that matter.
God's commandments are a lamp to light a person's way. The light of the commandments keeps His loved ones from stumbling around in the darkness of evil disobedience.
David always rejoiced in the commandments. They uplifted his heart and brought joy to his being.

God multiplies promises and blessings to those who go against their human nature and the ways of the world to obey Him. God is love. He showers His believers with divine love, pure and perfect.
Amen.


Gil Kovacs, Pastor
Sabbath Christian Church

Amen

Gil Kovacs, Pastor

Sabbath Christian Church, 

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