Sharing Village Journeys

Sabbath: A Promised Rest

qa sabbath04If only mankind realize the staggering and amazing future God has prepared for him; will he at all consider and begin to obey Him? But what is man that God is even mindful of him?

Hebrew 2:6 What is a man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?

Mankind is the last, the foremost and crowning glory of God’s physical creation. That segment of time God made His spiritual rest ensued the creation of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were created outside of God’s rest. The seventh day was the first new day that welcomed them, the first evening and the first morning.

And they entered God’s rest – their very first Sabbath together with God. It was a time they sought answers to the questions of life. There God revealed who they are; who God is; how and why they are. God revealed His laws. One such law proved to be a test command for Adam and Eve: the food law. God specified what can be eaten and what can’t be.

Genesis 2:16 The Lord commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

Time elapsed, and Adam and Eve transgressed God’s Law: an action equivalent to designating themselves as one of the gods – to know good and evil.

Genesis 3:22 The Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.

They assigned to themselves the choice of what was to be eaten. They decided for themselves what is right and what is wrong. They did not believe God but took the word of a mere serpent.

Quite similar situations and choices confronted mankind all throughout history. The sad part is that people take the word of just another man or follow one’s own line of reasoning rather than believe God.

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Consequence of the sins of Adam and Eve was the truth God told them. They were taken out of God’s rest, out of God’s garden, to the fields where the tree of life is beyond their reach.

Genesis 3:22 The Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever 

23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.

24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

God cursed the ground and not Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: Curse is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.

18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.

19 In sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.

This left the way to God’s rest and the tree of life open to them and their offspring, once they repent and turn back to obey God. The merciful God lifts off the curse on the ground and blesses the fruit of labor of those who listen diligently, observe and keep all His commandments.

Deuteronomy 28:1 Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.

2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord you God:

3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

Deuteronomy 30:1-10 Now it come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you.

2 And you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children with all your heart and with all your soul,

3 That the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord you God has scattered you.

4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.

5 Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your should, that you may life.

7 Also the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.

8 And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today.

9 The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your father.

10 If you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Clouds of witnesses abound; of men and women in the past and recorded in scriptures; who obeyed, walked with and found rest in God.

Jeremiah 6:16Thus says the Lord: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.

Noah was one of them.

Genesis 6:8-9 Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations, Noah walked with God.

Abraham and Isaac

Genesis 48:15 He blessed Joseph and said, “God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has fed me all my life long to this day.

 Enoch

Genesis 5:22,24 Enoch walked with God three hundred years. . .and Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Other men and women of faith who found rest in God are listed in Hebrews 11:1-40.

Christ called on His disciples (Christians) to walk in that rest through Him.

Matthew 11:28-29 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Every one (Israelites and Gentiles alike) who heed Christ’s invitation, believe and submit their lives to Him and the Father, do enter God’s rest.

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious.

 Romans 9: 24 Even us when He has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.

25 As He said in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people and her beloved which was not beloved.

Hebrews 4:3 For we who have believe do enter that rest, as He has said: So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest, although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.

From then on, the Lord leads the way. God determines right from wrong, truth from lies; the one who shields us and fight our battles.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.

4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,

6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.

8 Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation,

10 No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways;

12 They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

God wants His people to experience peace and rest that was not extant without Him. He wants His flock to anchor their faith, joy and confidence in Him; with their being resting in hope and patiently waiting for Him.

Psalm 16:7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

8 I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.

The keeping of the Sabbath is one’s testimony of his or her willingness and joy to enter and continue in God’s rest.

 Hebrew 4:9-10 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His

Ending one’s work and resting on the seventh day thus signify stepping into and staying in God’s rest. So the continuing Sabbath keeping build up the hope and reassure one of the Eternals promises leading to the future rest yet ahead.

Hebrew 4:11 Let us therefore (do our part and continue to believe) be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience. (as did ancient Israel)

Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2 For to us was the gospel preached, as well as to them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

6 Seeing therefore it remained that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

And so, keep on remembering that (Hebrew 4:9) There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. Not only in the past, nor only for the present, but it remains right up to the millennium, continuing on to God’s kingdom.

 Isaiah 66:23 And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord.

Obeying God and following after what He did, together with “the flock” enhance the memories of one’s calling, and augment one’s will to move on despite the odds; so the remembrance of all that the Sabbath symbolize will not be lost forever nor ever be forgotten.

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