Yesterday and the day before, by mid-afternoon, a brilliant sun pierced the clouds that had hovered over our heads here in Georgia. Similarly, the sun broke through what might be my clouded thinking. I’d been thinking, and wrote, about renewal, a refreshing wind of the Spirit that blows upon us now and then. I’d not thought there was anything we could actually do to bring upon us this Spiritual Bliss. Yet maybe there is something that will contribute, be pleasing to G-d such that He brings us into His Rest, even if just for a sampling of the Rest we will enjoy with Him eternally.
It also occurred to me that there is a desire within us all to enter into this Rest with our Lord. I don’t suppose it is thought of like that to most people, though. This desire is a yearning that is born out of a tearing away within our souls, within the soul of humankind. It happened way back when. . .
. . .the LORD God sent [Adam] out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
As a people, we’ve been trying somehow to regain the loss of Eden. When us older folks look back on the 1950s and say that those were simpler times, safer, filled with harmony, we are longing for Eden. Eden is Paradise. It is a place in which we put aside our daily lives of toll and receive for free the fruit of nature for which we don’t have to work. It is Rest for our lives.
This yearning for the Garden manifests itself in many ways. One of them is thrill-seeking adventures. Whether that takes us to the highest mountains or the most distant shores, makes no difference. It is yearning after some peace. It is an itch that we try to scratch through various ways, yet always it returns, unsatisfied.
Eden’s call prompts us to metaphorically clasp our hands to our ears. We drown of at least dull the sound with various addictions: alcohol, drugs, sex, even power and money, and more.
We see the yearning for Eden in the dreams of utopia. A place where people live in harmony with one another, a place of peace. We sse it in what once took place in America, a flight of city folk migrating into rural areas to get away from the hustle of a non-sensical (in my opionion) way of life with its constant demands and its constant hassles.
This yearning affects those of us that don’t acknowledge the Lord Y’shuaJesus just as it affects those who do. But we, as Believers, have been granted a time weekly in which we can participate in G-d’s Rest: The Sabbath.
In their booklet, The Sabbath: Entering God’s Rest, Barry & Steffi Rubin tell of us about the traditional practice of observing the Sabbath. No, not going to church on Sunday, but the real Sabbath, the G-d ordained Sabbath. The day the commemorates the Rest G-d observed after creating the world. It begins a sunset on Friday night and continues until sunset Saturday night.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
And the LORD said to Moses, “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you.
Okay. I can hear your objections. We are Christians. We come under the New Testament. This stuff is Old Testament Law. Y’shuaJesus said He came to fulfill that Law. Am I right? Of course. That’s what you think. Is that really what G-d thinks?
Throughout Israel, Y’shuaJesus called people to Follow Him. He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath to pray and to teach. The Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, went on the Sabbath to the synagogue to pray and to teach. And got thrown out of a few, too. True, the vision of the Sabbath that the Pharisees held was not exactly the vision held by our Lord.
The Sabbath is a day we purpose to set aside. Not only do we put away our daily toll, but we complete our weekly work BEFORE the Sabbath. Begin by setting aside Sabbath to do good. Not Sunday, mind you. Set aside Friday night until Saturday night. Try it!
Do it! See if you can put aside the Sabbot from Friday night until Saturday night, dedicating it to the Lord. See whether or not you are blessed for it. I know you will be.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .