Sabbath Rest and Eternal Rest

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The introduction to the Ten Commandments starts out like this, “Then God said all these words: ‘I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery. You are to have no other gods before me.’” Exodus 20:1-3.

There is deep significance to the order of these words in that before God spoke of the law God defined the relationship God and humans had. God didn’t just say you won’t have other gods without first telling us the kind of God this one is.

The reason we won’t have other gods is not only because of the goodness our God showed to us, but also because God “said so.” It is important to make sure there is correct understanding of God’s character before empathizing obedience, because it is only in understanding who God is that makes obeying not only possible but a joy. Understanding that Messiah's death paid for our sins can greatly increase our enjoyment of the Sabbath.

Most may be familiar with the classic “For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.” Exodus 20:11 But there is another. “You are to remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Adonai your God brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore Adonai your God has ordered you to keep the day of Shabbat.” Deuteronomy 5:15. The Sabbath is both a symbol of God’s creating power and redeeming power and that is what the Messiah’s death does for us.

We can know that just as God freed Israel from physical bondage God can and will save us from the spiritual bondage of sin. “So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son you are also an heir. In the past, when you did not know God, you served as slaves beings which in reality are non-gods.” Galatians 4:7-8. And because we know that God created the earth we can have assurance that when we ask God to "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10 that the God who made the world can follow though when He says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26.

The Sabbath can be seen as a tool to remind us that while it is good to do good things, our dependence shouldn’t be on ourselves and what we can accomplish but in what God has already done for us. God provided everything we need and just as God created us in the beginning, God can recreate us on the inside so we can rest in the completed work of Yeshua. It is important to take time to remember that God is our foundation in life. It is easy to get distracted by even good things and forget that all good things are the result of God's care for us and that we must depend on God's power for both our physical and spiritual needs.

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