By David B. Smith
There’s no nicer feeling than when Dad reaches out, picks up the check, and says: “I’ve got it.” It’s great at a restaurant; it’s even more pleasant at the admission gate of a pricey place like Disneyland! Or at the onset of an expensive cruise. The loving parent who helped to create us is still our Provider.
In a very secular and science-driven world, I sometimes find it difficult to remember that I am a created being! God created me in my mom’s womb; I’m not here because of the random darting actions of sperm and egg, but because a heavenly Father fashioned my parts and included me in His grand Creation adventure.
It’s significant, then, that of all the Commandments we find in Exodus 20, it’s the Sabbath Commandment that reminds us of our beloved status as God’s creation. Every seven days we come to this glorious reminder that Creation is a powerful and lasting reality. God loves us! He has a plan that includes us. What’s more, because of His immense and infinite care, we can spend one day each week simply . . . stopping. Resting. Basking in the fact that Dad is with us, and that He has provided all things.
What does God’s Word tell us about this festive and elegant day? Yes, it’s a lasting memorial to Creation Week; clear back in Genesis 2 it was the crowning and culminating moment as God concluded His work. It is a day with God’s blessing placed upon it; it is holy, sanctified time. And just as God rested after fashioning a beautiful world and our first parents, we’re graciously commanded to rest as well. A person fortunate enough to be a Sabbath-keeper will not only rest from daily work, but also rest in the absolute joy and assurance of being a saved and redeemed trophy. To celebrate the Sabbath is to gratefully accept the gift when God says to us regarding salvation: “I’ve got it covered. Welcome home.”
If you think about it, all of the rest of God’s Ten Commandments carry with them a certain inborn logic. Societies throughout the world and all ages have had regulations against stealing, murder, perjury, adultery. Children everywhere, in all cultures, are expected to bring honor to parents and take care of them. But only the keeping of a weekly Sabbath reveals our personal loyalty to a Creator who made us. Flowers bloom seven days a week; the breezes blow and the waves roll in, oblivious to the calendar. But human beings who want to acknowledge God as their Creator and Redeemer can choose to rest on His holy day, to offer Jesus the gift of worship on the special day that marks His lasting dominion over us as Savior and King.
In all honesty, the concept of observing the seventh-day Bible Sabbath is a minority view — although rapidly gaining appeal throughout the Christian world. The story of how great segments of the body of Christ rather quickly moved toward Sunday as a day of worship is an interesting and important study. Prophetic Bible passages in both Daniel and Revelation seem to foretell such trends, predicting corrupt spiritual forces that will “seek to change times and laws.”
Even in the evangelical Protestant world of today, some Christians see Sabbath observance as legalism, an attempt to earn salvation by obedience. Tragically, many who keep the Sabbath appear to be falling into that trap, just as observant Jews did in the time of Jesus. But the Sabbath, as Jesus intended it, is the absolute antidote to legalism! It is spiritual rest in its purest form, embracing Christ as our exclusive hope of reward! And just as believers seek to honor God through victorious living in the other arenas of their lives, to live in allegiance to the Sabbath is a mark of New Testament devotion to the Lord who created and sustains us.
Proper Sabbath-keeping is an elegant and restful experience, filled with worship and focused on Jesus, the self-proclaimed Lord of the Sabbath. It points us back to Creation; it lifts up the Cross as the eternal source of our rest; it is a delightful hint and expression of how God’s people will worship on the Sabbath through the endless ages in a recreated world.
And as long as time shall last, Dad will pick up the check and kindly say: “Relax. I’ve got this.”
David B. Smith writes from California. (20 of 28) His web page is Copyright © 2014. Click here for content usage information. Biblebay