Sabbath and Trust

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People typically think of the Sabbath as a command not to work. It really went deeper than that. The point was, if they weren’t working and things were provided for they realized that God was still at work in their lives. That requires trust. No matter how talented or amazing we think we are there is nothing in this life we can claim as our own personal 100% accomplishment. The reality is, all things really do depend on God whether we realize it or not. The question is, will we reflect that in our life, actions and attitudes or not? God gave the Israelites two reasons for the Sabbath in Exodus 20:2. The first was that God was the one who brought them out of Egypt. They had to rely on God in the past. Will they rely on God in the future? The second was that even God rested after 6 days of creating the universe.

Do you trust God enough to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of life and just rest at peace in His presence? Trust is a big word. Trust is learned by experience, that is why God brought up His past saving actions in Exodus 20 in order to motivate them to trust God with more things in the future. Trust is learned by repeated, successful, events and is typically formed over a lengthy period of time. But trust can be broken in an instant. God has never given us a reason to break trust with us and yet we have given Him plenty.

As we ready ourselves for spending more time with God, making Him more of a priority in our lives it is important that we realize God can be trusted. We also have to realize that God really is at work in the world and that no matter how hard we pull ourselves by our own bootstraps in the end it all really does depend on Him. If you trust God, spend time with Him and rest in His presence. If you rarely or never find rest in God and time alone with Him then maybe you should reevaluate how much you really trust God so you can find places in your life to let God in more and more.

0 Responses

  1. Matt,

    Ezekiel 20:12 gives another purpose for the Sabbath.

    Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.

    All three purposes for the Sabbath point to God:
    God as creator.
    God as deliverer.
    God as Holy.

    All of these purposes are fulfilled in Christ (cf. Colossians 2:16-17).
    Being in Christ is the new creation.
    Christ is our deliverer from Sin.
    In Christ, we find our holiness.

    This is why Hebrews 4:9-10 says, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God, for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”

    The Christian Sabbath is salvation in Christ by grace through faith apart from one’s “own work.” There is where we find rest – because, as you noted in your post, we learn to trust God, not ourselves.

    I had a two-part post on this beginning here.

    Thanks for a very good post!


  2. i wonder how much we can model the sabbath after the way in which God used it? he worked for 6 days and rested on the seventh. i don’t think that rest is one in which he was so tired that he needed it. rather, he looked at that which he’d created — the work he’d done — and saw that it was good.

    i think of sabbath as the end of a work week, in which i’ve strived to create for God. a week in which i’ve worked hard and to the best of my ability to the glory of God. and on that sabbath day, i rest and look back at all that i’ve done.

    i believe worship is what we do everyday in our lives — and our sunday meetings should celebrate God and one another, together laying our worship (obedient lives during the week) before God. and similarly i believe sabbath is about resting and reflecting on that work which has been truly good.

    [this also means if we’re not creating and working for God during our weeks, we’ll never truly experience sabbath. rather, we’ll only be resting from that which makes us tired.]

    1. That certainly brings meaning to work and informs us on what we are to be about doing. Seems like BWIII wrote something about a theology of work at some point.

  3. I see a similar idea in God’s call for the men of Israel to drop everything 3 times a year and travel to the appointed place of worship:

    “Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.” (Exodus 34:23-24)

    God promised not only to provide for them while they stopped work but to protect their lands while they went to worship. Takes a lot of trust.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

    1. That does take trust to leave your homes and go for a long, long walk like that. One thing I never realized that takes trust every single day is sleep. You are no more vulnerable than when you are sleeping. I never got that until I had a baby and saw how vulnerable those little guys are and worried about them through the night.

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