Discovering The Jewish Jesus

The Principle of the Sabbath

Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

Often when we hear the word Sabbath, we think of the 4th Commandment given to Moses (Exodus 20:8) or of the Jewish people whom “keep the Sabbath”. The truth is that the Sabbath (Hebrew: Shabbat) is a principle of creation and actually predates the Law and the Hebrew people.

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)

When the Lord said that He sanctified the seventh day (Genesis 2:3), it was actually the first time the word “holy” was used in the Bible. The word “sanctified” in verse 3 comes from the Hebrew word kadosh, which is translated as: holy, unique, separate, or set apart. From this principle we learn that it is important to have time in our life that is separated unto God.

Beloved, it is essential that we create and maintain healthy boundaries in our lives. Taking a day each week to rest and be “human beings” and not “human doings” will help us in our walk with God. Because He loves us and always wants what is best for us, He is saying to unplug from work, computers, cell phones, entertainment, or any other daily routines that contribute to stress. This is a discipline that we have to practice; myself included. I am so busy during the week that I literally have to warfare to take a day of rest, forcing myself to do it. I am able to function in greater wholeness and in greater health because of it.

Consider taking one day each week to spend quality time with God and to enjoy the beauty and majesty of nature, which He created for us. Shabbat is about the Lord. We honor Him by setting it apart unto Him. In return, He brings us deeper into healing, peace, and fellowship with Him. Remember, God set the example for us on the seventh day of creation, so when we do the same-we become more like Him.

I want to encourage you, beloved one, to practice the Principle of the Sabbath. You will be blessed in the presence of God, you will be refreshed and renewed, and you will discover why He said this to the Psalmist:
“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

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Now I can truly see myself as a child of Abraham.
Abednego, Nigeria