living out of sabbath rest

SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 17:19-27

OBSERVATION/APPLICATION:

  1. The sabbath (Hebrew for ‘to cease, to rest’) was a special day at the end of each week designed to remind God’s people that they depended on Him (and not on their hard work), to give them a taste of freedom from the curse of sin, and to point them forward to the coming eternal life in God’s restored paradise/kingdom. It became a real test of the state of their heart-relationship with God. To work on the sabbath day was the same as saying: ‘we don’t need or trust God, we will take care of ourselves and meet our needs by our efforts!’
  2. By working on the sabbath, the people were declaring their independence from God, and their determination to succeed on their own. Through Jeremiah God explains that the only way to make Jerusalem prosper – a thriving metropolis where people from all nations gather to celebrate God – is to put God first, to trust in Him and obey Him.
  3. How many of us fall into the same trap, we are determined to succeed even if it means going against what God asks of us, i.e. seeking Him and His kingdom first, loving and serving our neighbours before ourselves. How many people sacrifice their health, their homes and their happiness for the empty dream of success?
  4. The sabbath was a part of the time-period prior to the coming of the messiah, who would usher in God’s eternal rest/blessing. It is an old covenant symbol that has found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, Who is now our rest. Followers of Jesus no longer look towards the coming rest (symbolized by the special day at the end of the week) but live out of the fulfilled rest (symbolized by the special day at the beginning of the week). We no longer observe the sabbath, we live the sabbath, seven days a week!
  5. For many, the idea of a ‘day of rest’ is like a stop sign. They drive like crazy for 6 days, then slam on the brakes for one day, though they often keep their engines revving, eager to get going again. I prefer to see the ‘day of rest’ like a speed limit sign, posted every seven days to remind us of the speed we should be driving all the time.
  6. Busy, crazy busy. This is what describes most of us caught up in the consumer culture. Are we happier with all our toys and treasures? We are building castles from sand, but the warning of God through Jeremiah applies as well today – if we build our own kingdoms, and live by our own ways, our fortresses will be consumed [27].
  7. Look at how I start my day. Am I taking the time to place myself in the Lord, and to orient myself to Him and to His agenda? If I do not start with quiet time, how can I expect to end in quiet time? Living out of His peace does not mean laziness or doing nothing, but it does mean slowing down, paying attention as we go, doing what we do with Him. It includes working, but not frantic, crazy, stressful working but relaxed, measured, paced and productive living.

PRAYER:
Lord, I admit it, I am also crazy busy, and I do not walk with You through life. I am either running ahead or lagging behind. I am not living out of You, and the rest of soul that comes with You. Help me live and experience sabbath in You.

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