Friday, April 28, 2017
As we search for an understanding of Sabbath, we find some insight in an unusual place. In the 16th chapter of Exodus we read about the manna from heaven falling upon the wilderness encampment of the Hebrews. The Lord told Moses to tell the people, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day..." (Exodus 16:4) He went on to tell them to gather only a certain amount each day for if they tried to hoard some as leftovers to keep from going out to gather the next day, it would spoil. However, on the sixth day they were to gather twice as much as there would be no fresh manna falling on the Sabbath Day. The Sabbath was for resting which excluded even the work of gathering manna.
Of course, some did not take God at His Word. Some tried to gather extra for the next day to find out that it was foul when the sun rose on it. And some went out on the Sabbath expecting to find the extra they did not bother to get on the sixth day. Sabbath keeping is about trust. It was then and continues to be so now. The Word calls us to a lifestyle of working which speaks of depending on our own strength and resources for living for six days, but reminding ourselves on the seventh that it is really not all about us by practicing the discipline of not working. To work on Sabbath is an expression of our distrust of God. He may not do for us as we want or need Him to do, so instead of practicing Sabbath rest, we take matters in our hands.
Taking matters into our own hands when God is telling us it is actually in His hands is a recipe for disaster in our personal lives. The disaster may not come at first, but is it not possible that a life time of ignoring Sabbath rest has resulted in health issues related to stress, broken families caused by the constant worship of the workplace, and a loneliness that is ultimately traced to trying to live without God's rule in our lives? Getting it all now may seem like a good idea, but it is always a costly one.