For thousands of years the Sabbath Day has been a ceremony
observed in obedience to God's commandment. Few Christians
have an indepth understanding of the meaning of the Sabbath
Day, not as ritual obedience, but the meaning of a Sabbath
Day's rest for interpersonal spiritual growth. Many do not
work on the Sabbath and attend Church every Sabbath Day.
Should we be focused on the observance of the Sabbath Day
or should we be focused on entering the Sabbath rest?
Christians have a difference of opinions of the exact day
of the Sabbath. Some believe the Sabbath is observed on
the seventh day of the current calendar (as prescribed by
the Old Testament), others choose observing the Sabbath
on the first day of the week (honoring the resurrection
short study will look beyond the day upon which the Sabbath
is observed and seek to understand why God called the church
(covenant people) to rest on the Sabbath.
following scriptures are the first scriptural account of
God commanding the Israelites to keep the seventh day of
the week as a Sabbath day of rest. The Sabbath Day was a
provision for the Israelites in the wilderness.
16:12-30 (KJV) -
I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak
unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the
morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know
that I am the LORD your God.
(13) And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up,
and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round
about the host.
(14) And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon
the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing,
as small as the hoar frost on the ground.'
And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to
another, It is manna:
for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto
them, This is the bread which
the LORD hath given you to eat.
- (Strong's Concordance / Hebrew) #4478 man
(mawn); from #4100; literally, a whatness (so to speak),
i.e. manna (so called from the question about it):
- mah (maw); or mah (mah); or ma (maw); or ma (mah);
also meh (meh); a primitive particle; properly, interrogative
what? (including how? why? when?);
but also exclamation, what! (including how!), or indefinitely
what (including whatever, and even relatively, that which).
Israelites saw the manna and wist (to know) what it was.
- (Strong's Concordance / Hebrew) #3899 lechem
(lekh'-em); from #3898; food (for man or beast),
especially bread, or grain (for making it).
lacham (law-kham'); a primitive root; to feed on;
figuratively, to consume; by implication, to battle
is this bread which God provides in the wilderness? The
Spirit reminds me of Jesus' words spoken to the devil during
His testing in the wilderness - Matthew 4:4 (KJV) - But
he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of God. God's daily provision for each
Christian is given for the purpose of building his faith.
When we consume God's Word (bread), we take into our minds
a new way of thinking and trusting in Him as our Provider
during our time of personal wilderness (a place where there
is only our faith in God and God overseeing our wilderness
means God gives us the answer or solution to our wilderness
predicament. Manna (Word of God) is God's answer to our
What? Why? How? and When? questions. All the questions of
life's issues are answered through our faith in Christ Jesus.
Faith in God's provision is paramount to entering into His
(16) This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather
of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every
man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every
man for them which are in his tents.
(17) And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some
more, some less.
(18) And when they did mete it with an omer, he that
gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered
little had no lack; they gathered every man according
to his eating.
provision is adequate for every Christian. I am reminded
of the first congregation of believers after Pentecost Sabbath
- Acts 2:44-47 (NIV) - All the believers were together
and had everything in common. (45) Selling their possessions
and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (46)
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple
courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together
with glad and sincere hearts, (47) praising God and enjoying
the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their
number daily those who were being saved.
congregation was of one heart, providing to each person
according to his needs. Truly, they thought not of themselves
and were empowered by Christ to be more concerned with the
needs of others.
(19) And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
wants the Israelites to have faith in Him for their daily
provision. This is also revealed in Christ's instructions
for our daily prayer - Matthew 6:9-11 (KJV) - After this
manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. (10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be
done in earth, as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this
day our daily bread.....
(20) Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but
some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms,
and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
(21) And they gathered it every morning, every man according
to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
(22) And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered
twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the
rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
(23) And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD
hath said, Tomorrow is the rest
of the holy sabbath unto the
LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and
seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over
lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Concordance / Hebrew) #7677 shabbathown (shab-baw-thone');
from #7676; a sabbatism or special holiday.
in KJV - rest, sabbath.
- shabbath (shab-bawth'); intensive from #7673; intermission,
i.e (specifically) the Sabbath:
- shabath (shaw-bath'); a primitive root; to repose,
i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations
(causative, figurative or specific):
in KJV - (cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate, cause
(make) to fail, keep (sabbath), suffer to be lacking,
leave, put away (down), (make to) rest, rid, still, take
is important to see the word "shabbathown"(rest)
is derived from
the root word "Shabath" (Sabbath).
Rest and Sabbath are tied to each other in their meaning.
is a holy rest in the Lord and not to be confused with leisure
rest from our daily work. Shabath is used in the KJV
to mean "suffer to be lacking" (patience in our
lacks). Also, "leave", "rid", "make
to rest" - All of which imply, to be intentional in
our observance of the Sabbath by "desisting from exertion"
(setting aside daily toils and worries) and trust
God with the provisional answer to our needs. In this way,
we enter into His rest (free from the worries and anxieties
of life's issues). It is the ultimate experience of faith
in Him as our Provider. Then we have consumed His bread
by faith, His Word and His promises. He is trustworthy!
rest and Sabbath are all one with the same dynamic. For
example, the Israelites could not enter into the rest of
the Lord because of unbelief -
So, as the Holy Spirit says:
"Today, if you hear his voice,
(8) do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
(9) where your fathers tested and tried me
and for forty years saw what I did.
(10) That is why I was angry with that generation,
and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.'
(11) So I declared on oath in my anger,
'They shall never enter my rest."
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving
heart that turns away from the living God.
the LORD" - (Strong's
Concordance / Hebrew) #3068 Yehovah (yeh-ho-vaw'); from
#1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish
national name of God:
- hayah (haw-yaw); a primitive root [compare #1933];
to exist, i.e. be or become, come to pass
in KJV - beacon, X altogether, be (-come), accomplished,
committed, like), break, cause, come (to pass),
do, faint, fall, follow, happen, X have, last,
pertain, quit (oneself-), require, X use.
is a phrase that is derived from the root word "hayah",
meaning to exist or become (like Him). To
rest in the Lord is to be totally submitted, humbly obedient
and desirous to in our hearts to have Him reside in our
hearts as Lord, Overseer of our souls. It is a place of
complete self-denial (quit oneself) and complete
trust in Him (committed). It is a place of breakthrough
(break). Then we follow Him and He causes
things to happen in our lives for our good (Romans
(24) And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade:
and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath
unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
provision will be adequate for Christians to observe the
Sabbath and do not be involved with working for daily provision.
God is faithful!
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day,
which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
(27) And it came to pass, that there went out some of the
people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found
(28) And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to
keep my commandments and my laws?
(29) See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath,
therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two
days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out
of his place on the seventh day.
So the people rested on the seventh day.
Sabbath was made for man
4:1-11 (NIV) - Therefore, since the promise of entering
his rest still stands, let us be careful that none
of you be found to have fallen short of it. (2) For
we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they
did; but the message they heard was of no value to them,
because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
(3) Now we who have believed enter that rest, just
as God has said,
I declared on oath in my anger,
'They shall never enter my rest.'"
yet his work has been finished since the creation of the
world. (4) For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh
day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested
from all his work." (5) And again in the passage above
he says, "They shall never enter my rest."
It still remains that some will enter that rest,
and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them
did not go in, because of their disobedience. (7) Therefore
God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when
a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts."
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have
spoken later about another day. (9) There remains, then,
a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; (10) for anyone
who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just
as God did from his. (11) Let us, therefore, make
every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will
fall by following their example of disobedience.
would not have spoken later about another day" -
"Today" (verse 7) is another day pointing
to the day of Christ Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath. Verse 6
states that some will not enter God's rest because of their
disobedience to the gospel. Verse 7 states that we should
not harden our hearts when we hear His voice (gospel). We
should accept the gospel by faith and obey what we have
heard, including observance of the Sabbath so we can experience
entering into His rest.
who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just
as God did from his" - When we rest from out
daily toil, we prepare a time for entering into God's rest.
God counsels us to set aside all our six day activities
so we are not distracted, as we focus on Him. We need to
spend time considering our faith in Him as Provider of all
2:27-28 (NIV) - Then he said to them, "The Sabbath
was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (28) So the
Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Sabbath is a time of spiritual growth when a Christian enters
into a special place of faith and trust in Christ. A place
that transcends adversity, affliction, and / or any form
of worldliness. A place where Christians love the Lord with
all their hearts and strength. A place of vigor and zeal
for their new lives in Christ. A place of desiring to serve
Him by serving others because they love Him and love the
people He loves. He is our Lord of all!!
2:16-17 (NIV) - Therefore do not let anyone judge you
by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious
festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
(17) These are a shadow of the things that were to come;
the reality, however, is found in Christ.
reality of the Sabbath is found in Christ. I encourage
every Christian to see every day as a Sabbath day and rest
in the Lord, trusting Him for all things. Do not look upon
the Sabbath as a literal ritual religious requirement of
God. We keep our Sabbath by resting in Him and praising
Him for all that He has done with gladness of heart and
devotion of soul. The Lord will be with you in strength
and power when you work, when you are grieved, when you
are sorrowful, when you are rejoicing, when you are loving,
and when you are bad. You are in Him and He is in you!
Objective for All Christians is to be "In Him"
good rule of thumb to use when perceiving your relationship
with God is to realize you obey God only because He loves
you and you love Him with your whole heart. God gave
all of Himself to you and you, as a covenant child, give
all of yourself to Him. No one can earn God's love with
works of righteousness. He gives Himself freely just because
He loves each person. Likewise, each Christian should freely
give himself to God, withholding nothing from Him. Give
Him your sin, your possessions, your entire being. Then
you will have entered His rest! You will reside "in
Him". This is God's refuge for each Christian.
Objective is Seen in Jesus' Prayer Over the Church, Which
is Still Effectual Today
17:13-23 (NIV) - "I am coming to you now, but I say
these things while I am still in the world, so that they
may have the full measure of my joy within them.
(14) I have given them your word and the world has
hated them, for they are not of the world any more than
I am of the world. (15) My prayer is not that you take
them out of the world but that you protect them from the
evil one. (16) They are not of the world, even as I am not
of it. (17) Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
(18) As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into
the world. (19) For them I sanctify myself, that they too
may be truly sanctified.
(20) "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also
for those who will believe in me through their message,
(21) that all of them may be one, Father, just as you
are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us
so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
(22) I have given them the glory that you gave me,
that they may be one as we are one: (23) I in them
and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to
let the world know that you sent me and have loved them
even as you have loved me.
hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world"
1:4-5 (KJV) - According as he hath chosen us in him before
the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated
us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,
according to the good pleasure of his will.
in Him" is a Sabbath phrase. Even before the foundation
of the world was laid by God, He had decided to have children
that were like Him. Children that would be in Him and Him
in them. His command to keep the Sabbath is His guidance
to show us the way to rest in Him and trust Him for all
that we need in this dimension of time.