This psalm was to be sung on Sabbath. It’s the only psalm in the entire canon where Sabbath is mentioned and it sums up the spirit with which Moses taught the Hebrew slaves about the need to observe a day of rest. In Deuteronomy 5, Moses links the observance of Sabbath with God’s deliverance of the Hebrews and his promise of freedom. They were to stop all work and remember a sea that had parted, a pillar of fire, rocks from which water had gushed, sweet food that fallen from heaven.Read More
When our first parents rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) they ceased to be God-centered in their perspective but instead attempted to make sense of life from their own perspective. This was a fatal mistake and one we continue to make. We need God’s perspective if we are going to live wisely – which is another way of saying that we need to be God-centered instead of relying solely on our own judgment.Read More justice, Sabbath, wholeness, festivals
Even in seeking to assure obedience, God’s passion is displayed towards those who are still to be brought into the community of faith. The effect of obedience is to assure the health of the worshipping community. There is a direct benefit in setting aside a day for worship, and rest has a direct benefit for the obedient. Our bodies function best with regular rest. Our emotional and spiritual health functions best with regular worship.Read More worship, obedience, Sabbath, rest
The need for the feasts God appointed in the Old Testament is gone. Jesus has taken their place. Paul tells us, 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. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:16 & 17 NIV) Nevertheless the spirit in which God gave his people festivals, like the Sabbath, should not be ignored.Read More trust, Sabbath, rest
The Christian life is difficult, even with God’s Word to guide us. Not only does our own sinfulness get in the way, but his guidance is so easily abused by those we look to as leaders.
This was certainly the case in ancient Israel as the Pharisees, zealous to lead the people of God, distorted the meaning and purpose of Scripture. Sabbath observance was at the core of Jewish faith.Read More life, Sabbath, rules, missing the point
The law is a good thing. Laws give us definition. They help us understand the boundaries and keep a check on violence – that is until they themselves become their own kind of violence.
What does one do when the law prohibits one from healing a disease or saving a life? Jean Valjean stole a loaf of bread to feed his starving family. Corrie Ten Boom hid her Jewish neighbors so to save them from the Nazis.Read More Sabbath, law, rest
“Aha! We’ve caught him, breaking the law.” The law – everything in Leviticus and Deuteronomy – says that you should not work on the Sabbath. In the Ten Commandments God specifies that the seventh day belongs to the Lord and that means that both Jew and Gentile (and even animals!) should worship and rest. That means no work. It’s built into the way the world has been made (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11).Read More compassion, worship, Sabbath, rest