"REMEMBER THE SABBATH"

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Scripture:  Exodus 20:8  "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."

In six days God created the heavens and the earth, all of nature and the universe, and man and woman.  When He had finished, He was pleased with His work and declared that it was all good.  He then rested on the seventh day from all of His labors.  When God gave us the Ten Commandments, He told us to follow His example and consecrate the Sabbath to Him.  The animals were not to be put to work and the land itself was to rest.  Seed was not supposed to be sown in the fields and the vineyards were not to be pruned.  Taking a day of rest was not just a suggestion.  Instead, it was a command for the entire creation of God.  Yet often we violate this commandment to rest, even though most of us would never think of violating the other nine commandments.  We love the Lord our God with all of our hearts and do not take His Name in vain.  We would never make or worship idols.  We honor our fathers and mothers and we do not kill or steal.  Neither do we bear false witness against our neighbors or covet our neighbor's spouse or material goods.  Yet, we are busy people and do find ourselves at times transgressing the command of God to rest one day out of seven because we have much that needs to get done.

God set aside the Sabbath for our time of rest, which was actually the last and seventh day of the week.  But since Jesus' resurrection on the first day of the week, we now celebrate Sunday as our day of rest and we call it the Lord's Day.  It is our day of worship and we consecrate it as holy unto the Lord.  Yet, it also becomes a day to catch up on all the left over chores of the week.  When I was growing up it was much easier to find a day of rest because most of the businesses were closed in honor of the Lord's Day, which left nothing else to do but rest.  It also seemed that life was not as busy and there was more time to take care of all of our business during the week.  However, there came a day when more businesses began to open on Sunday, and I remember that they established a law in effort to keep Sunday from becoming just another day of the week.  It was called the "Blue Law" and this law made it illegal for merchants to sell anything on Sunday except for essential items like buy food and medicine that was marked with a blue symbol.  I wonder what happened to that law, which is not enforced today.

I also wonder what happened to the law of God that is supposed to be written upon the tables of our heart that says, "Six days you are to labor and do all of your work.  The seventh day, you are to rest."  God did not just randomly think of the Sabbath rest.  He knew from His own experience that we too needed the rhythm of action and rest.  It is a spiritual and biological necessity that we allow ourselves to be dormant, for if we do not find times of rest, just being alive will become an enormous burden.  God said that man was not made for the Sabbath, but that the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27).  He established one day out of every seven for rest.  He intends for us to consecrate that day as holy unto Him and find rest and regeneration for our body, soul, and spirit.  Remember the Sabbath, for is a personal gift from God, which should be received and enjoyed. +++

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