This week our home has been full of flu. It seemed to creep one person to the next in about 2 day intervals. There have been many lazy days...pajamas and homemade soup...movies and naps. Finally, we are starting to turn the corner. Everyone has had it except for me (I thought I was coming down with it one day but it turned around by mid-afternoon). Joshua has been walking around praying, "Dear Lord, please do not let mommy get sick or we're all gonna die."
And yet, after all this sickness and resting and laziness...one might be inclined to skip Shabbat (Hebrew for Sabbath). After all...it would be easy to take tomorrow to catch up on a few things...
But no. We will not skip the Sabbath. My kids made me promise. "Mom," they said, "God commanded us to keep the Sabbath, so we should definitely do it." Yes, they have been listening to our Bible reading!
There are many Christians who believe that it is not necessary to keep the Sabbath. It's a Jewish thing...or that it was part of the "old covenant" and that Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) did away with all that....right?
Well. Did you know that Elohim (God) established the Sabbath LONG before "Israel" existed? That's right. Go check your Bibles right now...I'll wait.
Genesis 2: 2-3
"By the seventh day Elohim (God) had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested (ceased) from his work. And Elohim (God) blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."
Shabbat means to cease or stop. God set the example for us to STOP. The result of stopping...is rest! Yes, REST!
God didn't create the Sabbath for the Israelites or the Jews. He created it for you and for me...and for all of mankind right from the beginning. Was God tired from all that creating He had done? No. He was setting the example for us. He was giving us a gift. A gift of rest. Common' tired Mama's...how many times have you simply begged Him for REST...just a break, Lord...can't I get a break? Well, He already gave it to you. You just have to trust Him and obey. He called the 7th day Holy...who are we to argue?
Now...if God ordained this holy day at the beginning of time...what happened to it? Did the "new covenant" excuse believers from participating? Did Jesus rename the Sabbath , "The Lord's Day" and formally change it to the 1st day (which would be Sunday)? Nope.
You may be surprised (cause I sure was)...that the change came in the 4th century AD by none other than Constantine himself. After Constantine's alleged conversion...at the Council of Laodicea, the Church declared the Sabbath to be a an exclusively Jewish holy day and abolished the practice by the "Christian" church. They decided to replace the Sabbath observance with a new tradition of worship on the day Yeshua (Jesus) rose from the grave...which would be the 1st day of the week. This day was also named "Sun-day" because it was the day people worshiped the sun-god and Constantine believed that church worship on the "sun-day" would attract more followers than the traditional Sabbath observance which was associated with the Jews.
So - God ordained the 7th day Sabbath...and Constantine changed it. As for me and my house...we will serve YHVH (the Lord)!
So, my kitchen floor is dry now and I need to get back to work. My house does not look the way it may have during a "normal" week (whatever that is)...but I am doing my best to prepare today and I am so anticipating resting with YHVH tonight and tomorrow!
Thank you, YHVH, for your mercy and for the gift of Shabbat!
Curious about this information? Check out Torah Class - which is free and online...there are written and audio lessons which cover "The Scriptures" (Old Testament) chapter by chapter. It is challenging me to read and study the Bible from a Hebrew point of view.