8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Before continuing, I feel compelled to once again declare this truth, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”
While we do not see the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” given in the New Testament, I do believe the principle of REST is taught in the New Testament. REST not so much FROM physical labor but a RESTING in the Lord, a withdrawing from the cares of life to spend time in worship and fellowship with the Lord.
It is so easy to become busy, busy, busy even about the work of the Kingdom and forget the God of the Kingdom. No one was or ever will be more focused on the work the Father had sent him to do than Jesus and yet, we see that there were times He chose to withdraw and led the disciples to do the same.
- Luke 5:16, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
- Matthew 14:23, “After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone,”
- Luke 6:12, “In those days, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.
- And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:31
- “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mark 11:28-30
The principle of rest takes me to Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” This is rest, sweet rest in the presence and fellowship of the One who is our Savior. I believe that our Creator knows that we need the down moments of worship, away from the cares, noise, and throws of life to be with Him…to rest in His presence, to hear His voice alone, without the noise, to be revived, restored and renewed…ready to press on!
That’s why, to me, the OT Commandment 4 goes with the Greatest Commandment to love. and worship God, it’s not about ritual or law but about true worship of the One True and Living God in Spirit and in Truth.
I am reminded of Psalm 62:
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
May God ever protect us from becoming so busy that we forget to “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while” in His presence, in communion, fellowship and worship that yields an intimate and personal relationship with the God who loves us so much that He gave His special and unique Son, gave Himself, that we would be His children.
May we be faithful to “come alone and rest.”
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10