A Devotion on the Ten Commandments: "Remember the Sabbath Day"
19 This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and stand at the Gate of the People,[c] through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem. 20 Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem who come through these gates. 21 This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors. 23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. 24 But if you are careful to obey me, declares the LORD, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy by not doing any work on it, 25 then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. 27 But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’” (Jeremiah 17:19-27) [See also Ezekial 20:13-21]
There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:1)
(Peacable Kingdom, Edward Hicks 1780- 1849)
Thoughts: Jesus is our rest. He embodies the Sabbath. He is our source of peace. He gives us our time. He brings us peace with God- and peace with others- and peace within ourselves. He keeps us from over-valuing this world- it's work (which rusts and fades- except as it glorifies the eternal God); it's money (which we cannot take with us). Hebrews 4 speaks of their being "a Sabbath rest for the people of God." That is the heavenly rest in the presence of Jesus.
When we reject our rest, we reject how we are made and who made us. We cannot live without sleep. We at first are grumpy. We don't think clearly. Then we start hallucinating. We lose weight. Sleep deprivation studies show we need rest to survive. We may not like it, but that is the way we are made. We are made to have to stop and be re-nourished. When we don't there are terrible consequences. So, Jeremiah says the Sabbath was a sign (of the covenant) the people had with God. When they rejected the Sabbath, God rejected them and gave them 70 years rest to catch up on their Sabbaths. When the people rejected Jesus at his first coming, they rejected the peace with God He offered them. Today, many are rejecting God again. A visible sign of rejection is going our own way on the Lord's Day, thinking our time is our own and our rest with God is not important. It is time to stop, look, turn around and find our rest again.
The Bible calls us to the ultimate peace when the wolf lies down with the lamb, and there is no more hurt or harm in God's holy presence.