Keeping the Sabbath

The Hebrew word is: “Shabbat” – Quit!…Stop!…take a break!

Gen. 2:1-4 – after 6 days of creation: God stopped

-Sabbath: a deliberate, intentional act of interference, an interruption of our own work week

-two forms: same command – different reasons given

Ex. 20:8-11 – this is what God did

-God worked 6; quit on 7th

-when we remember & rest, we enter into and maintain the rhythm of creation in ourselves

-we keep time with God; maintaining this creation rhythm builds for us and in us weekly protection against attacks on our time

Dt. 5:12-15 – in Egypt as slaves: work, work, work

-incessant, unrelieved work; now that they have been saved, they must never perpetuate such oppression – they must quit each 7th day so that their slaves, livestock, children get a day off

-there is more to work than work! – there is God: God in completion, in rest, in blessing, in making holy

-we each are in a workplace too – but without Sabbath, our workplace is soon emptied of the sense of God’s presence & work becomes an end in itself

-the Sabbath command is conspicuously reaffirmed by Jesus

How are we to keep the Sabbath?

-for Israel & the Church – weekly acts of worship in the company of the people of God – there is more to Sabbath-keeping but this is where it starts (not where it ends but it is where it starts)

What Sabbath-keeping does in us (if we choose to let it!)

-it cultivates attentiveness & adoration; develops into a capacity for wonder during the other 6 days of the week

-the main location for spiritual formation is the workplace

Further Reading

Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God, W Publishing Group, 2006

Marva Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989


Worship services at First Baptist Church have RESUMED! Join us at 11 a.m. beginning on Sunday, October 10, 2021.