Many of our friends in med school have always wondered, “You mean to tell us you do not study on Sabbaths? Even on exam weeks?”. Their eyes gaze at us in utter amazement at the thought of going through medical school with one day less to study. How is that possible?
What is it in this day we call “Sabbath” that makes it so special, and the keeper of it – peculiar? Why did we ever keep it in the first place?
“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3
We keep the seventh day Sabbath because during the Creation, He made it extraordinarily special for His beloved children – and that includes you and me!
Just as He, His people, and even His only begotten Son, Jesus, rightfully modeled Sabbath-keeping, so should we. As the Lord of the Sabbath, He bids us:
“REMEMBER the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8
The word REMEMBER is used particularly for this commandment, because He knows that once our earthly priorities get in the way, we tend to FORGET that which is of eternal value.
He also reminds us that:
“I am the LORD your God; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. Sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.” Ezekiel 20:19, 20
Sign, in medical parlance, is something that is objective, meaning it can be observed. It is a step further, a manifestation of what is subjective. Therefore, REMEMBERING the Sabbath as a sign between God and us is made manifest through our OBEDIENCE borne by love for Our Maker. This obedience entails both the subjective act of remembering and the objective act of keeping it.
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you…” Exodus 20: 9, 10
Spending time with the Lord is NEVER a waste of time. We do not just TRY to find time with God. We MAKE time for and with HIM! Keeping the Sabbath and dedicating that whole day for and with Him also means trusting Him to take care of our earthly cares and needs. It means a time to rest from ephemeral things and taking the time to commune with our Creator God. It is acknowledging God’s Divine Providence. He reminds us:
“Be still and know that I AM GOD.” Psalm 46:10
Beyond rest, it is a day that signifies our faith and submission to His sustaining power in our lives. We believe that:
“Our efficiency will turn out to be a deficiency unless we embrace HIS sufficiency!”
We are given the wonderful promise in Isaiah 58:13, 14,
“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt homour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
Sabbath then, is a DELIGHT and never a burden. It is a time to refresh our stress-saturated perspectives about life. It renews our wearied hearts’ energies so that we may be ready to face the greater challenges that are ahead of us.
We hope and pray that you also experience the blessing of keeping the Lord’s Sabbath.
We will share glimpses of our Sabbath days on our next blogs. We hope you stay tuned and stay #TandeMD with God!
With much love,
Jerald and Ardys