The concept of the Sabbath Rest and the 23rd Psalm have a lot in common. The following phrases refer to both:
Abide in Him.
He shall enter My rest.
On the seventh day He rested.
Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
These are Biblical phrases we are familiar with. But all together, what do they mean?
Today I examined the 23rd Psalm and my recent considerations about the Sabbath jumped out at me as I read it…
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake….”
We lack nothing when we abide with the Father: we shall not want.
We rest — in green pastures. In the resting, we are restored to full capacity.
All this leads us to the righteous path, and that is for the sake of His name (not ours).
Ah rest. When we abide, when we receive, when we STOP, we are in the rest for which He created us. For He created us for fellowship with Him (and for each other), so that we would be together in rest.
The curse of work came after the Fall and labour came as a result of sin. (Genesis 3) GOD created the world in six days, but not even that was work. Creativity is not work. Work interrupted rest, and continues to do so. But that was not GOD’s original intent.
The Sabbath rest was made for man to escape from labour, from work.
The Father blesses the Sabbath and those who receive it are blessed.
The consequence of disobedience or walking our own way is to miss the rest GOD offers.
On the seventh day, He rested. He offers the Sabbath for man to rest likewise, because otherwise man’s labour would continue and he would miss the fullness of life which is offered to him by GOD.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me…”
Even though we may face tough challenges, disappointments, tragedy and even physical death, we remain in rest when we remain in Him. He is our shield and our guide; in times of trouble He is our protector.
Sabbath rest is not just a day of the week to rest (though it is that). And it is not just the seventh day which GOD ordained. It is a state of mind and a state of being — in the company of and abiding with Father GOD.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
The LORD provides. While we must carry out our labours, for ‘he who does not work, does not eat’, and sound work is good for a sound mind, He does provide for those in need, and for those whom He has called according to His purposes.
As we rest in Him, we can know that He holds us in the palm of His hand. He cares for us, nurtures us, comforts us and keeps us in His perfect peace when our eyes are fixed on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)
And so, let us abide in His word, abide in His rest, and abide in the hope set before us.
To be in fellowship with Him — that is the reason for our being. And He promises that, through the rest He provides, when we come unto Him, He indeed is present for us, as our shepherd, our protector and our provider.
Amen and Amen, thank you LORD.