When The People Rest Then The Land Rest
As I am reading Exodus 31:14-15, the Spirit of the Lord gave me a new and different insight on the Sabbath. If we were to go back to the original reasons for God’s Sabbath, the foundational purpose was always about rest, after 6 consecutive days of work (Genesis 2:2). In the Covenant God made with the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai, Exodus 20:1-17 & Exodus 23:12, He explained in great details,
When the rest should take place
- 6 days of labor (eg. Jobs), but the 7th day no work should be done. That means everyone rest at the same time before beginning a new work week.
Who should rest?
- You, your sons & daughters.
- Servants (usually belonging to the household because they were purchased, or born, (male & female),
- Strangers (hired servants not Israelites).
- Cattle (all animals used for carrying labor or for work)
Why the rest was necessary
- So that we may be refreshed, and that is everyone on the same day.
But the picture was not completed until God added In Leviticus 25:2, that the land is to keep a sabbath unto Him, and the consequences for not obey His commands.
- 6 years they would work the land but the 7th year and the 50th year, they were not to work the land but let it rest. One rest would be dependent on the other; If the people and animal rested, the land would, but the people didn’t. So, God did what He promised, He scattered them unto enemy nations, and because they were in captive the land was empty. Therefore, the land was finally able to enjoy its sabbath rest.
In the book of Jeremiah, God told the people that He would exile them from the land for 70 years, because this was the amount of time that the Sabbath rest had been disobeyed.
Under the New Covenant of Grace, some believe this about the Sabbath
- The day has changed.
- We no longer need to keep it.
- It can be kept any day of the week, or whenever a person feels like it.
If God’s perfect will for the Sabbath was, that man and animal rest on the 7th day, so that the land gets to rest, how can grace undo that command when the need for rest is still clearly needed? God is smarter than we will ever be, and His will still make perfect sense; Man and animals rest, equals land rest.
Some of the church doctrine implies that what God has spoken concerning the Sabbath is no longer ideal. That is the same thing as saying that God no longer knows what is best for us? I rest today, you rest tomorrow, another person another day, in no way fulfil what God has purposed in His heart. When we do it Gods way; a cooperative rest, the goal in mind will always be obedience and the land.
We are still missing the bigger picture. It is not just about us keeping the Sabbath individually but cooperatively that will make it effective, and it is through our obedience that what God wants would be achieved. We must revisit the Old Testament, because in it we will rediscover God’s perfect will for the Sabbath, Remembering that 2 Timothy 3:16 confirms the Scriptures; Genesis to Malachi, is still profitable for every one of us living under grace.
The earth is restless, it is fighting back, because it is demanding the rest that God has ordained for it. We must love the land, for all things comes from it.