Exodus 20:8-11

Keep the Sabbath Holy


Exodus 20:8-11 remember the sabbath day to keep it holy 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 for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth the sea and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day therefore the LORD blessed the seventh day and made it holy Shabbat Shalom! today we’re talking about what is Shabbat what is the sabbath it is a day that is meant to be Holy what does holy mean holy means separated set aside, dedicated, different from all the other days the most amazing thing many people have told me this and I know it’s true from my own life when you set aside one day in 7 and make a choice to honor the Shabbat you know what happens? you get more work done in the 6 days than you ever would in 7 people that work 7 days a week they go, I have to I have too much work a person that says that is absolutely deceived he’s trusting in himself he’s trusting in human effort he’s not trusting in God because God will open doors and if you’ll honor this particular principle again it’s not a law it’s not you have to it’s just a principle you’ll get more work done in 6 days than you ever did in 7 so what is the Shabbat about it’s about setting aside a dedicated time from sundown Friday night until sundown Saturday night that’s the time that God specified that the Shabbat is it’s a remembrance of two things one, God rested in creation during that time set aside a 7th day after 6 days of creation we read in Genesis and the second thing is we remember deliverance from Egypt deliverance from slavery deliverance from all the pressures a lot of people are slaves and Shabbat is a celebration of deliverance from Slavery it says today nobody controls my time many people are in bondage to a cruel task master at work so to speak who presses on them and makes them perform but Shabbat comes nobody presses on you that day for many people the cruelest task master of all is not your boss at work, it’s you it’s you yourself especially people that are entrepreneurial most people that own a business put more pressure on themselves than they ever do even on their employees we’re our own worst taskmaster and what is Shabbat Shabbat, the Sabbath it’s an island of time where we set aside that time not because we finished all our work we just make a decision we’re going to dedicate this day to Yahweh we’re going to set it aside we’re going to give it to Him there’s a powerful thing that Jewish people understand that I think many gentiles don’t really get here’s a book I read many years ago To Be A Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin he has a great revelation about this in a chapter on Shabbat I just want to read you a little bit and he says this “but slavery doesn’t only consist of doing forced labor for which one doesn’t get paid or gets paid very little slavery is not only a situation in which cruel taskmasters stand over you and tell you that you can’t stop that you must finish the assigned task before you go home and rest have you ever stopped to think that you yourself can be your own cruelest taskmaster that you are capable of driving yourself in a manner that no slave master ever drove his slaves” I’m sure that’s not you but probably somebody you know is like that “you’ve got to finish the job you can’t stop there are deadlines to meet obligations to fulfill there are things which must be taken care of there are conferences there are business commitments house cleaning, laundry, shopping the need to get ready for an evening out we drive ourselves day in and day out and we think we’re free” what is Shabbat coming into true freedom let me read another little piece of what this Rabbi said “how many in the midst of all their pressing obligations and commitments their worries and concerns business and personal can just stop everything and say yes I have so many things to do but for the next 24 hours I’m a free man or woman I cut myself off from the world and all it’s concerns and do nothing or limit myself to spiritual pursuits how many can deliberately and consciously say not, I’ve really finished therefore I can rest but even though I have not finished it is as though I have I now stop for there is no such thing as must do” this is what Paul says when he tells us strive to enter his rest why is there a striving because we don’t naturally rest we naturally just push and push and push so to really walk in Shabbat we have to learn to actually dedicate and set aside that time “the Sabbath observer can and does do this he has no task masters for 24 hours he’s free nothing interferes with his rest his tranquility of mind and of soul unless it be a matter of life and death in which he must play a decisive role and it is precisely because the Sabbath reoccurs as often as every 7 days that it is a refreshing pause that a Sabbath observant Jew finds it to be it is not only a matter of not working physically it is also not working emotionally” that’s a key right there shutting down not grinding on the things that press you during Shabbat “and from the positive side it is the engendering of a completely new and different spirit our tradition refers to it as the additional soul Neshama Y’tairah this is an attitude a state of mind” a state of rest you know what I advocate doing is when Shabbat begins on Friday night if you’re going to honor Shabbat if you’re going to dedicate it if you’re going to treat it as holy as the LORD said that we’re to do then what that means is I gather up all the emotional pressures I think of all of them all the projects that are undone all the things I need to do I gather them up as it were and I speak a word to just release them and I do a physical action I just go release and I let go of them and for the next 24 hours, I’m free I’m not going to think about those things I’m not going to grind on those things I’m going to be free to spend time with the LORD to spend time with my family to spend time doing things that I don’t do on the other 6 days during the week I encourage you to do the same so today on this Shabbat why don’t we just do that right now just take a moment think of all the things that press you all the pressures emotional pressures, projects family difficulties, financial pressures health problems all the things that press you gather them all up and we’re going to take them and just throw them and so as I do it, do it with me and just speak this word release let’s just do that on the count of 3 ready, gather them all up just take a minute think of them you got all those things ok one two three release Shabbat Shalom


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