In our home, we take a day out each week to listen to teaching, to read our bibles and spend time with God. Recently, during some teaching, we heard something that has changed the way we think about the Sabbath. The question was asked, “What is the Sabbath for?” Jesus said the Sabbath was made for us. So, if God made the Sabbath for us, what is the day for?
I have to admit that all my Christian life, I have tended to look at life through the lens of ‘my experience’. I thought that God must have worked so hard creating the universe in those six days (however long those ‘days’ were) that on the seventh day He sank into His throne with a nice cuppa and relaxed. After the teaching we listened to, I realised that God is not like a human being and He does not need rest like us.
Now let’s forget my thinking and change the scenario to the reality. God made and prepared the world to be a beautiful place. He made us … Stop right there and ask, “But why did He make us?”
I find the answer in the second part of Zephaniah 3:17, ‘He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.’ It was because He wanted us! He didn’t need us, but He wanted us.
Imagine, if you will, two different parents preparing for their child’s birthday. One is very organised, taking time and care so that everything is in place - venue, invitations, cake, entertainer, hats and food. On the day of the party, that parent is able to fully enjoy the day with their child.
Now the other parent doesn’t actually do anything until the week before, so then has to spend a huge amount of time phoning, texting and emailing to get everything in place at the last minute. When the day of the party arrives, this parent is exhausted, and the child is fractious. It is supposed to be their special day, but Mum or Dad have been ignoring them all week and now are too tired to enjoy the party.
Part of me had always imagined that was God busy, then exhausted. I realise I was ‘humanising’ God. He is not human. We are made in His image, not Him in ours. God spent time carefully creating a beautiful balanced environment. Imagine if He’d created us first? That would have been too scary for us. No, when the environment was fully in place and He was happy with it, He created us.
Then He created that seventh day so that we could spend time with Him. He wanted us. He loves us. He rejoices over us with singing. It’s not about what we do on that day. It’s about how we spend it. He just wants to spend the day with each one of us. How marvellous is that?
Prayer: Father, I thank You that You made me because You wanted me, and that You want me to spend time with You. Help me to set aside time in my life to stop being busy doing things and to relate to You, and listen to You rejoicing over me with singing. In Your precious Son’s name. Amen.
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