By Jeremiah Model
Sabbath has a great meaning and value to it. To religious Jews Sabbath means to rest.
The word Sabbath comes from the root Shin, Beit, Tav meaning to cease, to end, to rest.
In exodus chapter 31 versus 15-17 it says for Six days you may perform work, but the seventh day is a completed Sabbath, holy to the LORD. It is an eternal sign that in six days the LORD made the Heavens and Earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.
Unfortunately for some who do not observe the Sabbath and do not know the workings of the Hebrew sabbath think of it as a day of restrictions, filled with nonsense and legalism.
But to those who observe the Sabbath, view it as precious gift of the creator to his created. It’s a day of joy that is eagerly awaited throughout the week, an exotic island of rest. It’s a time where we can put aside weekday concerns and reflect on our majesty and higher callings. A time to sit with friends and family and dine like royalty.
For many of us we don’t get the rest that we need. Even if we have off Saturday and Sunday we are still usually inundated with traffic, cell phones, music, television, and noise that taxes our stress responses. It causes us to be in a state of unrest seven days a week.
In Jewish writings, music and poetic works, Shabbat is described as a queen or bride. This is usually heard in a popular shabbos song called “Lecha Dodi Likrat Kallah,” which means come my beloved to meet the Sabbath bride.
Imagine viewing a day of the week as a bride fully set apart for you to rest and to enjoy. A day to not stress on deadlines, computer work, monetary concerns, or worrying about tomorrow but just enjoying a day of rest with your creator. A day where your creator rests with you side by side breathing life into you and giving you a fresh perspective of the week upcoming.
There is a saying that says “more that Israel has kept the Shabbat, Shabbat has kept Israel.” In parallel with this wise saying, is a saying by Rabbi Yeshua who stated in Mark 2:27 Living Translation, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”
The Greeks looked down on the Jews as being lazy because they insisted on having a holiday every week called “Shabbat.”
In the ancient times the leisure was for the wealthy and the ruling classes only, never for the serving or laboring classes.
The only nation that had such a law that would allow all to rest was Ancient Israel. It’s a remarkable day that G-D set apart to rest on the 7th day when He created earth, like it says in Genesis.
Sabbath is what kept the Jewish faith alive throughout the diaspora. Nothing has been able to quench the spirit of Sabbath no persecution, threats of death, or laws that were passed in Spain or Germany to remove the Sabbath from the people.
The rest is also for the family, its a day to enjoy each other thoroughly without distractions, as a unit.
All are free to partake of this rest if you want it, just like this psalmist did.
To end this … here is a Psalm 92:1 A psalm. A song for the Sabbath day. It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High.