As we have been reading the past few chapters of Leviticus – we have been given a glimpse into the various feasts which God set up into the annual calendar for His people to observe. There is so much meaning within these feast that it is difficult to miss it… Basically that God is trying to establish a NEW way of living for these ex-slaves He has rescued. This NEW way will not be like the way they are used to – so He needs to set up reminders throughout their entire year so that they don’t forget.

Now notice what God says in the beginning of chapter 25…

“The LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.” – Lev 25:1-7

 

Now it is important to remember that all of the Book of Leviticus – with it’s rules and regulations – are written to a specific people at a specific point in history in a specific location… all of them gathered at the base of Mt Sinai preparing to enter and take possession of this piece of land God was going to give them. The rules and laws were set up to teach them how to live a different way then their neighbors… and in this law God tells them to keep the sabbath rest.

BUT WHAT IS THE BIGGER POINT FOR YOU AND I?

 

The Hebrew word for ‘Sabbath’ is “to cease” and it is a way of life which reflects what God is like. In Gen 2 we are told that God created for 6 days – and then rested from His labor. Living any other way would be in opposition to the One who created us!

God wants to teach His people (and us) very early on that our worth isn’t wrapped up in our own effort and what we accomplish… but IS wrapped up in Him and Him alone!

MOST WORLD RELIGIONS FOCUS ON US DOING SOMETHING TO GET TO GOD – BUT THE BIBLE IS ABOUT GOD ALREADY DOING ALL OF THE WORK TO GET TO US!

 

This is a serious lesson God wants us to learn. It was so important that He made it part of the initial commandments in Exodus 20 – and threatened to kill anyone who disobeyed it.

In Psalm 95:10-11 – while speaking about the Israelites who disobeyed Him – He said “they shall not enter my rest”.

In fact – over and over God attributes a relationship with Him as being a place of REST.

Jesus continues this Leviticus language in Matt 11:28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.

The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that entering into a relationship with God means stopping trying to work your way IN – but instead accepting (and resting) in what He has already done for us! (Heb 4:1-11).

Then finally – in Col 2:16-17 – Paul gives us even more insight into the deeper meanings of the rules/laws of Leviticus. “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

 

Do you see the point of the message? The laws – rules – regulations of Leviticus were all designed by God to point to Jesus. Jesus can be found in every law – feast – regulation… even in the Sabbath. He IS our Sabbath REST. Jesus provides for us the opportunity to no longer strive to approach God on our own merit – but instead to REST in His way of life and the holiness purchased by His shed blood.

 

*** IT ISN’T THE WORKING THAT IS THE ISSUE – IT IS THE WORKING THE WRONG WAY THAT IS THE ISSUE! ***

When speaking of “Resting” God isn’t telling us to become lazy – sit on the couch – and just enjoy life all in the name of a Sabbath Rest. What He is telling us is to serve Him – provide for our families – build and be a part of our communities – but do all of that OUT OF our relationship of love with Him.

WE SERVE BECAUSE WE LOVE HIM AND HE US… NOT IN ORDER TO GAIN THAT LOVE!

WE SERVE OUT OF LOVE – NOT DUTY!

 

So step into your blood bought relationship with God – rest in the fact that you are valuable to Him – and then roll up your sleeves and find your place of serving Him as an expression of that love!

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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