Monday, March 10, 2014

Working after SABBATH

Adam was created on the 6th day and the very next day he rested on God's sabbath. Man was created to rest with God, enjoying his unbroken communion without the worry of working. The sabbatical year for the land also applies the same principle. First, during the wilderness wanderings Israelites were to collect what they needed daily and the 6th day there was always double portion to tie over the sabbath before collecting again on the 8th day or beginning of a new week. When the land is tilled for 6 years, Israelites were enjoined to let the land lays fallowed for a whole year, the 7th year. Thus there will be no work, sowing and reaping except that they are free to harvest what grows of itself in the 7th year. How are they going to eat in the 7th and 8th year? The answer is that God will provide a double portion in the 6th year and there will be bountiful harvest until the reaping of the 8th year. Incredibly, the Jubilee year, the 50th year after 7 × 7 years' cycle comes after a normal sabbatical year and hence in the year of Jubilee the land is to lie fallowed for 2 years, 2 years of rest from sowing and planting. Again God promises to bless the Israelites with triple portion on the 48th year, so that they can rest and enjoy two years of sabbath on the 49th and 50th year. Does the sabbatical year principle apply today?

I believe God's Word is eternal and His Word in the OT remains instructive to us who live in the 21st century. The sabbath principle still applies in that we have to trust God for our sustenance and not to think that our livelihoods depend on our own efforts. Many people work non-stop in their adult lives. How many take a long break from work to rest and commune with God before starting work again? We are made to rest first, then work and we should take stock from time to time to honour God's sabbaths and our sabbatical, especially if we have worked for 6 years or about to turn 50 years old, our Jubilee n the Lord. May the Lord grant us rest and when we seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, all these things will be added unto us.

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