Some read about the “Sabbath-rest” in Hebrews 4 and conclude that the teaching is that the remembrance of the seventh-day rest, the Sabbath, has been transferred to the Messiah, Yeshua. Yet the context of the passage and the quotations in it relating to a pivotal event in the Torah point to the fuller meaning of personal peace and real “rest” that God provides.
The last two things God created was the Shabbat/Sabbath and the Garden of Eden. God did not create the Shabbat because He was exhausted or tired. Rather, He wanted to set aside a day for mankind to have a special time with Him. Also some are confused about the creation narratives of Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 but a careful reading of each shows us that Gen. 2 focuses specifically on the creation of mankind and the special Garden called Eden that was made by God as mankind’s primary residence.
The complementary texts give us different flavors of Yeshua’s halacha (rule for living, interpretation) on this issue. Believers have struggled with this issue. There are three main classes of interpretation:
- Torah is obsolete so since Yeshua is Lord of the Sabbath and “Greater than the Temple”, Yeshua is heralding the “end of Torah” and the “beginning of Grace.”
- For those who divide the law into Moral and ceremonial, they interpret this text is Yeshua was simply correcting unwarranted additions to the Torah.
- For those who consider the Torah still in effect and that God has delegated authority to “bind and loose” Torah, Yeshua is talking about a “higher standard” for the Torah.
The 24th chapter is a bit unusual and not so simple to decipher. When you read the book of Leviticus and you find the phrase “the LORD spoke to…” pay attention to whom is supposed to hear the message. There were some messages for the sons of Aaron but some messages were for the people of Israel. Each group had their own duties and responsibilities, and it’s God Himself Who decides.
In Exodus 31, we meet the two men (beside Moses) whose work and talent were used to make the Tabernacle which began as the “pattern shown on the Mountain” a living, functional reality.
However, he gives them a reminder that they are still supposed to keep the Sabbath, no exceptions. They can’t break the Sabbath, even for the sake of building the Tabernacle or they will be “cut off from their people.”
The Shabbat of the seventh day of each week is a memorial that God is the Creator [Gen. 2:2–3; Ex. 20:11] and Redeemer from bondage [Deut. 5:15] and Sanctifier [Exod. 31:13–15], or the One Who sets apart His people from the ignorant or rebellious world. One of the great last messages to the whole world is to “worship Him Who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (Revelation 14). Yet today, most children are learning — in school and/or from popular culture — to doubt God because His people are increasingly more afraid of appearing intellectually backward by accepting His testimony of being the Creator than being strong and standing by the only testimony that makes intellectualism possible.
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God created things in the physical world to explain what happens in the spiritual world. What is the spiritual teaching behind “rest,” “mist” and “breath” in Gen. 2:1-7? Continue reading Genesis 2:1-7 — ‘rest,’ ‘mist’ and ‘breath’