Long ago, the London costermongers told Lord Shaftesbury (1671 – 1713), that their donkeys, which rested one day in seven, could travel thirty miles a day with their loads, while those donkeys that worked seven days a week could only travel fifteen miles a day. So you lose seventy-five miles of travel each week by working your donkey every day, and have a sick, seedy-looking donkey in the bargain. However, by honoring the Sabbath day of rest, you gain 3,900 miles of travel in a year, and have a sleek, nice-looking donkey, by running him according to the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:14).
Gary Thomas wrote, “The Puritans called the Sabbath the ‘market day of the soul,’ a special day to care for our inner world, and to spend extra time relating to God. Israel was commanded, “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Deuteronomy 5:12). The simplest etymology of “Sabbath” is from the Hebrew verb shabbath, which means “to cease working, or rest.” The motives for a Sabbath are two-fold: divine and human. The divine motive is related to Creation. The work of Creation was spread over six days, and on the seventh day, God rested (Genesis 2:2, 3). The human motive is practical. Man must have an opportunity to rest (Deuteronomy 5:14, 15).
Hebrews 4:9 promises, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” W. H. Griffin says, “The word ‘rest’ means ‘Sabbath rest.’ The primary idea is concerned with the present and not with the future, with the believer’s life here and now, and only with Heaven as the completing and culminating point. It is a rest from striving, a rest through believing, and refers to the attitude of the soul toward God.”
A preacher, speaking of robbing God, used this illustration: “It came to pass that a man went to the market with seven coins. Seeing a beggar asking for alms, he gave the poor man six coins, and kept one for himself. The beggar, instead of being thankful, followed the good man and stole the seventh coin also. What an abominable wretch! But then, don’t we steal the seventh day after being given six?”
“As the rainbow is a perpetual guarantee that God will never again destroy all flesh by a universal flood, so the Sabbath is a ‘sign of guarantee’ whereby God assures that He will sanctify His people.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654