This week has been a slower pace than normal and quite intentionally. I say intentionally because even when everything is shut down, it's amazing how busy we can get particularly with technology! I've tried to embrace this slower pace to really give the Lord my time and attention. After all, when else do we have so much time and permission to set aside to pray and seek the Lord like we have now? Well, those of us who aren't on the front lines (who I'm praying for!)?
I've tried to read the Word more. One thing I've been doing this week is in addition to other reading, starting my day with the Ten Commandments. One day, something stood out to me that I've never noticed before, though I imagine it's been taught regarding the fourth commandment about Sabbath. I think I've always focused on the rest part and yes, to focus on the Lord and honor Him. I personally love the benefits that our souls and bodies reap, too. But I can't say I've ever honed in on the WHY. He tells us very clearly actually. I'm going to quote the Message version since that's what I was reading that particular morning, but it's there in the ESV and the KJV too. :)
"Don't ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and GOD, your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That's why GOD, your God, commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest." Deuteronomy 5:15
Wow! The Jewish people's resting takes on a whole new meaning when I consider that. It actually displayed their freedom from slavery to the rest of the world as well as themselves! In Egypt, they were slaves and didn't have the freedom to not work. This would've stood out to others, and it would have been a beautiful freedom they had gained by God's deliverance from 400 years of slavery. In essence, they would be manifesting through their rest, with their bodies, what God had done to save them. To do this on a weekly basis, not just once a year at Passover, would create a rhythm of celebrating God's deliverance.
As Christians, this very day, we celebrate the same exact thing: He has delivered us from the power and result of sin and death. Our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, shed His blood on the Cross for those who believe in Him so that we will not be destroyed by the death that we deserve for the sin we can't escape. I'm thankful that the Church continues to hold this tradition called Good Friday (though every day is a day to celebrate and identity with this). I expect that as I observe the Sabbath going forward that I will keep this Fourth Commandment in mind and go beyond mere rest or worshipping the Lord with others, but specifically teach my heart to remember and celebrate His deliverance from sin and death. This makes today and every day good indeed!