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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

April 24, 2015

Faithful stewards of holy time

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

The Bible tells us what God did on the seventh day of creation week: "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (Genesis 2:2-3).

The Hebrew word translated here as "rested" is the verb shabath, from which comes the noun form that is rendered in English as "Sabbath." Interestingly, the primary meaning of this word is not "rest," in terms of relaxing or rejuvenating, but "to desist from exertion" or "to cease." This makes perfect sense considering that God does not get tired (Isaiah 40:28)!

In other words, Genesis 2 states that at the end of Creation Week, God stopped His physical labors, not because He was tired, but because He was setting an example for us. Furthermore, God blessed this specific day of the week and sanctified it – He set it apart for a specific purpose. Just as God deliberately sets apart or sanctifies those people with whom He is working, He purposefully made the seventh day different from the other six.

The one performing the creation was the Word, who came to the earth some 4000 years later as the son of God. So it is not surprising that Jesus referred to Himself as Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28).

God sanctified the Sabbath. Every minute of this day is special time that is not at our disposal to use for our own purposes (Isaiah 58:13-14). The Sabbath belongs to God! As man's creator He knew we would need this time every week to nurture and strengthen our relationship with him.

Jesus emphasized the importance of proper care of those things entrusted to us:

"He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own?" (Luke 16:10-12).

That applies to various things that God entrusts to us: the Truth, His holy spirit, the opportunity for fellowship in the church — and the time on every seventh day of the week, time that He has made holy.

Let's be true and faithful servants with the time God has set apart and blessed.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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