04/07/T – The Lord of Sabbath

Leviticus 4:27-5:19; Mark 2:23-3:6; Psalms 37:1-6; Proverbs 12:21-23

NT: “On the Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to make their way, picking some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” …Then he told them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. So then, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a shriveled hand. In order to accuse him, they were watching him closely to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath. He told the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand before us.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. After looking around at them with anger, he was grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭2:23-24, 27-28, ‭3:1-5‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

God gave the Sabbath to the people of Israel after they came out of Egypt. When Moses presented the Sabbath, only a few things were prohibited: cooking, gathering fuel, carrying burdens, or transacting burdens. It was to be a day of rest. Over the years, tradition added to that short list of prohibited activities, and instead of being a gift of rest, the Sabbath had become a crushing burden. Jesus was not about to to bow down to man-made traditions instead of giving deference to His Father’s desires and original intentions. When given a choice between keeping their traditions and healing a man, the Pharisees chose to allow a man to remain crippled and unable to provide for himself than to bend their overbearing requirements. This hardness of heart angered Jesus. The Sabbath, which was a gift to man, was now being used as a tool of oppression by the Pharisees. God desires to give rest to those who trust Him and follow Him, yet we can take something as precious as rest and make it burdensome – to the point that “rest” makes us anxious. What are some of the things that you have loaded on yourself that were never required of God? Trust the Lord, and obey Him precisely, and He, the Lord of Sabbath, will give you rest.

Psalms: “Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong. For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender green plants. Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:1-6‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The word translated here as agitated means to kindle and burn. King David is saying, don’t allow envy to be kindled nor burn with jealousy by those who are unethical or unjust in their doings… who do things to serve themselves and couldn’t care less for the people around them. They may get what they are after, but their “reward” is only temporary. Instead, trust the Lord… obey His word, will, and ways… embrace fully what He has for you… make His desires your desires, and He will supply you with all that your heart truly desires. Delight here means to be pampered, like a loving husband does for his wife. Don’t take things that you want, allow the Lord of Sabbath to pamper you with all the glorious things He has for you, and you will discover that what He has for you is far better than what you thought you wanted. If you live, fully trusting in the Lord, satisfied with His riches, you will shine with His glory and be a sign and wonder that glorifies Him.

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