Sunday

The Sabbath, The Lord's Day, And Rest

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After some really good discussion and questions in Message Plus and side conversations last week, I decided it might be worth our time to spend a little more time on this topic of rest and honoring the Sabbath. Let’s begin with the passages in the Old Testament that talk about the command to the Israelites to honor the Sabbath. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." (Exodus 20:8-11) 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. ‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you….The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. (Exodus 31: 12-16) 

“The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a day of sacred assembly. You shall do no work on it, wherever you live (in all your dwellings)…” (Leviticus 23:3)."Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.  Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day." (“Deuteronomy 5:12-15) 

The Old Testament commanded that the Israelites keep this day holy (“set aside”) by doing one think in particular: Resting.The word “Sabbath” is related to the Hebrew word for “rest,” and the primary duty for observant Jews was to stop working on the Sabbath: Rest by not creating or building or harvesting, but instead enjoying the fruit of their labor and God’s work on their behalf.

Since this is tied in with remembering how God freed them from slavery, they also understood this to mean they must take time to remember how God had freed them from bondage.[1]Leviticus adds that it is a time of sacred assembly.

* * * * * * * * * *

There are some interesting things about the Sabbath command.

It is the only commandment given as a covenant sign.We see elsewhere in the Old Testament that covenants have signs, so that the sign of the Noahic covenant is the rainbow (Gen. 9:8–17) and the sign of the Abrahamic covenant is circumcision (Gen. 17).[2]The observance of Sabbath was a constant re-honoring of the covenant between God and Israel.

It is the only commandment that is referred to as a type pointing toward the True Form (the True Sabbath).Many of the early church fathers compared Sabbath to the other covenant sign, circumcision: both were physical ways of enacting a covenant with God; both were now enacted spiritually in Christ.

"Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." (Colossians 2:16-18 )

There still remains a place of rest, a true Sabbath, for the people of God because those who enter into salvation’s rest lay down their labors in the same way that God entered into a Sabbath rest from His.” (Hebrews 4:9-10)

Whatever circumcision did now, it did not bring or confirm salvation. There was a circumcision of the heart that did that.  Whatever Sabbath observance did now, it did not bring or confirm salvation. There was a Sabbath of the heart that did that.

However, I don’t know if it’s an entirely fair comparison. The other covenant signs were not part of the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments are the 10 foundational commands on which all the other Old Testament laws are basically commentary  - “This is how it looks in practice in this community”.  We don’t argue that the other 9 no longer apply to God’s people.

I am not sure the Bible frees me to think of the Sabbath as ONLY a type. Sabbath is not less than a type, but its placement in Scripture sure seems to argue that it’s more than that. There is something timelessly important about its observance by God’s people.

So, let’s talk about how the early church, which was initially filled with people moving from Judaism to Christianity, handled this.

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First, let’s look at how Jesus handled the Sabbath.He pointed out that so many of the Pharisee’s laws were missing the point of Sabbath. Sabbath is for us.It had become a burden to keep, and it should not have been a burden. It should have been a blessing. So he didn’t re-command it… but he also didn’t un-command it. He clarified what keeping it does and doesn’t look like: specifically, what kind of freedom do we have in rest. It should not be governed rigidly by narrow definitions of what is work and what is not. Sabbath rest should not be yet another legalistic burden on Christians.

“The God who made the Sabbath is not a cranky schoolmaster, always forbidding, coercing obedience, and watching sniveling subjects slinking about in cowardly compliance. The Sabbath commandment comes from a kind, wise teacher who does not like to see us suffer. Let me make it easier for you, God says….Forgetting the Sabbath is like forgetting to unwrap the most beautiful gift under the tree... “Excerpt from Sabbath by Wayne Muller

Many Jewish converts observed Saturday as Sabbath and Sunday as the Lord’s Day (which Gentiles treated as the Sabbath).Sabbath was such an important part of life to Jewish converts that it was unthinkable not to keep it. The mostly Jewish early church believed Jesus had come to redeem Judaism and the Jews, not to set up another religion. They assumed they would continue to meet in the Temple. So when they converted to following Jesus, they continued to observe the Sabbath in the Temple even as they focused on Jesus.

  • The first Christians were all together with one accord in the Temple at the time they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). 
  • In Acts 2:46,“And they, continuingdaily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.”
  • Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.”
  • Acts 18: 4 “Every Sabbath [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

But… they also began to talk a LOT about the importance of setting apart the day after the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, the day on which Jesus rose from the tomb (Mark 16:2; cf. Matt. 28:1; Luke 24:1). The argument was that Jesus was dead (“resting”) on the rest day of the Sabbath, so that kind of observance was still good. But on Sunday Jesus rose, and that’s a day of celebration, so Sunday was the Risen Lord’s Day.[3]Many Jewish converts to Christianity observed both days because they saw the Lord’s Day as separate from Sabbath rather than a fulfillment of it.

A major split between Christian Jews and non-Christian Jews took place before the Bible was even done being written. John 9:29 describes how "the Jews had agreed that if anyone confessed Jesus as the Christ or messiah they were to be excluded from the synagogue."In the Eighteen Benedictions that Jews recited daily and in every synagogue service, Christians were singled out as heretics and given a curse:

“For the renegades let there be no hope, and may the arrogant kingdom soon be rooted out in our days, and the [Nazoreans] and the minim [which at least includes Jewish Christians] perish as in a moment and be blotted out from the book of life and with the righteous may they not be inscribed. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who humblest the arrogant.”

Since no Christians were going to go say that about themselves, their Sabbath synagogue attendance stopped.

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Since, as the writer of Hebrews points out, True Rest and the True Sabbath are found in Christ, it sure seems on the one hand that Sabbath Rest points toward the spiritual rest in Christ and the salvation he offers us.

On the other hand, the seriousness with which the Old Testament treats the observance of Sabbath rest and the assumed continuance of it by the early converts sure seems to at least strongly suggest there is a timeless to the Sabbath command that ought to carry significant weight in our lives.

As I’ve been reading a LOT of Christian perspectives this past two weeks about whether or not Christians HAVE to observe a Day of Rest, and if it should be Saturday or Sunday, and what we should and shouldn’t do, I’ve found people whom I respect have a lot of different and at times conflicting opinions about all of this. I’m not going to resolve that tension for you. That’s your homework.

I want to finish by talking a little bit about some principles for observing and experiencing rest in Jesus.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Matthew 11:28-30

Come to Jesus and take His yoke. “Take my yoke” was a common saying of rabbis. It meant, “If you are going to be a disciple, you must obey my teachings and follow my example.” If you want rest – deep, spiritual rest of the heart and soul - don’t pursue rest. Pursue Jesus.

Learn about Jesus.  Rest is connected to trust.My cat sleeps on me without a care in the world because she trusts me. If you trust the driver, you can rest on a trip. I can bare my soul to my wife because I trust her. Rest is connected with trust. If you can’t seem to rest in Christ, learn more about a Savior you can trust.

And you will find rest for your souls.  Is there a formula for how we can practically experience this rest (and I’m talking about soul rest that permeates every aspect of our life)? I don’t think there is a formula, but some ideas are probably better than others. I am going to offer a couple ideas built from a list taken from some of Tim Keller’s writing on the Sabbath.

  1. Consciously Enjoy[4]God and His good gifts. Appreciate what you have achieved through God’s help. Remember the freedom salvation brings (past, present and future tense); celebrate the freedom Jesus offers from all kinds of slavery: slavery to achieve, slavery to impress, slavery to earn, slavery to addictions of all kinds… I think this can look really different depending who you are. I’m not interested in being legalistic. I am interested if you are enjoying God and His good gifts.
  2. Do something that frees you from the slavery of being amazing. (Controlling, building, creating, accomplishing, making a mark on the world, being noticed).The world turns even when you take time off! (I know, right?) Israelites had to let their fields lie fallow every seventh year. (Leviticus 25:1–7). This stopped them from over farming.  They could enjoy whatever grew on its own.  You need time to make sure you don’t “overfarm” your life or your schedule; just let stuff come up that is the good fruit of your life, and enjoy it.
  3. Plan some contemplative rest (prayer, singing, reading the Scripture, listening to God.) I like to do this until I fall asleep on my bed, honestly. It’s really refreshing. Seriously. Listen, if you are going to ”lie down in green pastures,” you are going to go to sleep. Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it as success. Unless it’s during this sermon.
  4. Do something that refreshes you.Be careful that recreation really refreshes. Enjoy that which you find beautiful, and thank God for it. Also, don’t feel the need to imitate each other’s Sabbath rhythms if what someone else does is not refreshing to you. [5]
  5. Make the True Sabbath a part of your daily lifestyle
  • Creating moments in the day to rest and pray
  • Consciously giving up fear/anxiety/worry
  • Interrupting conflict with love
  • Surrendering the Last Word in your arguments J

 

I am going to finish with a quote from Spurgeon, who wrote and preached a lot about the Sabbath. It feels like a great summary of a whole bunch of ideas.

“I am no preacher of the old legal Sabbath… I am a preacher of the Gospel, and rejoice that Believers are not “under the Law, but under Grace…” therefore I keep this day [Sunday, for Spurgeon]…  not as a slavish bondage, not as a day on which I am chained and hampered with restraints against my will, but… as a day in which I may take holy pleasure in serving God, and in adoring before His Throne… the Lord’s Day of the Christian… is a joy, a day of rest, of peace and of thanksgiving….

This day is Care’s balm and cure, the couch of time, the haven of Divine calms. Come, my Soul, throw yourself upon this couch —rest and take your ease—for you have come unto Jesus, to a finished Sacrifice, to a completed Righteousness, and your soul may be satisfied in the Lord, and your spirit may rejoice in the Lord your God. This is to keep Sabbath…!

In vain do you keep the day, unless, your hearts keep it too. Oh, may your hearts know how to find in Christ a perfect rest…! May God give you Divine Grace to know your sin, and enable you to fly to the Savior, and find in Him all your soul needs! May He enable you to rest in Christ today, and then you shall keep Sabbaths on earth till you keep the eternal Sabbath before the Throne… Trust Him, and so shall you be saved, and your spirit shall be at ease.

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[1]“Anyone who cannot obey God's command to observe the Sabbath is a slave, even a self-imposed one. Your own heart, or our materialistic culture, or an exploitative organization, or all of the above, will be abusing you… Sabbath is therefore a declaration of our freedom. It means you are not a slave—not to your culture's expectations, your family's hopes, your medical school's demands, not even to your own insecurities. It is important that you learn to speak this truth to yourself with a note of triumph...” - Tim Keller

[2]Circumcision was not unique to the Israelites, but the type of circumcision may have been. The Egyptians, for example, appear to have used circumcision as an act of initiation or rite of passage for boys entering ‘manhood.’ Circumcision was an act of initiation; the style of circumcision showed what you had been initiated into. This may seem odd to us, but it made sense to everyone in the Ancient Near East. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/55911658.pdf

[3]Acts 20:7 - "And upon the first dav of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, and continued his speech until midnight. "

[4]https://tifwe.org/the-sabbath-and-your-work/

[5]http://qideas.org/articles/wisdom-and-sabbath-rest/

“There Remains A Place Of Rest” (Hebrew 3:7 - 4:1-11)  

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Many of the Jewish readers of this letter were afraid that there was no rest for them. The Promised Land was long gone, so they seemed to have missed that. They left captivity but were now in subjugation to Rome. The writer of Hebrews is about to assure them that they have not missed the opportunity to enter into a Promised Land and find a place of rest.

Listen now, to the voice of the Holy Spirit through what the psalmist wrote:Today, if you listen to His voice, 8 Don’t harden your hearts the way they did in the bitter uprising at Meribah9 Where your ancestors tested Me though they had seen My marvelous power. 10 For the 40 years they traveled on to the land that I had promised them, That generation broke My heart.Grieving and angry, I said, “Their hearts are unfaithful; they don’t know what I want from them.”11 That is why I swore in anger they would never enter salvation’s rest.

Brothers and sisters, pay close attention so you won’t develop an evil and unbelieving heart that causes you to abandon the living God. 13 Encourage each other every day—for as long as we still have the “today” God gives us to listen to his voice — so none of you let the deceitfulness of sin harden your hearts. 14 For we have become partners with the Anointed One—if we can just hold on to our confidence until the end.

15 Look at the lines from the psalm again: “Today, if you listen to His voice, Don’t harden your hearts the way they did  in the bitter uprising at Meribah.”16 Now who, exactly, was God talking to then? Who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it all of those whom Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And who made God angry for an entire generation? Wasn’t it those who sinned against Him, those whose bodies are still buried in the wilderness, the site of that uprising?

18 It was those disobedient ones who God swore would never enter into salvation’s rest. 19 And we can see that they couldn’t enter because they did not believe. [4] That’s why, as long as that promise of entering God’s rest remains open to us, we should beware (be alarmed; fear; have caution and care) that none of us seem to fall short ourselves.[1]

Those people in the wilderness heard God’s good news, just as we have heard it, but the message they heard didn’t do them any good since what they heard wasn’t combined with faith.  We who believe are entering into salvation’s rest… For didn’t God say that on the seventh day of creation He rested from all His works?]And doesn’t God say in the psalm that [the Israelites] would never enter into salvation’s rest? (which means His rest must be ongoing – AW)

So if God prepared a place of rest, and those who were given the good news didn’t enter because they chose disobedience over faith,then it remains open for us to enter. Once again, God has fixed a day for us to respond; and that day is “today…”

There still remains a place of rest, a true Sabbath[2], for the people of God 10 because those who enter into salvation’s rest lay down their labors in the same way that God entered into a Sabbath rest from His. 11 So let us move forward to enter this rest, so that none of us fall into the kind of faithless disobedience that prevented them from entering.

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Key points:

  • We are on a journey in which there is a danger of become hard and bitter.
  • There is a place of rest, a true Sabbath, where we can lay down our burdens.
  • That place is open for the people of God.
  • Those who harden their hearts (disobedience) will not enter that rest.
  • Hold fast to faith and obedience so that you don’t fall short before the end.

Today, I want to talk about rest.

WHAT IS THIS PROMISED REST?

Option A: This is about salvation.Unbelief separates us from the presence of God and the rest He offers in this life and the next.  The rest that they rejected was the rest that comes from the freedom from guilt, shame, hiddenness and the eternal penalty of sin.This is the rest of justification and the peace of conscience.

This includes resting from using obedience to the Law to save ourselves. We can’t do it. It’s exhausting to try to be good enough to earn God’s salvation. Salvation is a gift from God to us. The eternal penalty of our sins is covered. Be at peace; through Jesus, you are now at peace with God.

Option B: This is about the rest of entering into the fullness of the Christian life after salvation. Canaan, or the Promised Land, is for us the spiritual promised land of the Spirit-filled life. Blessings were there for the Israelites– it was “flowing with milk and honey” which is a colorful way of saying the land was awesome.[3]These physical realities in the Old Testament foreshadow spiritual realities for us.

This is the refining “rest” of sanctification, during which a work is being done in us while we live in the land of plenty.[4]

When we give our lives to Jesus, we become one of His people, and he opens the gate to the Promised Land of “life more abundant”[5]already on this side of Heaven. This is freedom from:

  • Working to earn God’s love
  • Hiding ourselves from others
  • Being overcome by fear/worry
  • Needing control of our life and the lives of others
  • Showing unrighteous judgment (as opposed to righteous)[6]
  • Harboring unforgiveness/nursing unrepentance
  • Being controlled by jealousy, bitterness, envy, anger, lust

The “milk and honey” now looks like this:

  • Righteousness (walking in the right way)
  • Love (total commitment to seeking the best for others no matter how they may respond)
  • Peace (specifically, between God and us through Jesus)
  • Patience (enduring or continuing through God’s grace)
  • Kindness (inclining ourselves toward others with grace and mercy)
  • Gentleness (sensitivity and kindness given by the stronger to the weaker)
  • Self-control (physical and emotional self-mastery empowered by God)
  • Purity (guiltless or innocent behavior; uprightness)

In this land, we now have true freedom to begin to thrive as image bearers, children of God, and brothers and sisters of Jesus.

Now, this isn’t a promise of ease. This is a promise of living in a land primed for spiritual flourishing.God’s people had to wade through giants to enjoy the land, and while God empowered them, they had to fight. It was a fertile land of plenty, but they would have to protect their goats from predators and chase them down to milk them, and they would have to find wild honey and harvest figs. I think, once again, that their physical reality is instructive for our spiritual reality.

We will not be missing anything we need in the Kingdom of God.  If we feel like this is happening, it’s not because the provision is lacking. The Bible is full of commands to seek God, and these verses seem to point toward the seeking that first leads to salvation, and then takes us deeper into the blessings of Jesus and His Kingdom. [7]

Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia end with all those in True Narnia (think ‘heaven’) starting an everlasting adventure of “onward and upward” deeper into Narnia. I like that image, and I think moving onward and upward into the kingdom NOW is meant to give us a glimpse into what’s in store for us in the life to come.[8]

Option C: We rest forever in the life to come.This is the rest of glorification. One day, we will never be weary; we will never know pain and sorrow; we will see Jesus in all of His glory; we will live the life we were made to live in all its perfection and beauty.

If we were to create a timeline for what it means for us to be saved and find rest in Jesus, it would look something like this:

  • past tense salvation(“For you were justified,” 1 Corinthians 6:11) in which we are offered rest from the eternal penalty of sinand in thejustificationgiven to us by Jesus
  • present tense salvation( “those of us who are being saved,” 1 Corinthians 1:18) in which we are offered rest from the controlling power of sinand rest in the plentiful land of the Kingdom
  • future tense salvation( “We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is,” (1 John 3:2) in which we move into our eternal rest from the presence of sin and in the glorificationthat is promised God’s people.

THE RHYTHM OF REST THAT REMINDS OF GOD’S REST: SABBATH[9]

We talked a couple weeks ago about spiritual disciplines that we can do to order/structure/focus our lives. Sabbath rest is a great one. First, God commands it. Second, the Sabbath is for us[10]– that is, for our good.  It does more than give us much needed physical rest; it orients our life and points us toward the true rest that God offers His people.

  • We rest to remember the world does not revolve around what we have to offer. Our identity is in Christ.
  • We rest to remember God’s faithfulness in providing for us in HIS strength, not ours. Our security is in Christ.
  • We rest physically to remind us that we can rest spiritually.Our restoration is in Christ.
  • We rest for a glimpse of the True Sabbath. Our hope is in Christ.

* * * * * * * * * *

The happiness of heaven is the constant keeping of the Sabbath. Heaven is called a Sabbath, to make those who have Sabbaths long for heaven, and those who long for heaven love Sabbaths.—Philip Henry

Sabbath ceasing means to cease not only from work itself, but also from the need to accomplish and be productive, from the worry and tension that accompany our modern criterion of efficiency, from our efforts to be in control of our lives as if we were God, from our possessiveness and our enculturation, and, finally, from the humdrum and meaninglessness that result when life is pursued without the Lord at the center of it all. —Marva J. Dawn

“We meet dozens of people, have so many conversations. We do not feel how much energy we spend on each activity, because we imagine we will always have more energy at our disposal. This one little conversation. This one little extra phone call, this one quick meeting, what can it cost?…..But it does cost…..it drains yet another drop of our life. Then, at the end of days, weeks, months, years, we collapse, we burn out, and cannot see where it happened. It happened in a thousand unconscious events, tasks and responsibilities that seemed easy and harmless on the surface, but that each one after the other used a small portion of our precious life. And so, we are given a commandment, which is actually a gift: ‘Remember the Sabbath’”. —Wayne Muller

Money gained on Sabbath-day is a loss, I dare to say. No blessing can come with that which comes to us, on the devil’s back, by our willful disobedience of God’s law. The loss of health by neglect of rest, and the loss of soul by neglect of hearing the gospel, soon turn all seeming profit into real loss. —Charles Spurgeon

In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, He will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him . . . that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence.—Chuck Swindoll

At least one day in every seven, pull off the road and park the car in the garage. Close the door to the toolshed and turn off the computer. Stay home, not because you are sick but because you are well. Talk someone you love into being well with you. Take a nap, a walk, and hour for lunch. Test the premise that you are worth more than you can produce – that even if you spent one whole day of being good for nothing you would still be precious in God’s sight. And when you get anxious because you are convinced that this is not so – remember that your own conviction is not required. This is a commandment. Your worth has already been established, even when you are not working. The purpose of the commandment is to woo you to the same truth. —Barbara Brown Taylor

But on the seventh day God stops not only to bless but to “hallow” or set apart the sabbath. The holiness of God is revealed not just in what he does but how he rests. —Andy Crouch

“After creating the world, God looked around and saw that “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God did not just cease from his labor; he stopped and enjoyed what he had made. What does this mean for us? We need to stop to enjoy God, to enjoy his creation, to enjoy the fruits of our labor. The whole point of Sabbath is joy in what God has done.”– Tim Keller

Spiritual practices don't justify us. They don't save us. Rather, they refine our Christianity; they make the inheritance Christ gives us on the Cross more fully our own... Practicing the spiritual disciplines does not make us Christians. Instead, the practicing teaches us what it means to live as Christians.” ― Lauren F. Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath

Recommended Songs:

David Crowder, “Come As You Are”

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2zhf2mqEMI[/embed]

Susan Ashton and Michael English, “All I Long For”

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOve9bWQ9Uk[/embed]

Kari Jobe, “Be Still My Soul”

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq59iE3MhXM[/embed]

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[1]“An allusion to the races in the Grecian games.  Will it avail any of us how near we get to heaven, if the door be shut before we arrive?” – Adam Clarke

[2]“In speaking of the Sabbath, as typifying a state of blessedness in the other world, the apostle follows the opinions of the Jews of his own and after times. The phrase “the sabbath above, and the sabbath below” is common among the Jewish writers; and they think that where the pluralnumber is used, as in  Leviticus 19:30; : Ye shall keep my Sabbaths.” (Adam Clarke)

[3]Fun facts: the milk was probably mostly from goats, and the honey from both wild bees and figs/dates.

[4]I’m partial to this one as the primary sense of this particular passage, but all three of these ways of understanding ‘rest’ are found in the Bible.

[5]John 10:10

[6]“Bible Verses About Righteous Judgment” from the Forerunner Commentary. “https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/1560/Righteous-Judgment.htm

[7]“'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). The Lord is good to those who seek him (Lamentations 3:25). Those who seek him are blessed (Psalm 119:2-3). The one who seeks, finds (Matthew 7:8).

[8]That might not be a bad (albeit incomplete) way to think about eternity: that which we are committed to exploring now will be what we get to explore for eternity. If you want to explore what sin has to offer – if that is where your heart is – you get to keep diving into the pain, the shame, the frustration, the anger, the jealousy, the emptiness for eternity. If you want what evil can give you now, one day you will get evil in its fullness. But if your heart is to explore the righteousness of God in Jesus, and you want to experience all that righteousness can give you now, that’s what you get to move deeper into for eternity as well.

[9]Read “Wisdom and Sabbath Rest,” by Tim Keller. http://qideas.org/articles/wisdom-and-sabbath-rest/

[10]Mark 2:27