“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
Recently, I had the privilege of learning about the “Shabbat” or Sabbath, as we more commonly know it. For the Jewish people, Shabbat began on Friday just before sunset and lasted until “the appearance of three stars in the sky” on Saturday evening. The command of Sabbath began by the lighting of two candles and the reciting of a blessing called the “Kiddish” (which means sanctification) by the father as he holds a cup of wine.
“Blessed art Thou, Adonai our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and was pleased with us, and His holy Sabbath in love and in favor, He gave us a heritage, a memorial of the work of creation. For it is the day beginning for holy convocations, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt. For You chose us and sanctified us from all the nations. And Your holy Sabbath with love and favor you gave us a heritage. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who sanctifies the Sabbath.” [Respond: Amen.]
It is intriguing that the honor of lighting the candles is solely reserved for the mother. One rabbi stated the reason for this being, “the mother brings light and warmth into the home.” It is certainly an honor to bring both love and comfort to a family.
Sabbath means “ceasing,” not merely “rest.” It is a time to cease our own work so we can ponder and stand in awe of the Living God’s hand at work.
According to Scripture, Jesus healed 7 times on the Sabbath. This would have been considered absolutely scandalous in his day. However, as Lord of the Sabbath, the one who calls us to rest chose to RESTore.
Mark 1:21-28 Man with wicked spirit
Matt. 8:14-15 Peter’s mother-in-law
Luke 6:6-11 Man with withered hand
John 5:1-17 Invalid at Bethesda
John 9:1-12 Blind man
Luke 13:10-17 Crippled woman
Luke 14:1-6 Man with dropsy
7 (the number representing “completion”) were healed, according to Scripture, on the Sabbath…2 women and 5 men. Of course, Jesus culturally would have observed Shabbat with his family and the disciples, but he also chose to demonstrate His goodness and Sovereignty at times…always prioritizing those in need.
The Living God calls us to rest while He restores what is broken. Sweet sisters, I pray your hearts experience His light, warmth, comfort and rest in the fact that God is making ALL things new!