Sabbath Meditation #6 – Timing is Everything
by Kelly McDonald, Jr.
“And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:41).
“My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me” (Psalm 31:15).
“See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days…” (Exodus 16:29a).
“…the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation” (Lev. 23:2-3)
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Timing is everything?” Just imagine how things would be different in your life if certain events had not occurred at just the right time. For an example: What if our perceived delays prevented us from being in an accident? The point is this: Timing plays a huge part in our lives.
God is all about timing. He is never late. He is always on time to fulfill His promises, even if we question His timing. For instance, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt 430 years to the very day that they went into that land. They did not leave a day before or a day after. God had designed that they leave in His timing.
After the Israelites left Egypt, the theme of time continued. God sent one portion of manna on the first five days of the week, twice as much on the sixth day, and none on the seventh day. The goal was to teach them which day was the Sabbath. “See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days…” (Exodus 16:29a). After leaving Egypt, God brought them into His weekly sacred rhythm.
When God told the Israelites to take the Promised Land, they refused due to unbelief (Numbers 13). As a result, God forbid them from entering into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:1-38). They defied God and still tried to take the Promised Land, but failed (Numbers 14:39-45).
In the same way, humans want to work and rest whenever we choose. This can’t be a good idea if God has already ordained that we work certain days and rest on one specific day. If the Israelites had tried to leave Egypt sooner or later than God’s intentional timing, they would have not succeeded.
During the week, we can feel overwhelmed with everything that can be or needs to be done. Moreover, there are certain events in our culture that might often occur on Sabbath (such as sporting events). The enemy, satan, wants you to think that because you abstain from these activities to honor the Sabbath that you are missing out on something. In these moments, we must trust in God’s timing, which is perfect. If God’s timing was so precise and perfect in bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, then why would this not also apply to the Sabbath? You cannot miss out on anything that God has for your life when you follow His timing.
His timing leads us towards the fulfillment of His plans and purposes. He knows best. David wrote, “My times are in thy hand…” (Psalm 31:15). Recall from Sabbath Meditation #1 that God did not give mankind dominion over time. That is left to God’s sovereignty. What is left in His hands cannot be taken away (John 10:29).
The Israelites cried out and wanted to leave Egypt as soon as possible, but God ordained it happen on a specific day. Similarly, God has planned the Sabbath on the seventh day, not a day of our choosing. He has established the pattern for our times.
If we find ourselves outside of His weekly rhythm by failing to observe Sabbath, we will miss out on something He wants us to have. In previous Sabbath Meditations, we have reviewed the spiritual strength and Joy we receive when we honor the seventh day of the week (see Sabbath Meditation 4[link] and Meditation 5[link]).
In Leviticus 23:2-3, God said that the Sabbath was one of HIS feasts. The Hebrew word translated as ‘feasts’ is moed, and it means an appointed or set time. For the natural mind, any time seems convenient. In John 7:6, Jesus said, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.” For man, any time works – any time to work and any time to rest. God already has an appointment for you and I on the Sabbath – He will not fail to come through on this set time. Why would we want to miss it?
God is very intentional and He designed the seven-day week according to His purpose for our lives and our best interest. His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). When we simply follow His timing, the possibilities are endless.
Kelly McDonald, Jr