Sabbath Meditation #11 – Freedom
by Kelly McDonald, Jr.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” (Genesis 2:2, KJV).
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates” (Exodus 20:9-10, KJV).
“Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none” (Exodus 16:26, KJV).
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1, NIV).
In Genesis, God established a powerful principle that all humans were born to be free. He did this through the Sabbath. We each have permanent permission from God to have the seventh day free from labors and work. This is an inalienable right given to us by Him. This is the opposite concept of slavery – where someone else can force you to work at their will. Slavery still exists in the world, and it is evil. The Sabbath is a reminder that this practice is not the Creator’s will.
In the beginning of the book of Exodus, we read that the children of Israel were in slavery. They cried out and God delivered them. Among His first acts after freeing them was to provide manna. This was not simply food – it was given to reveal the seventh-day Sabbath. Due to slavery, they had to be reacquainted with freedom. The Israelites struggled when this was first presented to them (read Exodus chapter 16).
If we drive ourselves to work and labor seven days a week, then some things – such as ambitions, goals, other people’s expectations, etc. – have taken a precedent in our lives that supersedes this God-given freedom. It reflects an attitude of bondage. When we rest on the seventh-day, we remind ourselves that we are free.
Nothing in this world is so great that we cannot take the time to recognize this gracious liberty and blessing of freedom. The Sabbath is worth every bit of effort we put into observing it.
Mankind has had the revelation of Sabbath since the beginning. By the first century AD, humanity had strayed from its original purpose. The leaders of the Jewish people had made the day a burden rather than a blessing. Christ came to remind us of its original intent and purpose. The Sabbath was made for man.
Kelly McDonald, Jr BSA President www.biblesabbath.org