How I Came to the Sabbath
By Jeromy Kusch
After thirty years of faithful belief and church involvement, a basic foundational understanding of one core Scriptural truth eluded me. Once my eyes were opened it would change my life forever. Looking back now it almost seems ridiculous that I could make a statement like that, after all, I attended church my entire life. How was it after decades of Biblical study, church involvement, and being a Bible teacher myself, I still completely missed the truth about the Sabbath in Scripture? The story is not that crazy, eventually truly understanding the Biblical Sabbath fundamentally changed my faith.
Being a life-long member of the “I’m an awesome Christian club,” I fell into the trap at a very early age of believing I knew and understood the Bible. At the astute age of 18 years old I honestly believed there was nothing left for me to learn. Despite my zeal, this eventually led to a severely stale faith. I would sing songs about a “river of life” springing out of me, but no such river prevailed in my faith. There was no crisis of faith, however, I became a life-less pond. I was full of knowledge but lacked corresponding action. Slowly this brought on a sense of complacency that led to isolationism, which led to a slow, lurking destruction I never saw coming. My wife would eventually be the catalyst to a renewed faith and hunger for truth in my life.
Seven years into my marriage I was spiritually dry, yet my wife recognized our young family needed more. She discovered a local congregation and began attending Sabbath services. Her eagerness to learn spurred her faith forward as she realized for the first time the importance of the set apart Moedim of YHVH in Scripture, set aside traditional holidays for God’s days, learned Hebrew, and started keeping the Sabbath. The longer she studied the more she began to shift. As an outsider to this personal development in my wife’s life, I struggled to keep pace, and it thrust our family into a period of Spiritual turmoil. The life I built refused to comply with this “new” Old Testament lifestyle.
At this point in my life, I worked retail as store manager for a local shoe store, and my schedule was very busy especially on Friday and Saturday. When my wife initially brought up keeping a Saturday Sabbath I struggled. Jenny’s passion eventually led to her to invite me to join her with these new convictions. However, I dismissed her conviction as a Jewish thing, and as a Gentile I worried about muddying the Jewish pool water.
Inside my spirit, I realized keeping a Saturday Sabbath would eventually upend my life, and I knew it would require a high price of me. These doubts proved to be a huge hurdle to overcome. In my own reasoning I believed the decision boiled down to two choices: pay my bills or trust God and His Word. My wife was persistent; she would not let it go. Little did I know, this was all a part of YHVH’s plan for my life.
My wife and I have always struggled with our communication and the Sabbath “issue” was no different. During this time in my life, I largely gave up on corporate worship and stopped attending church altogether. This lack of participation was not because I doubted God. Instead, I became disenfranchised by the state of American church. I hated participating in such shallow observances which produced no fruit in our lives.
My wife on the other hand refused to accept this state of faith. Her desire for more truth fed her passion for the Word of God. Unfortunately, I was not the eager cheerleader. All I saw was…NAGGING! It seemed relentless, and I despised the constant Biblical debates. The arrogant 18 year-old know it all was being bested by his wife, and I refused to be wrong.
Nearly two years passed for my wife as a Sabbath keeper, but her persistence began producing fruit as I wrestled with inescapable evidence against my position. A mountain of evidence threatened to bury me as I remained firmly shackled to my untested Biblical theology regarding the Sabbath. However, if by some miracle I might break free from those chains, this mountain would provide a clearer vantage point by which my entire view of Scripture would finally find clarity.
Spiritually, I stood at a precipice. The daunting prospects paralyzed me for months. Either my theological slate must be completely wiped clean, or I needed to commit to my long-held belief and return to what I always believed was true. It was a frightening proposal. If I gave it all up and started over, I could not be certain this “deconstruction” wouldn’t sink my faith altogether. Yet, if I returned to what I always followed before, I was at risk of falling into the same complacency that had dogged my life for many years.
Looking back over the previous two years, the evidence from my own life was enough. I was a dry well, but I became a spring of living water. I had returned (unaware to me) to my first love. I studied Scripture relentlessly, bearing good fruit in my life and convicting me of sin. My old life stood as a witness against me. As I reflected on the clear change in my life, it became clear only one option remained viable. I must accept the challenge of laying aside thirty years of church doctrine and theology and start my journey anew in the Word of God. The very first thing I faced was the Sabbath, and all my old fears were waiting for me.
The more I studied my doubts about seventh day Sabbath observance were burned like chaff. When I reflected on my decades of study and learning growing up, I still to this day, do not remember a single sermon or lesson taught on the Sabbath in any church I attended. The churches I grew up in all but ignored the Sabbath. Yet what I saw in the Bible told a different story. Scripture was abundantly clear. Countless examples of God’s eternal Sabbath covenant and sign for His people echoed throughout Scripture. Surprisingly, even the apostles were keeping the Sabbath years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection. How did I fail to see this after thirty years in church?
It was impossible to unsee. The Bible was VERY clear, the Sabbath day was Holy and it was foundational for anyone who claimed to be in relationship with God. In Exodus 31:13 the people are told to keep the Sabbath “above all” the other commands. It is listed in the ten commandments I had revered my entire life, it is called a sign of God’s covenant between God an His people, it is a delight, and on and on. How is it in all of these years, I had never been taught a single thing about the Sabbath?
Eventually, the truth led to conviction, which led to action. After praying and studying to the point of absolute certainty I sent an email to my boss and the owner of the company (a Jewish man) requesting a meeting to discuss Sabbath Observance. It was a lengthy email where I laid out my heart and simply requested a meeting to review the possibilities of rotating Sabbaths on my schedule. In my mind something was better than nothing, but I had to make a change. I received no response. A few weeks later I was asked to join a “review” meeting of my performance. In that meeting a few outlying “concerns” with my management style were discussed and I was fired. Fortunately, I was reassured it was not because of my Sabbath request. I later found out the email I sent a couple months before was indeed the very reason I was terminated.
Looking back over more than ten hears of observing the Biblical Sabbath so much changed in my life. I still struggle to find work, but the Father has cared for me and met my needs. What initially seemed to be a minor theological issue resulted in an entirely new Biblical focus. If I believed the Bible was true (as I claimed my entire life) I had no choice but to act upon those beliefs no matter the cost. For me, the first major hurdle was a HUGE one, being willing to give up a well-paying job to accept the righteous instruction of YHVH.
Following that momentous decision, the Father continues to provide for my family. My wife and I are earnest about studying Scripture. We now raise our children the way of the Lord, and the fruit bearing out in my life continues to grow and flourish. It is not easy living like as a sojourner in our modern society. However, it provides me so many opportunities to share my faith with others and to truly appreciate what a wonderful blessing the Sabbath is for us all. Yeshua says it best in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man.” Our good Father made this day for us, why would I arrogantly refuse His gift?
If you find yourself on the same ledge I did more than ten years ago, do not be afraid to take the leap. Trust the Father to guide and instruct you by His Spirit, but be prepared there is a cost. Find good, Biblically sound fellowship to disciple you in this walk, and continue in it humbly before God and man. The sacrifice is worth it, and it will change your life forever.
You can follow Jeromy and his family’s ministry work through their website www.lanternministry.org.