I have heard a number of things recently that have caused me to take a fresh look at the idea of Sabbath. I want to ponder them aloud today for a couple minutes. I have a hunch that buried in these thoughts is a paradigm shift that could be very freeing.
The first thought comes from a few months back, and I don’t even know where I heard it at this point, but the idea is that the Sabbath rest that God enjoys, upon the completion of creation, is not one of wiping His brow and collapsing in some recliner cloud in the back room of heaven to watch reruns of some 80’s sitcom.
Rather the “rest” God enjoys upon completion of creation is more like the day an inventor reveals his masterpiece, and glories in how awesome it is. For a truly carnal, but perhaps graspable example think of Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone. [See that here.]
The second idea that has been floating around in the chaos of my mind regarding Sabbath is something Rabbi Daniel Lapin says in his book “Thou Shall Prosper.” Being an orthodox rabbi he brings much of the traditional orthodox Jewish understanding of the Old Testament to the table, and it is fascinating.
Speaking about Sabbath he says that in creation, Sabbath was last in execution, but first in thought. To put it another way Sabbath was not what God did when He finished creating, but it was the culmination of that creation. You might even say, it was what He was building.
When an architect creates the plans for a house, I don’t believe he first draws a sketch of plumbing and wiring, and then pictures walls enclosing the infrastructure. When someone asks me about my dream house, I don’t say, I want outlets in each room, and in the bathroom it is important that there me a drain, and piping to carry the waste water out to the septic system. Oh – so we will need a septic system, and a water source, and an electrical box to bring the electric in. Then I should probably put walls around all that to hide it from view….
No – I picture a house, probably first from the outside, with land and landscaping, and I picture rooms, furnished. Then an architect would back into the infrastructure needed to support this house – foundation, structure, wiring, pluming and all the other stuff that I would never think of.
So it was with God or so this line of thought goes. He sees the end from the beginning, and the end is His creation in place, and Him enjoying it, and participating in it, in partnership with those who He created.
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; - Isaiah 46:10
I will come back to this idea again next week, and play it out a bit more.
Thanks for listening to my ruminating. I hope it gets you pondering too.
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