Garry concluded his series on the Sabbath and related words this morning. The Sabbath, we have seen, is a time to change our focus together, a time for recalibration and renewed perspective. Related words look at taking a bride (with its obvious connection to Jesus coming for the church, His bride, and the intimate relationship we are to foster with God) and at speaking over in praise. Last time, he spoke about the expectation and anticipation we should have when coming together to worship God and the satisfaction He brings. This time, we looked at the word ‘shebeth’ which means an abode, a dwelling, a place to settle or remain, and saw something of the enduring nature of God which brings peace and freedom to God’s people.
Ps 9:7 reminds us that ‘the Lord remains forever; he has established his throne for judgment.’ Change can bring uncertainty into our lives and can be very disruptive, but we are reminded here that God’s rule is enduring. The Roman Empire brought with it freedom to travel and the ‘pax romana‘ (or Roman peace) which helped the gospel to spread, but no human empire lasts forever. God, on the other hand, will never be deposed; He is enthroned as the Holy One. (Ps 22:3) He gives us His peace and establishes us forever, remaining faithful all the time. (Ps 125:1)
God’s peace enables us to dwell in safety (Ps 4:8). It’s not that He always removes us from trouble, but He does keep us safe in trouble (as He demonstrated to Elisha and his servant when the king of Aram and his armies came against them – see 2 Kings 6:13-17). Ps 91:1-2 reminds us that God gives us shelter; He is our refuge and our fortress. We have the choice to make as to whether we follow God or not (see Josh 24:14-15), but when we do choose to follow God, He becomes our dwelling place, our safe place. We long to be in His presence (see Ps 27:3) and we are given an assurance in Ps 23:6 that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Sabbath gives us opportunity to dwell or remain in God’s presence together. The benefits of this are:
safety (Ps 91:1-2)
security (Ps 4:8)
freedom (John 8:31-32), as we hold on to truth and obey God even when we don’t understand and allow God to flow through us
fellowship (1 John 4:13, Eph 1:13-14) We can be glad that our fellowship with God and His Spirit is eternal and thus the time we spend with Him is precious indeed.