September 10, 2013
Jeremiah 17:19-27 (see below) is a reminder and rebuke from God for the people of Israel regarding resting on the Sabbath. Obviously, we are under no such law as those who have been united to Jesus Christ. However, in thinking about how a Christian should understand these words from God, one cannot help but recall Hebrews 4:9-11.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest…”
We do not carry the burden of our salvation. We live in an ongoing, eternal Sabbath. We lay down the burden of saving our souls and never again pick it up. This is the Law of Christ! The people of Israel were commanded to rest on the Sabbath; to do no labor as an act of their trust in God and His provision. In the same way, the great and unchanging command we receive through Jesus Christ is that we rest from our labors! And this is not a rest that lasts one day of the week. No, when we put our trust in the forgiveness of Jesus, our Sabbath rest from the labor of salvation ends for eternity. We, in an act of trust that Jesus will provide exactly what He promised (salvation as a gift), rest from our labors as Israel rested from theirs.
Praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Our Sabbath rest comes through trust in His promise to save.
19This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the Gate of the People,c through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem. 20Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem who come through these gates. 21This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors. 23Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. 24But if you are careful to obey me, declares the Lord, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy by not doing any work on it, 25then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’ ”