“This is why I gave them my Sabbaths.”

No more beautiful, inspiring, or pleasing idea can be repeated on this subject [of the sabbath] than the one that Ursinus expressed in the Heidelberg Catechism: ‘That all the days of my life I turn from my wicked ways, allow the Lord God to work in me by his Spirit, and thus begin the eternal Sabbath already in this life.’

Accordingly, the Sabbath is based (1) on the work of God the Father and our creation, (2) on the work of God the Son and our salvation, and (3) on the work of God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification. Its fullness is captured in this threefold summary. For life here on earth, the shadow of the three-in-one Trinitarian God falls across the Sabbath.

Consequently, it needs to offer you rest from the pressures of this world. That’s first. In the name of God you need to be properly able to stop the workday activity of this world every seventh day. …You need to restore the strength you have lost. And you need to receive from God once again the resources you need for your daily work and efforts….

Then it also needs to offer you rest from the attacks of the Devil. That’s second. In the name of God you need to be equipped to escape bondage to the works of the Devil. That’s when you enter the Year of Jubilee, your year of liberation by the atoning work of your Surety and Redeemer.

And also, it needs to offer you rest from the powerful urges of your own heart as well. That’s in the third place. In the name of God you need to be equipped to give up bondage to your own evil heart. You need to abandon the empty way of living that serves no useful purpose. You need to pull back from drinking from springs that never provide pure water. You need to enter that blessed, completely glorious rest that consists of letting go of self so that God’s work may be completed in you through his Holy Spirit.

This in the full sense of the word is the Sabbath of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This is what he who stood calling meant by Sabbath when he said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.’

Oh, may you never forget that it is not you who create this kind of Sabbath in order to glorify God, but it is a gift of God to you in his grace that you may share in his riches.

That kind of Sabbath comes only as the fruit of grace and prayer!

honey from the rock-ak-2018Taken from the new translation by James A. De Jong of Abraham Kuyper’s Honey from the Rock (Lexham Press, 2018), pp.180-82.

This particular meditation (#58 of Volume 1) is titled “This Is Why I Gave Them My Sabbaths” and is based on Ezekiel 20:12, “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.”

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