Keeping the Sabbath: Rest as Exalting in God’s Royal Majesty

But the moral content of the Sabbath law remains in force today. So celebrating that day also involves interrupting our earthly work. We do so not out of obligation or compulsion but out of respect for God’s ways. Then we break with the rhythm of daily work. We quietly take distance from it. And we focus internally on ourselves.

The point is not about doing nothing, then, but about not doing what would impede that change in rhythm.

But we can’t leave it at that. Interrupting the flow of our daily work is not sufficient. Another sort of labor begins at that point. We’re talking about the work of God’s kingdom insofar as that is imaginable only on a day of universal rest. This is work that also continues alongside our daily work on other days but that is only pursued to a greater degree on that day.

And there is still more. The rest we are talking about does not mean that we stop living. It’s not about collapsing in laziness or idleness. Completely to the contrary; it must be resting in God, entering into his tent, finding shelter under his wings, raising him above the flow of whatever is passing and enslaving – rest as exalting in his royal majesty.

This is the kind of resting in his majesty that renders the Devil powerless at his feet because the wings of Christ’s total power completely overshadow a person! In the deepest sense, therefore, this is to rest from one’s evil work and therefore to receive already in this life something of God’s ‘eternal rest.’ It is a rest that will be unsurpassed above and of which we have a foretaste already here below, at least to the extent that we deny ourselves and emphasize Christ’s work for us and in us.

Taken from the new translation by James A. De Jong of Abraham Kuyper’s Honey from the Rock (Lexham Press, 2018), p.415.

This particular meditation (#21 of Volume 2) is titled “Remember the Sabbath Day” and is based on the fourth commandment as given in Exodus 20:8-10, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.”

Published in: on September 26, 2020 at 10:15 PM  Leave a Comment