Imagine that you get a phone call from God, and He tells you He’s going to spend time with you from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. What would you do?
Maybe you would stop and think, What do I need to do to be ready when He comes so I can spend the whole time with Him? You would certainly want your house to be clean when God came to visit. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable cleaning the house can be when you’re preparing for someone special to visit you—and God would certainly be a special guest! If you say, I don’t have to clean the house because no one is coming anyway, you really don’t believe that God will be with you to give you the special blessing of His presence.
Exodus 33:14 says, “ ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ ” This rest doesn’t mean you can sleep the Sabbath hours away. How would you feel if you went to visit a friend, and all your friend did was sleep? Exodus 31:17 says that God Himself rested on the Sabbath and was refreshed.
The next question you might ask yourself is, What am I going to feed Him? You would not want to spend much time in the kitchen while He was with you, because each moment would be precious. You’d sit down ahead of time, make a list, and then head for the store. You’d want the food to be prepared before the time of His arrival so that all you’d have to do after He arrived would be to heat it up. That way you could spend all your time with Him.
Exodus 16:23 says, “ ‘ “Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.” ’ ” Nehemiah 10:31 says, “ ‘When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day.’ ”
Now, what will you do when God arrives? Would you invite Him to meet all your friends? When I was engaged to be married, I really enjoyed introducing my fiancé to all my friends and family. In this world, life can get so busy that we don’t have time for husband, children, and certainly not for God. But the Sabbath not only gives us time with God but also time with family, and we can make it a special holiday each week.
Remember that God made the date with you, and He said that He would meet you on the seventh day. The Sabbath gives us time to get to know Him through study, worship, spending time with Him in His second book of nature, and through fellowship with family and fellow believers. God will make Himself known to you if you ask Him. The Sabbath gives you time to build that relationship, and He is disappointed when you don’t take advantage of the opportunity. Isaiah 58:13, 14 promises, “ ‘If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.’ The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
What does the Bible mean when it says, “Not doing as you please”? I love to sew. But if I spend my time sewing while God is visiting, how could I really get to know Him? God is just asking us for our undivided time.
When I take walks, I like to imagine God speaking, and suddenly the flowers, the birds, the trees, and the plants come into existence. It seems to me that God has to have a most wonderful mind to have thought of all these beautiful things.
But the best way to get to know God is through His love letter, the Bible. When you study the Bible, tell God that you want Him to reveal Himself to you through His Word and through nature, for these are the very things He delights in. The more you spend time getting to know Him, the more the Sabbath will become a rich blessing to you.
God has given us the Sabbath so that we may truly get to know Him. God promises that He will make the Sabbath a blessing if we give Him a chance. He will show us the joy of that day, and we will come to see the real blessing that comes from spending time with Him on the Sabbath.
Time With God
The Sabbath was given us to remember our Creator and spend time with Him, so how can we welcome in this time with God? Here are a few traditions to welcome the Sabbath. You can make your own.
- Make a special candlelit Friday evening meal with your family.
- Take a walk as a family, such as a walk in the woods.
- Make phone calls or write letters to special friends and loved ones.
- Spend time reading magazines with spiritual content.
- Memorize a part of the Bible.
- Write in a journal, reflecting on God’s hand in your life in the week past.