Keeping the Sabbath is an outward act which expresses an inner faith in God. By resting on the Sabbath, no matter how much "work" needs to be done, it shows that I am trusting in God to provide and not trusting in myself. If I think that my provision comes from my own work then I will not want to take that day of rest or take time to wait on the Lord and seek Him.
We can get wrapped up in what I call the time-provision tail chase. Provision really comes as we hear and do what the Lord says. When we slack in that we end up in lack. If we try to solve our lack by our own work (working for ourselves) rather than seeking the Lord concerning our lives (working for Him) then more lack is produced. This cycle of trying to chase after money to get rid of the lack goes on until we stop and trust the Lord. I'm not saying we shouldn't work, or that we shouldn't work hard, but that we must seek the Lord to hear and do what He is saying to us, or all of our hard work will do nothing for us. His work comes first. As Haggai says, it's like putting your money in a bag with holes. Haggai 1:6. By spending time with the Lord we begin to break the time-provision tail chase.
Worship is not waste! Matthew 26:6-13. Rest is not waste either, and consider this--if the Lord is in us and we insist on working, rather than keeping the Sabbath, isn't that like making Him work on His day off? The Sabbath is not a drudging obligation we have to keep. It's both He and I resting and rejoicing in His provision. I delight in Him on the Sabbath, and take joy in the fact that He gives me rest and provides--even if my hard work isn't enough. He is a loving Father who provides for me. He is not a hard taskmaster. He gives us the rest we need and still meets our needs.
If we keep the Sabbath then God will accept our sacrifice--the offering representative of our work. It becomes acceptable to Him once we show that we are not trusting in our own selves--our own work--to provide for us, but we trust in Him. In fact, our own attempts to work hard and provide for ourselves apart from trusting in Him, is considered evil in His eyes. Isaiah 56:2."Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath and holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples." Isaiah 56:6-7
We see from what Isaiah says that those who:
- Minister to the Lord
- Love His Name
- Will be His servant
- Do not profane the Sabbath
- Hold fast to His covenant
will be brought by Him to His holy mountain, where He will make them joyful in His house of prayer--both Jew and Gentile, and He will accept their sacrifice. In other words, their offering--which comes from their work or increase--will have His blessing on it.
When we bring our tithes to His house, it represents the dedication of our work, and our increase, first to Him. When we keep the Sabbath, it represents the dedication of our lives--our time and energy--first to Him. Resting from our work is an expression of both faith and dedication to the Lord. Besides, no matter how hard we work, it will accomplish nothing if we do not seek Him first anyway.
"If because of the sabbath,you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day,And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,And honor it, desisting from your own ways,From seeking your own pleasureAnd speaking your own word,Then you will take delight in the Lord,And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."Isaiah 58:13-14
By ceasing from my own works I show that I believe and trust in Him. It's not by my works that I succeed at anything. Keeping the Sabbath shows my faith, and I will delight in Him, and He will provide!