by Terri Gillespie
ADONAI [the LORD] delights in those who revere Him, in those who trust in His lovingkindness. Psalm 147:11, TLV
Ahh. Mondays. For many, it is the beginning of the workweek. The weekend’s relaxation or fun activities are but memories and posts on social media. Time for the drudgery of work, eat, bed, then repeat. All the while counting down until the upcoming weekend.
That’s one perspective of Monday—or whenever your workweek begins.
Did you know the Scriptures only have one day of the week with a name? Shabbat — the Sabbath. According to the Bible it’s the seventh day of the week and begins Friday at sundown and ends sundown Saturday (Genesis 1:5; Leviticus 23:1-3).
What about the other days of the week that we’re accustomed to? The names of the seven days of the week in most Latin-based languages come from the Roman calendar, which related each day with seven celestial bodies considered to be gods: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. There are other pagan influences that sneak into the names, too.
But according to ancient Jewish tradition, each day of the week is more like a countdown to Shabbat. Sunday is known as “Six Days to Shabbat”, Monday, “Five Days to Shabbat,” and so on.
That simple act shows not only a reverence for God’s very first Biblical festival (Genesis 2:2-3; Leviticus 23:3), but joy and anticipation. Shabbat. A festival celebrated every week. Which is cool.
My parents had friends who were Orthodox sheliachs—emissaries or messengers—from Israel. Yossi and Michal and their children were sent to America to encourage the Jewish community to make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel. It was shortly after the Yom Kippur war, and, well, the locals were not interested. In fact, they ridiculed our new friends and treated them poorly.
Surprisingly, Yossi and his family became good friends with our family—Christians and Gentiles. As a result, they welcomed us into their world and taught us so much about the Biblical feasts. Especially Shabbat.
Once Shabbat was over—on our “Sunday”—Michal was already planning for the next Shabbat. Everything from menus, cleaning, and what fun activities and lessons to teach their children about the love of God. Each day of preparation was special and readied their hearts, minds, and homes for the upcoming festival.
There were no “blahs,” just excitement and discovering new ways to honor the LORD and bless their families, at the next Shabbat.
Now that’s a paradigm change. Every day before Shabbat is an anticipation to rest in the LORD, to praise Him, to fellowship with family and loved ones. We’re not only revering the celebration but revering our Creator — our Abba. This could include walks or visits to the beach to take in God’s creation. Reading. Games. Bringing a meal to someone in need.
According to today’s verse, GOD delights in us with this shift in our priorities to Him. We delight Him!
Have you ever noticed it is difficult to doubt our Father and praise Him at the same time? We can share the whirlwind of our concerns from the week, but our landing place — our resting place — can be praise and celebration in Him.
Praise takes us out of our heads and turns our minds to reverence and trust that He’s got whatever is troubling us. No matter how many times it takes to remind us, our Heavenly Father has us. Perhaps that’s why He set up a weekly reminder—the Sabbath.
And when we rest and praise and worship and celebrate His festival and His family, the Creator of the Universe smiles. I like that.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Award-winning author and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, messages, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, because of His Son Jesus. Her newest novel, Sweet Rivalry, released in October. https://authorterrigillespie.com/terri-gillespie-books/sweet-rivalry/
Sweet Rivalry is the story of twins separated by a troubled mother. One twin is lovingly raised by her grandmother who owns a small-town bakery. The other sister is raised by an addict mother. They discover one another through a televised baking competition. But will rivalry break them apart again?
Join the conversation: How do you make the Sabbath special in your family?