If ever I finish my first book, Grace from the Garden-Things You can Learn about God while Digging in the Dirt, my second book will be In Search of the Sabbath Song – about the Songs of the Lord that take you from stressed-to-rest. Lofty goals, no?
I am intrigued by those Psalms cited to be songs for the Sabbath. I will tell you this, if you do any type of ministry or have a title or volunteer in most any church in America, Sunday ain’t your Sabbath. It is another work day, albeit “for the Lord.”
But I have been meditating on Psalm 92 recently. There is verse 10, particularly, that promises a fresh-oil anointing. Fresh. That would signify green, life-giving, Holy-Spirit-flowing, a “new” thing. Sometimes I go a really long time on an old batch. And it makes me wonder what if?
What if we set aside one 24-hour period weekly for rest from our work? What if we worked 6, rested one – every single week? What if it were a day on which no other days had a hold? What if we had a day holy, blessed, from the Lord Himself for us? What if we wholeheartedly, joyously, and “relaxedly” Sabbathed? In this culture? Right here in western-culture America?
Because I know what it looks like not to live this way. I wrote about it here, recently. That – we do pretty well. Below, some thoughts I am turning over in my heart…
Psalm 92 – The faithfulness and lovingkindness of the LORD
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath Day.
Verses 1 – 11 tell us what a Sabbath day looks like, how it is a blessed and special day. It is full of joyousness and remembrance, giving thanks and taking the time to just notice the faithfulness of God.
- Living thankfully. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord…
- Living full of praise. And to sing and make music to Your Name, O Most High…
- Time spent declaring God’s lovingkindness. Proclaiming Your love in the morning…
- Time spent declaring God’s faithfulness. And Your faithfulness at night…
- Walking in victory. …the wicked…and all evildoers…will be forever destroyed…scattered…
- Refreshed, anointed. I have been anointed with fresh oil…(you know when you are operating in something fresh from the Lord!)
- Wild-ox anointing. You’ve made me as strong as a wild ox…
Strength and grace. That is what the wild-ox anointing is about. Oxen were tamed in ancient times by putting a heavy yoke on their necks and tying them to an already-broken, old ox. They’d do that until they were so used to it that they could take that yoke off and the ox would still behave and work like it was under that yoke, tied to that old ox.
Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy-burdened (yoked) and I will give you rest…” He is saying He will lift that heaviness off us. Strength can come again – we’ll kick up our heels as if we had not been broken by that heavy yoke. The joy of the Lord will surge through our veins and our spiritual youth can be restored!
All this from Sabbath? What if…
If the first half of Ps. 92 is giving us a glimpse of how to celebrate Sabbath, the second half tells us what life looks like when you are living with a flowing, fresh-oil anointing (when you have actually set aside time to celebrate Sabbath). This, this is living!
- You’ll be able to see the hand of God in the things going on around you. (vs. 11) Your vision won’t be so tunneled, wondering and worrying about the circumstances. You’ll be able to discern by spiritual vision what is happening and how God is at work.
- You’ll be able to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly. (vs. 11)
- You will flourish (turn green) like the palm tree. (vs. 12) The dates of the palm tree, if a person had enough of them, could make a person rich. Healthiness. Fruitfulness.
- You will grow strong like the cedar tree in Lebanon. (vs. 12) Deep-rooted, stable.
- You will love the House of God and His presence. (vs. 13) You’ll be planted and flourish in the courts of God, in His presence.
- You’ll still be fruitful in old age. I am 49-and-a-half and this makes me so happy. Regardless of the knees going or a “pause” ahead of me, staying in the fresh flow of the Holy Spirit means I can remain spiritually youthful and flourishing right to the end! I plan on producing fruit right on in to old age – fruit that will last! I was chosen for it! (John 15.16)
- You will show/declare that the Lord is upright. You will not just be a witness to God’s glory (not just a tradition-passer), but you will be actual evidence of His work on the earth. Like the woman at the well who was so bowled over by the Living Water she could not contain her discovery that she went through her entire town saying “Come and see,” you will show people, by the overflow of love and exhuberance you have for God, straight to Him. They will find Him through you. You’ll be the proof.
I’d like to so learn to receive this gift for us from the Lord that weekly I will (unashamedly) enjoy a day on which I won’t be heard asking with agitation, “What time is it?!?” I’d like to have that day on which my timeframe has no hold. But rather, I’d like to awaken weekly on the day set aside and, with freedom from worry and care, with great anticipation ask, “What is this time for, today, Lord?” True adventure. And rest from the craziness.
I remain on my quest for the Sabbath Songs…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Be still. Know that He is God…I think maybe You are trying to tell me something?…
3 thoughts on “A Song for the Sabbath”
If there was a picture of “spiritually youthful and flourishing,” Jeanie Rhoades, you would be IT! There are a thousand things about you to love, but it’s that vibrance, that excitement, that continued exuberance, that draws people to you… at least people like me. :)
If you ever finish your book maybe you should call it ” How to write a book without even knowing it by blogging on wordpress”
yeah-at 555 posts, I guess I have had a few publishable thoughts in my day!