What was the highlight of the last week for you? What is it this week. There are a lot of things we can enjoy during the week — a job well done, a project completed, an interesting conversation at work, an unexpected phone call, a meal together with friends, etc. All these things can add quality to your life, to be sure.
For God’s people the Sabbath can and should be the highlight of the week. God said, “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant” (Exodus 31:16). The Sabbath is a binding agreement between God and His people forever. It is a known and unchanging boundary. The stability of God’s unchanging boundaries provides us with a solid environment for settled peace of mind. Even little children thrive best, in the long term, in families with known and established rules that don’t change.
“It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed’” (Exodus 31:17). Not only is the Sabbath command perpetual, it’s about family. It binds us together with God, which is very reassuring. It also binds us together as God’s people in His very presence during a period of time that He has personally made holy. (See Exodus 31:14-15) We are so privileged to know about holy things.
The example of Uzza and the ark of God illustrates to us how important it is for us to know about holy things. We know that King David wanted to bring the ark back to Jerusalem from Kirjath Jearim. “And David said to all the assembly of Israel, ‘If it seems good to you, and if it is of the LORD our God, let us send out to our brethren everywhere who are left in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites who are in their cities and their common-lands, that they may gather together to us; and let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul.’ Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people” (1 Chronicles 13:2-4). There was no evil intent on David’s part, or Israel’s for that matter, regarding bringing the ark back. The problem is that they were handling a holy thing in a way that seemed good or right to them, but that was not in accord with God’s instructions. We know God struck Uzza dead for improperly handling something holy. Of course they did get it right later and David therefore said this to the heads of the Levites, “For because you did not do it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order” (1 Chronicles 15:13). The lesson for us then concerning the Sabbath is that it is God who decides how the Sabbath is to be kept holy – we must consult Him.
God says this concerning the highlight of the week, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 58:13-14).