“For six days, you are to work. But on the seventh day, you are to rest, so that your ox and donkey can rest, and your slave-girl’s son and the foreigner be renewed.”-Exodus 23:12
From verses 10-12, we see how the Sabbath is to be applied in a very practical, earthly, physical sense.
God instructs that the Sabbath is to be applied not only to days, weeks and years but that its benefits are to be applied to plants and even the soil they are grown in.
This injunction is also to apply to one’s animals and then finally to the people, including foreigners.
This is further Scriptural evidence that not only is the principle of the 7th day sabbath woven into the very fabric of the universe, but that it also serves a very practical physical purpose: that of being a day of rest and rejuvenation for ALL of God’s creation, not just man.
Now back in the Book of Genesis, we saw that God had set apart the 7th day and made it holy.
Understand that this was NOT a symbolic act.
He LITERALLY made the 7th day holy.
Yet Yeshua told His followers that the Sabbath was NOT made for God but for man.
This confuses some people and sets up a conflict in their minds where they feel they either have to choose the holiness of Sabbath as correct or that it is just a practical health benefit for mankind.
Well, the truth is, it is BOTH and brings to mind a sound Scriptural principle I have in the past termed the “As-in-Heaven-so-on-Earth Principle”.
In a nutshell, this means that every instruction of God has BOTH an earthly, physical side to it as well as a heavenly, spiritual side to it.
Think of it like this.
There are two basic aspects to the Shabbat.
One is as a day of physical rest.
The other is as a day of observance, of paying homage to the Lord as a God-ordained holy day.
One deals with the physical benefits and the other deals with the spiritual benefits.
Now here’s the thing.
One doesn’t necessarily have to be a believer to derive benefit from resting one day a week.
One can for example be an atheist and get much benefit from resting one day out of seven.
Notice that even the animals, plants, and even the very dirt of the ground, things obviously NOT part of God’s people, also benefit from the physical rejuvenation provided by a sabbath rest.
However, they are restricted to ONLY the physical benefits of the Shabbat.
However, it is only a sincere and faithful believer in the God of Israel who will get the spiritual benefits of keeping the Sabbath in accordance with Lord’s command to “be HOLY as I am HOLY”.
A believer is doubly blessed so to speak.
He or she is blessed from a physical perspective by having a period of time to kick back and get some serious R&R (the same benefits an atheist or a beast of burden would also get. And no, I’m not equating an atheist to a beast of burden, so calm the heck down).
And by honoring the 7th day as a day the Lord has sanctified, a day He has specially termed His Shabbat, the believer is also supernaturally clothed in God’s holiness and derives much spiritual benefit.