A Messianic Daily Devotional
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
The Sabbath is compared with a bride, coming to the people of God in purity and sanctity. Many Shabbat rituals surround this thought. Sixteenth-century mystics created the Friday evening service called in Hebrew Kabbalat Shabbat, which means welcoming the Sabbath. This song L’kah Dodi is often sung:
Come my beloved to meet the bride.
Let us welcome the presence of the Sabbath
Come in peace… and come in joy…
Come, O Bride! Come, O Bride!
Today in Jewish Orthodox settings as the last verse of the song is sung, the congregation will turn away from the ark housing the Torah and bow before the synagogue entrance as if the bride of Shabbat were about to enter.
As believers, the idea of Sabbath as a pure Bride finds a home in our hearts in the end of the verse in Leviticus 23:3, it is for a Sabbath to the Lord. We hold close and yet see beyond the Orthodox view of Sabbath being the bride, as we embrace the New Covenant idea that we have become that pure Bride by Yeshua’s blood. Therefore, we greet the Sabbath prepared to steal away with our beloved Bridegroom for the space of 24 hours.
The powerful draw of the prosaic and temporal is set aside, enabling us to peer into the eternal portals of heaven by honoring this commandment. Shabbat is a weekly honeymoon with the Bridegroom, Who is our Creator and Maker, and it is a glimpse of what it will be like forever to be with the Lord.
Rather than becoming paralyzed with rules, the Sabbath should evoke great joy and expectation, as a bride would have on her wedding day. As Messiah’s Bride, we find a picture of being presented to God in righteousness as a one without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:27). We separate the time of Shabbat to be alone with our Bridegroom in delightful exclusivity.
(Excerpted from “Sabbath: A Gift of Time” by Bonnie Saul Wilks, available everywhere).
For more study…
Exodus 20:8-11, Leviticus 23:3, Mark 2:27
Work it into daily life…
Sabbath is not a suggestion, rather an imperative. The God of the universe is serious about one day of the week belonging to Him. The benefit of taking a weekly break is that you become rested physically, emotionally, and mentally. You become spiritually uplifted as you create a honeymoon day as the Bride to be with her Beloved Bridegroom for 24 hours. Try it for a few weeks in a row, you will like it!
©Bonnie Saul Wilks