12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them!”
When is the last time you sat down to think? I mean, really think. Not just in the margins of the day, but a scheduled time to put away distractions and give your mind time to think. For many of us, this isn’t a familiar discipline. Sitting still for more than 5 minutes seems impossible. Maybe we think when we’re walking or driving, or kick around some ideas as we doze off to sleep at night, or even think about tasks as we do them just trying to get ahead enough to make sure we don’t forget something. We are prone to forget aren’t we?
Ever since the Fall, God’s people have proven time and time again to be a forgetful people. We can get so wrapped up in the day to day, looking forward to the next item on our to-do list or the next desire we want met, that we often forget to look back and remember who God is and what He has done. This is why embedded in God’s commands to Moses for His people is the idea of remembrance, because remembering and considering where you’ve come from can shape where you are going and how you get there. And remembering and considering who God is and what he has done can shape our view of Him in the present.
Last Sunday, we dove into the Sabbath as a wonderful gift from the Lord to be a delight for His people. Why? Because God has given us the opportunity on a weekly basis to come to Him and find rest, thinking about the amazing things He has done in our lives and throughout history. Of course, because of Jesus, we have been given access to the Father 24/7, but what would it look like to make use of the Sabbath gift as a time to sit and think? To remember? To consider what God has done? To be reminded of His sovereignty, goodness, and grace? To trace His faithfulness through the generations and in light of it all, seek His will and guidance from the Spirit to shape our present and future?
Because there is a future. We must not only be reminded of the past, but we must also “remember forward” our glorious eternal destiny as heirs with Christ and citizens of Heaven.