How do I prepare for the sabbath ?
When most of us started our spiritual journey, we learned along the way , so when this question appeared in my email box, I reflected to my own past, and got back to simple basics. Where do you begin? How and when do you start your preparation?
There are variety of different ways in which a family can bring in the Sabbath, however the fundamental belief amongst most repentant Israelites is that the “Sabbath Day” is Saturday NOT Sunday, as a general starting point certain non-negotiable need to be understood and accepted to establish and maintain a regimen for the rest of the high holy days throughout the year.
So the weekly sabbath begins Friday evening at sundown and ends Saturday evening at sundown…
Genesis 1 vs 5 And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 2 vs 2,3 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and santified it; because that in ithe had rested from all his work which God created and made.
As the woman of the house you will be preparing for the weekly Sabbaths, and most feast days which are also Sabbaths
Leviticus 23 vs 1-4 and the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even those are my feasts. Six days shall work be done; but the SEVENTH day is a sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein; it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
definitions of holy convocation
- avoiding activities that would hinder the renewal of ones’ body and soul, such as needless business, unnecessary shopping or housework
- a gathering of a people for a purpose, such as a holy meeting and should be respected as such
- an assembly of people or a sacred assembly of people for a church service
definitions of work
- physical or mental effort or activity directed towards the production or accomplishment of something
- a job, employment
- a trade, profession, or other means of livelihood
- something that one is doing, making or performing, especially as an occupation or undertaking such as an activity or task
definitions of Sabbath
- a day of religious observance and abstinence from work kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening
- the seventh day of the week, Saturday, observed as the day of rest and worship by the Jews and some Christian sects
- the anglicized term “Sabbath” is in Hebrew Shabbath…Strongs Concordance “Shabbat” meaning “day of rest “
The term “High Sabbaths” is used by some Christians and so-called jews to refer to the feast days in Leviticus 23., don’t let their worldly wisdom confuse or confound you. Recognizing annual biblical feast days such as Passover (Pesach) and Feast of Unleavened bread, Feast of Pentecost ( Shavuot), Memorial of the Blowing of Trumpets ( Rosh Hashanah ), The Day of Atonement ( Yom Kippur ) , and the Feast of Tabernacles ( Sukkoth ) or Feast of Dedication ( Hanukkah ).Most people who observe the biblical sabbath regard it as having been instituted as a ‘perpetual covenant’ for the people of Israel. Having respect for the day during which the Father rested after having completed the creation in six days.
*References….Wikipedia, Free On-Line Dictionary, Biblos.com
For further clarification on the understanding of the Lords’ sabbaths , feast days and high holy days please visit www.israelunite.org
So let us begin with the weekly Sabbath….
- Deut 5 vs 12-14 Keep the Sabbath day to santify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath day of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man servant and thine maidservant may rest as well as thou.
- Jeremiah 17 vs 21,22 Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear ye no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;…neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day as I commanded your fathers.
in addition to your nine to five job work……that means any type of house work, homework or working out at the gym or home….
Basically what you should do is create a schedule or a plan that works for your household. Laundry and dishes always has a way of piling up. Do a little everyday so you are not doing the mad dash come Friday. Also as a reminder as Spring/summer comes to an end the days grow shorter so try to complete all your chores no later than Thursday since sundown in some places can be very early. By the time the kids get home from school or you or your beloved from work and dinner is ready…. during the Fall/ Winter sundown has already approached. Start your cleaning and general cleaning earlier in the week so you can have a clean home by the time sundown comes on Friday. Enlist your children chores so that they realize the importance of preparation for the Lords day. This includes homework, generally young children if they are attending public school do not have much work over the weekend, even if you home school complete tasks early or no assignments on Friday ; however if they have difficult projects that are due , or studying for exams let your children finish before and/or after the sabbath is over. One of the sisters I know who works out to stay fit starts her routine on Sunday, no working out on Friday and Saturday. As for me I like to work out every other day 2-3 times a week, sometimes if I am having a really good week I can go EARLY friday ……..so I can definitely get my Sabbath started with a good rest.
Read Nehemiah 13 vs 15-22.…
Vs 17,18….then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
Plan your weekly menus for the upcoming week….at the very least you should be prepared with the very basics in your home to feed your family as the sabbath approaches. ***This is very important especially if there is a double sabbath,…..when two Sabbaths are back to back. Don’t get stuck unprepared…..wintertime weather can be very tricky, as a sister that has had to endure blackouts and snowstorms it is not a situation you ever want to be in….especially if you have children. I could easily spend two hrs in Walmart just wandering the aisles….be mindful of your grocery shopping as the sun sets……
Proverbs 6 vs 6-8
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Be mindful if you go out to eat, if you order something that you pay before dark…..that also includes on-line purchases , bills as well, the Lord still sees you.! No window shopping either!!! So if you need to purchase diapers, sanitary products, gas, bread , milk, water, etc…..do so before sundown.
1 Thessalonians 5 vs 22 Abstain from all appearances of evil
Exodus 16 vs 23 and he said unto them, this is that which the Lord hath said…Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord; bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Definitions…Free Online Dictionary, and Wikipedia
seethe(er )…a pot for boiling things, bring to a boil
seethe….bring to a boil
I really enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee just as much as the next girl, however you have to “seethe” or “boil” before sundown. Before I invested in a couple of really good thermos(es ), the last thing my husband and I would have often if we were out was a hot cup of coffee or tea, now we still enjoy a nice warm beverage because I boil water in advance and place it in multiple containers. Depending on the effectiveness of your thermos your water may stay anywhere from hot to lukewarm. In the summer you could have ice coffee !!! If you are the type that likes warm oatmeal, soup or if you are a mom that needs to mix formula you have to plan ahead. Running hot water under the sink is still unacceptable, because the furnance is in effect ” boiling” the water that you are placing the bottle in. When my children were young we prepared bottles in advance, in the summer back in the old days you used icepacks….lets say you were going out to sabbath service and you had a bottle in a cooler or in the refrigerator, you could reasonable set the bottle out in enough time so that it could adjust to a room temperature….. Obviously, breast feeding your baby is always the right temperature.
Microwaves are also OUT of the question. You are still “cooking ” food or drink when you use the microwave to ” heat up ” anything. Technology has made it questionable regarding the use of such appliances during the sabbath. Our foremothers did not have fancy sabbath ovens, and warmers, yet they were still able to feed thier families and keep the law.
Oxford Dictionary definition of microwave……
an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength in the range of 0.001—0.3 , shorter than that of a normal radiowave but longer than those with infrared radiation. Microwaves are used in radar in communications; and for heating in microwave ovens and in various industrial processes ( as a modifier )
microwave radiation ( also microwave oven ) an oven that uses microwaves to COOK OR HEAT FOOD
verb ( with object ) to cook food in a microwave…..in a sentence….He microwaved some steak out of the freezer.
adjective ( microwavable)
They are plenty of food options for the sabbath as well, for those who are new on their repentant journey, you may feel as though you have little options…..but there are many!!!! For starters, you may want to have your last “cooked” or “hot” meal right before sundown, so that gradually you become used to it. Fried chicken makes a delicious sandwich the next day!!!
Various types of sandwiches, salads, fruits….even dishes prepared and left at room temperature. How about some actual raw veggies?yummy!!!
Typically every Friday evening my household has some type of pasta dish, because the kids like it hot or cold. You need to come up with a routine and menu that works well for your household. Saturday morning….we have various types of cold cereal, bagels with cream cheese, boiled eggs prepared from the day before or sometimes yogurt with fruit….or just a fruit salad and some juice. For lunch and snack….salads…..the range is endless, sandwiches, cold pizza and more fruit. Personally I tend to eat less on the Sabbath, which is probably best for my digestion….bloating and general health….Before you know it the sun is down again.
If you cooked plenty , and prepared early your house early in the week you may have leftovers or may have preseasoned something so you can eat another hot hearty meal after the sun goes down, or indulge in a backyard barbeque. The choices are up to you!!!
As for activities on the sabbath……….reflect on the following suggestions
- Acknowledge and give thanks to the Most High for all your blessings and life as a repentant Israelite
- Send up your prayers as a family, and study together
- Meet up and fellowship with other likeminded believers
- Have your son practice blowing a rams’ horn
- Children should recite Lords Prayer, and basic ten commandments, along with the 12 tribes of Israel
- A time for singing and praising to ackowledge the Heavenly Father
- Visit your fellow brothers & sisters who may be sick or in need
- Forsake your personal will and do the will of the Lord
- Call or email those in fellowship and offer exhortation and hope
Hebrews 4 vs 9,10
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
This is not a master or complete list, just a reflection of my own personal journey towards repentance, and acceptance from the Most High through his beloved son.
Matthew 5 vs 19
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
While many of us were in a unrepentant frame of mind, we did it big when pagan holidays came around ( who could outdo the other with lights and presents )….fancy dishes, decorations, balloons, dressed up, singing and dancing….and laid out the good stuff…
We should do even more in righteousness. Plan big meals, gather around with friends and family, give gifts. You and your house should not envy or miss those days….let other kids be envious of your children in the Lord!!!
Hebrews 10 vs 24,25
and let us consider one another to provoke one another unto love and to good works; Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is , but exhorting one another,and so much more as ye see the day approaching.
May you have peaceful and joyful sabbaths.
Psalms 89 vs 7
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and had in reverence of all them that are about him.