“Take my yoke upon you . . . , and you will find refreshment for your souls.”—MATT. 11:29.
WHEN the Law covenant was inaugurated at Mount Sinai, it included the weekly Sabbath arrangement. Through his spokesman Moses, Jehovah commanded the nation of Israel: “Six days you are to do your work; but on the seventh day you are to desist, in order that your bull and your ass may rest and the son of your slave girl and the alien resident may refresh themselves.” (Ex. 23:12) Yes, out of consideration for those under the Law, Jehovah lovingly arranged for a day of rest so that his people might “refresh themselves.”
Was the Sabbath just a day for relaxation? No, it was an integral part of the Israelites’ worship of Jehovah. Keeping the Sabbath allowed family heads time to teach their family to “keep Jehovah’s way to do righteousness.” (Gen. 18:19) It also provided an opportunity for family and friends to get together to reflect on Jehovah’s deeds and to have joyous association. (Isa. 58:13, 14) More important, the Sabbath prophetically pointed forward to a time when true refreshment would come through Christ’s Millennial Reign. (Rom. 8:21)