Since the creation of man there has been a pattern to our lives, outlined by our Creator God, for how we break up time. God created our environment and everything that sustains us for life in six days, and then He rested. He didn’t rest because he was tired. He modeled for us a way to balance our time. Most see it as a gift for mankind to show us a healthy way of living our lives. We work for six days and on the seventh day, we rest. To the jews who were appointed by God to carry out this tradition and maintain it’s cultural significance, the Sabbath, or Shabbat, was held in such a high position of importance that many would have long debated arguments about what exactly entitled something as work. Still to this day, many practicing jews try to reserve limited activities on the Shabbat, which is Saturday in our calendar week. For most people who study this bible, this is common knowledge and understanding. It’s why Saturday is a non-work day at most businesses, while Sunday was the first of the week and set aside by the early church as a day of worship.
I recently wrapped up a bible study focusing on the patterns of the Shabbat throughout scripture. That six to one pattern of seven repeats. Every seventh year, the jews were supposed to free slaves from bondage. Every seven times seven years was the year of Jubilee, where debts were forgiven and all family lands were returned back to their original family lines. Although these instructions were very clear in scripture, we have very little reason to believe that they were all fully practiced. Although the weekly Shabbat has continued from creation, or at least the time of Moses, until today. Studying these patterns and how the pattern would emerge in so many ways throughout prophecy and narrative throughout the bible got me thinking about a couple things.
- The timeline of the kingdom of God from the beginning until today has always been one of generations. Promises were made that were fulfilled generations down the line. God’s time is not like our time. The story He is telling is not wrapped around our single, small life, but we are instead folded into a larger narrative. As Peter quoted (2 Peter 3:8) the Psalms 90:4 in scripture, “to God, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.”
- The Revelation to John states that Jesus will return and bring 1000 years of peace. (Rev 20:1-15)
- None of us can tell for sure how long the biblical account of humanity really runs. It’s not an exact accounting, but by many accounts, based on genealogies and biblical history accounts, mankind’s story started, at minimum, 6000 years ago.
- Everything discussed in the Gospels and in the Revelation of John have reached a point where it has either already happened or is completely capable of happening in the near future. Much do to the technology of our time and the specific claims of these prophecies. Things like “everyone on earth” seeing something happen, could not have happened even 100 years ago, but now, it happens all the time.
Now many have made this connection in the past as there are even hints in the Revelation to John that point to that Shabbat pattern, such as the seven seals and the seven bowls and such. I am not claiming to know the exact time and I don’t think anyone would be able to based on the information we have on hand, but if God likes to use patterns, and the evidence points to yes he does, than we are very close to the end of that pattern. Whether it starts with the first shabbat of creation or it begins with Abraham or Moses, it could all vary by a century, but even if so, that puts us at the historical edge of the six thousand year mark. And just look around and read the news. Every day more and more is pointing toward global war, genetically modified illnesses, massive earthquakes, and we see a continued degradation of the human spirit and a resurgence of Christian persecution on a global scale.
We are but a breath away. What does this mean? Well, for most of us, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. For many of us, we have been hoping for it. But it does mean that it is time to wake up from your sleep. Don’t hold back from sharing the Good News of Jesus with everyone you come in contact with. And if you yourself are unsure, now is the time to pursue a relationship with God. There will come a time when people will be so full of hate that they will not be capable of turning their hearts to Jesus any longer. That time is approaching and you can see it now in the hearts of many. Don’t let your heart be hardened by sin. Seek forgiveness and be redeemed. Repent and pursue a relationships with your Creator God. We may still have decades left to enjoy this life and to live out the fruits of a relationship with our God here on this earth. But things may also escalate quickly. So it might be important to be prepared and understand what that might look like. I am planning to share more about this as I find the time and becoming more vocal about my faith. I was never one to want to sound preachy, but the closer we get to the end of the age, I feel it’s inappropriate to not speak up.