The Blessing of a Little Shabbat Shalom

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Israel, Standing With Israel

One of my favorite memories of living in Israel was experiencing Shabbat. Fridays were hectic as everyone finished their shopping, cleaning and cooking in preparation for family gatherings and a day of rest.

The stores would close by 4:00 p.m. so that shoppers and workers could catch that last bus home. And just as the sun was setting—as the roads emptied of cars and buses and synagogues filled up for prayer—you could hear off in the distance the Shabbat whistle, alerting the whole city that Shabbat had begun.

Because Jerusalem’s population includes such a high percentage of religious Jews, the entire city would shut down—so much so that in many neighborhoods, you could walk down the middle of the road on Shabbat because you knew there would be no cars driving by. I loved waking up on Saturday morning to silence—no cars, no horns, just the sounds of children playing and maybe neighbors gathering for a meal. I also loved greeting my friends and neighbors with “Shabbat Shalom”—wishing them a peaceful and restful Sabbath.

If you long for a little peace in your life too, a weekly time of rest and quiet might help bring that about.

What Does ‘Shabbat’ Mean?

The whole concept of a weekly rest goes back to creation when God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.

Shabbat is the Hebrew word for “Sabbath,” which comes from the root word sheva, meaning “seven.” Shabbat is thus the “seventh day,” but it also means the “day of rest.” The Bible says that when God rested on the seventh day, He blessed it (made it holy), so it’s considered a holy day on the Jewish calendar each week.

Because God rested on the seventh day, He expected His people to do the same. Not only is honoring the Sabbath one of the Ten Commandments, but it became the sign of the Mosaic covenant. The Israelite people were the only people on earth who observed a day of rest every week. It made them different because they reflected the God to whom they belonged—the Creator, who rested on the seventh day.

Even though you and I may not be obligated to the Mosaic covenant, if a Sabbath rest is so important to God that He made it a sign of His covenant with His people, maybe there’s something there that we need to learn and apply to our lives. Could it be that a pattern of regular rest and reflection could bring us all closer to Him and fill our lives with greater peace?

What Does ‘Shalom’ Mean?

The Hebrew word for “peace” is shalom, which means a peace that comes from a payment being made or a lack being fulfilled. In other words, it means being made whole. This makes sense—people who don’t have peace are usually worried about something they are lacking or haven’t done or are striving to obtain. Peace is the opposite of that.

We all lacked peace at one point because we owed a debt we could not pay—and the wages for our sin was death. But out of His grace and mercy, Jesus paid the price on the cross for our sins, making us whole through Him so we can live in peace. If He took care of that ultimate debt caused by our sin, He can take care of anything we bring to him.

Only He can fill that void in our hearts, make us whole and give us peace.

As your busy week comes to an end, ponder the blessing of spending time with the Lord, resting in His presence and becoming more like Him. Take time to reflect on all He has done for you and learn to walk in that peace.

I wish for you Shabbat Shalom! {eoa}

For the original article, visit iceusa.org.

Dr. Susan Michael is USA director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and host of the Out of Zion podcast. Subscribe to the Out of Zion podcast or text “zion” to 72572 to receive her Friday Shabbat Shalom devotionals and end your week with a little peace.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest