Matt.24:19-22 – But woe to those women who are pregnant, and to those who are nursing babies in those days! “Moreover, pray that when you flee, it will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again.
The Sabbath is obviously a big deal to the Lord. There are more reasons for that than I can discuss in this blog but the simple version is that we need a day each week set aside for the Lord. That was something our leaders at Gods Army, where I attended Bible School, took very seriously. We were taught that Sunday was the Lord’s Day, we were not to work on that day and we should gather with the church on the Lord’s Day. Jesus was warning about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and He emphasized that they should pray it wouldn’t happen on a Sabbath. This destruction was probably referring to at least two events, the fall of Jerusalem under the Romans as well as events that will happen in the last days. Interesting to note, this recent terrorist attack on Israel under Hamas happened on the Jewish Sabbath day. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this passage.
“Christ often showed a concern for the Sabbath. Here he showed that he wanted the Sabbath usually to be observed as a day of rest from travel and worldly labor, but that works of necessity were lawful on the Sabbath day, such as this work of fleeing from an enemy to save our lives. However, it also showed that it is very uncomfortable to good people to be taken away by any work of necessity from the solemn service and worship of God on the Sabbath. We should pray that we may have quiet, undisturbed Sabbaths, and may have no other work than Sabbath work to do on Sabbath days, so that we may attend the LORD’s presence without distraction. To flee in the winter is uncomfortable to the body, but to flee on the Sabbath is uncomfortable to the soul.”
I was reading this passage in Matthew again recently and two things struck me about this. First, this recent attack has prophetic significance especially because it happened on a Sabbath day, and secondly the Lord considered that day of rest very important. It wasn’t that it was on a certain day (like Saturday or Sunday) but that there was a day set aside to honor the Lord and to renew our soul. Maybe we should reconsider our current view of the Lord’s day and guard it for our spiritual condition.