Simplicity Series #46
Sabbath Series—Part 6

The Kingdom Age Will Be a Millennial Sabbath


In every Sabbath celebration from the weekly observance to the Year of Jubilee, there are certain themes that are repeated. The first is that of rest. It was to be a time of refreshment and restoration. This rest was based on God’s faithful provision for every need. The second main idea was that of joyful celebration. It was a time for expressing thanksgiving to God through prayers, meditation, and songs. Third, there is the idea of peace. Even today in Israel, the Sabbath greeting is “Shabbat Shalom,” or “Sabbath Peace.” A fourth element of the Sabbath was family. It was a time for the family to rest, rejoice, and worship together.

All of these elements were united in the Year of Jubilee. Remember that we saw three major areas of focus during this celebration: liberty, property, and family. These three elements of abundant life encapsulate the sabbatical concept. You might note that they are also closely related to the words of our own Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I have read that the original plan was to write “life, liberty, and property,” but that this was overruled by Thomas Jefferson, possibly because in early America, there were many whose happiness was not dependent upon property, but rather in the freedom to go into the wilderness with nothing more than a rifle and an axe, and to hack their living from the land.

The Millennial Sabbath

“But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.” Micah 4:4 (1 Kings 4:25; Zech. 3:10)

This single verse from Micah summarizes the Millennial Age, where Jesus Christ will reign over this Earth in perfect mercy and justice. The visual picture presented here would have been comforting to an ancient agricultural people. In fact, George Washington especially loved this verse, quoting from it at least 37 times in correspondence, and saw in it his earthly hopes for the new nation. He often used it to refer to his own estate of Mount Vernon. Here, we find five very important elements in this verse:

  1. The man is pictured as sitting. It is the very picture Paul uses for the believer’s position in Christ in the first three chapters of Ephesians (see Eph. 2:4–7). It is a picture of contentment and refreshment based on the perfect provision of a God who knows each of us intimately. In John 14:3, Jesus promises to prepare a place for us; and because He knows us intimately, it will no doubt be designed and furnished with our personal tastes in mind.
  2. The man or woman is seen sitting under his or her own vine and fig tree. This speaks of personal possession. The suggestion is of a home and property that one can call his or her own. Again, the idea of restoration enters into the picture. We have all lost much in this life: innocence, family, friends, reputation, peace, and possessions. In some way, God will restore all sense of loss, and this will surely be “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).
  3. There is the suggestion of abundance. To have both a vine and a fig tree speaks of both food and drink. Note that the person is not pictured out working in the fields under a hot sun. I do not say that there will be no work to be done, but that the image created for us is one of graciously supplied abundance. Because of his love of this biblical picture, George Washington cultivated both fig trees and vines on his estate.
  4. There is a sense of safety. Not only will there be no enemies to threaten, but also, there will be no over-bearing, always-demanding government. The rule of Jesus Christ during the Kingdom Age will be the freest existence ever known to man. There will, of course, be those who will defy the law of the land, to love the Lord God, and to love one’s neighbors (Matt. 22:37–40; John 13:34; Rom. 13:8–10), but they will be dealt with immediately and fairly.
  5. Finally, there will be the greatest blessing of all, for we will live in the presence of “the Lord of hosts.” To do His will shall be our delight, and we will reign and serve Him to a level reflecting our faithfulness here and now. For one thousand years, we will live in ever-increasing joy and delight, for we will never stop learning more and more about His Person and seeing new wonders from His Word (Eph. 2:7). And this will only be the beginning of our eternal existence in realms yet to be created (Rev. 21:1–5)!

Every Hunger Satisfied

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

These words were spoken to the Pharisees, who had accused Jesus’ disciples of breaking the Sabbath by plucking heads of grain to eat. No doubt traveling with Jesus was not an easy task, and meals were often few and far between. In reality, the disciples were taking advantage of a gracious provision God had made for the poor. In every field, the corners were to be left standing so that poor people could gather food and even pick up the gleanings of the reapers (Lev. 23:22; Ruth .2:2–3).

Jesus links the hunger of the disciples to that of King David (1 Sam. 21:1–6), and then makes His main point: the Sabbath was not given to enslave men, but to provide for them. In this case, to provide for the disciples’ hunger. In Psalm 37:4 we read:

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He
shall give you the desires of your heart.”

The hunger of the body cannot compare to the many hungerings and yearnings of the soul. The Millennial Sabbath will be a time when all the yearnings of our entire lifetime will be fulfilled, as we delight in the love and compassion of our Mighty Shepherd King—the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we learn to live expectantly, in eager anticipation for that time, we will begin to experience the moment-by-moment Sabbath that is the ideal of the spiritual life. We’ll explore this theme in our next and final Sabbath post.

Keep resting,

Series Navigation
<< Part 5: The Sabbaths Reveal God’s Power to Restore What was Lost <<--->> Part 7: The Sabbath of the Soul >>