The Joys of the Sabbath
By Beth, Jan 13 2016 10:37PM
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
My family and I had a lovely day this past Sunday. We prepared for Sunday by doing everything that needed to be done on Saturday (including tidying the house and cooking meals only needing reheated on Sunday.) Then, after worshiping God at church, we were able to enjoy His goodness and blessings the rest of the day without too much hassle. It was so refreshing for my family to spend the day focusing on good, lovely things and not on errands and bills and housework! We all agreed we felt so much more prepared to face the week ahead on Monday!
I’ve mentioned the importance of the Ten Commandments (the LORD God’s covenant with His people) on this blog in several posts. And it seems natural, doesn’t it, that if one is truly a follower of God, one wouldn’t want to kill anyone, or steal from them, or tell lies about them, etc… but one commandment that seems largely neglected and almost entirely overlooked in this day and age is the fourth:
Deuteronomy 5:12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
Sanctify means to set apart; so we are to set the Sabbath day apart from the rest. It is to be a unique day of revisiting our gratitude for God’s many blessings; a day of rest in which we sit back and survey all that we have to be thankful for and acknowledge God in all things.
I think I haven’t really given the Sabbath the honor it was due, set it apart in the way God instructed. You see, the Sabbath is for us (Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath) and so, we have to ask ourselves: do we really believe God knows best? Or do we think we know best and God's commandments to us are unnecessary and irrelevant?
I wonder how many stress-related illnesses we could spare ourselves if we truly began honoring the Sabbath. I’ll tell you what: I mean to keep the Sabbath regularly and find out!
For those of you who dispute that the Sabbath could be held on a Sunday, I offer you the following Scriptural evidence:
Leviticus 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
Numbers 29:35 On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein:
Luke 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
There is much prophecy in the Scriptures concerning the eighth day. Even the circumcision rite was performed on the eighth day. It was a physical symbol (and prophecy) of the removal of the spiritual barrier between man and God. Jesus Christ showed that He removed that barrier when He rose from the tomb and defeated death to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that He was, in fact, God in the flesh -- come face to face with us.
The seventh day is Saturday; therefore, the eighth is Sunday. And Sunday is also the first day of the week!
Here are some examples of the early church meeting on Sunday from the New Testament:
Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
If there is still debate over the day of Sabbath observance, let us consider this passage:
Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Romans 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
So let us not judge our brethren, but rather keep the Sabbath as we feel led. What is truly important is the keeping of the Sabbath.
God loves us, and He wants us to be blessed – and He wants us to have much-needed rest!
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The Sabbath is a day when we can truly take Paul’s words to heart:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
And on that day, most of all, be sure that:
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Give it a try -- I promise you, it will change your life!
Thank you thank you thank you! It is easy to forget in the busyness of life that God wants us to have our rest. For the last two weeks, I've tried very hard to keep the Sabbath and focus on the Lord while giving my body and mind a rest. Both times it has been a blessing. : ) Thank you for the encouragement in listening to the Lord in this regard.
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