Sunday, August 5, 2007

Remember the Sabbath, To Keep It Holy...

After years of neglecting to honor the Sabbath, God has revealed to me the err of my ways. I never really thought much about the "Sabbath." I've always been taught that you shouldn't go to work on Sundays, and for the most part I haven't, but if my employer did ask me to come in, it didn't really bother me too much. I think it was one of those commandments that I just didn't take very seriously. It seemed old-fashioned not to do anything on the Sabbath, I mean not even housework. Growing up, we weren't allowed to do laundry or iron on Sundays, but I always thought it was just an old-fashioned tradition my mom held. As I got older and left for college, I decided that anything was fair game on Sundays. Thus, I totally abandoned keeping a day of rest.

Some of you may be thinking, "Sunday is not necessarily equivalent to the Sabbath." Because I have always been taught and believed that it was the spirit of the law that we kept, that the whole point was to have a day of rest, I decided that it would be ok to celebrate the Sabbath on Sundays, as it is a day that we already set aside for honoring God. I'm still determining how I feel about the role of many of the Old Testament laws and would appreciate any comments you have on the subject.

As for honoring the Sabbath, there can be no debate.

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.

Exodus 31:13
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

Exodus 31:14
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Exodus 31:15
Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Isaiah 58:13,14
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

And there are many, many more verses that talk about the Sabbath. It's amazing to me how I could fail to obey the Lord in this area for so long. If you continue to research verses regarding the Sabbath you will find that there are blessings for honoring it and curses for dishonoring it. I definitely do not want to bring down God's wrath on myself or my family! I'd much prefer His blessings!

I've just started trying to do a better job of keeping the Sabbath and I think the Lord is still teaching me how to obey Him more fully. So far, I try to get the house clean and dinner prepped, clothes ironed and laid out on Saturdays. I still make the bed and clean up after my family (dishes, put away clothes, etc.) but I really try not to do anything strenuous. I don't go out to eat because I think doing so would demand that others have to work to supply my "need."

I don't want anyone to think that I feel that I have "arrived" and I do not boast in what I am doing. If anything I should be ashamed that after all these years of being a Christian and even attending Bible College, I still failed to honor God in this respect. As for the day that the Sabbath should be kept on and all that we should do or not do, I'm still working that one out through prayer and study.

(BTW,I quoted from the King James Version simply because the language is more beautiful.)


Hannah said...

Mark 2:27
"And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:"
The KJV Strong's Version
another version reads, "the sabbath was made to benefit the man, and not the man to benefit the sabbath."
I think a lot of the curses of not honoring the sabbath, we bring upon ourselves by not resting. Think of how many illnesses are stress related or induced or how the lack of sleep lowers our immune system. Our human bodies weren't designed to run continuously for 7 days a week.
Good post, I enjoyed reading it. I haven't arrived either on the subject, but am trying!

New Mom said...

Yes Hannah, you definitely have a point there. My sister was getting all kinds of un-identifiable illness all because of her high stress load. She was recovering from a divorce and it was very difficult. I don't think she was making time for a day of rest and it was taking it's toll.

Melissa said...

Wow, excellent post, and VERY convicting! I do believe that the Lord has been convicting me in this area as well. Sunday's for me are usually the most busy because of church and all. However, I really fail to recognize the true meaning of the Sabbath. This should be a day to really worship God and rest. I always dread Sunday's after church because my day is just too packed. If I do make time for a nap (rest), I wake up in a panic for things I really needed to get done.

Thank you for reminding us to recognize the Sabbath and to keep it Holy. Bless you for that.

Melissa :D