Articles‎ > ‎

Sabbath, The

By Chuck Henry
chuck.henry@sbcglobal.net
http://www.halleluyahfellowship.com
rev. 12/20/2012

 

 

Table of Contents

Importance of the Sabbath

Here’s Your Sign

Remembering the Sabbath

The Sabbath, A “Ceremonial” Law, While the Other Nine are Moral (?)

The Sabbath: Only for Jews (?)

How to Keep the Sabbath

Not Working on the Sabbath

Being an Employee and/or Owning (& Growing) Your Own Business and Having Employees

Sabbath Rest for a Drilling Rig

Do Not be Unequally Yoked Together with Unbelievers

Buying and Selling on the Sabbath

Automated Buying & Selling

Eating Out

Sports on the Sabbath

A Personal Testimony

Children Playing

How Do We Pass the Time Away on the Sabbath? (or, Our Own Pleasure on the Sabbath)

Consider How to Repent

Conclusion

 

 

 

Here’s Your Sign

 

Scripture states that the Sabbath is a sign between Yahweh and His people—

 

Exo 31:12-17

12 And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

13 Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.

14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.

15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to Yahweh. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.

17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

 

Eze 20:12-20

12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.

13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, which, if a man does, he shall live by them; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.

14 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.

15 So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, the glory of all lands,

16 because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.

17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 But I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols.

19 I am Yahweh your Mighty One: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;

20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your Mighty One.

 

To use a popular phrase: “Here’s your sign!”

 

 

 

Exo 20:8

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

 

We are told to remember the Sabbath. Maybe the reason why Yahweh chose the word “remember,” instead of “keep,” is that He knew there would be a tendency to forget it.

 

In other words, “Remember” implies that you might also forget.

 

·        We might forget who we are.

 

·        We might forget to be thankful for our blessings.

 

·        We might forget to be thankful for our life.

 

·        We might forget our Creator.

 

·        We might forget our dedication to that Creator.

 

In the same list, along with the Sabbath, we learn other precepts, which include prohibitions against murder, against adultery, against stealing, etc. This is one way forgetting the Sabbath is very dangerous – it leads to forgetting other things.

 

The very word, “remember”, here in Exodus 20:8, shows that the Sabbath was in existence even before Sinai. In fact, it has been in existence since the beginning (Gen 2:1-3).

 

Although the Sabbath has been in existence since the beginning, and we are told to “remember” it, along the way it has been forgotten. One of the major influences on the Sabbath largely disappearing from society occurred in 321 A.D., when the Roman Emperor, Constantine, by edict, changed the day of rest and worship from Sabbath to Sunday—

 

On March 7, 321, Sunday was declared the official day of rest, on which markets were banned and public offices were closed, except for the purpose of freeing slaves.

 

--“Constantine the Great and Christianity,” Wikipedia.

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great_and_Christianity

Accessed: 11/29/2012

 

(Note: This event in 321 is easily confused with another event, the Council of Nicaea, which was later, in 325, a council which Constantine called together. During the Council of Nicaea, other items of significance took place, such as the official date for Easter was established, Trinitarianism was endorsed, and the Nicene Creed created.)

 

It is a short, simple statement of fact that Constantine changed the day of rest and worship from Sabbath to Sunday, but it’s also ironic that such a small bit of history has had such a big effect.

 

Consider that Constantine took the day that our Creator decreed as hallowed and changed the day of rest and worship by his own decree. Please also consider, therefore, that this is a tradition and commandment of man that is taught for doctrine. Compare Matthew 15:1-9…

 

Mat 15:1-9

1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Yahshua, saying,

2 Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.

3 He answered and said to them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of Yahweh because of your tradition?

4 For Yahweh commanded, saying, Honor your father and your mother; and, He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.

5 But you say, Whoever says to his father or mother, Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to Yahweh --

6 then he need not honor his father or mother. Thus you have made the commandment of Yahweh of no effect by your tradition.

7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8 These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

 

The Sabbath was commanded from the beginning of time and set aside as a day of rest, but it is a day which the world has forgotten.

 

 

 

Another way in which the Sabbath has been forgotten is by the teaching that Yahweh’s Law has been abolished. Many will say that other commandments, such as no murder, no adultery, etc., are brought back over. When it comes to the Sabbath however, they insist it should be left behind.

 

The fact that the Sabbath is contained in the Ten Commandments should be reason enough to keep it, and reason enough to show that it is morally correct. But some may allege that the Sabbath commandment is different from the other 9 in the type of law that it is – by saying that it is a “ceremonial” law and that the other 9 are moral laws. Or, they may just say that it is “not on the same level as the other 9.”

 

Let us look to the Bible for our answer. In the creation week, man was created on the sixth day, and then the seventh day was set apart as the Sabbath rest day. In Mark 2:27, we find this—

 

Mark 2:27

And He [Yahshua] said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

 

Yahshua stated, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” This is proof that the Sabbath is not merely a ceremonial observance for man. The Sabbath was made for and given to man for his benefit, and his Creator commanded him to keep it; therefore, it is indeed his moral obligation to do so.

 

If the opposite were true, that is, if man was made for the Sabbath, and not the Sabbath for man, then man would have been made after the Sabbath, and his sole purpose would be to observe the Sabbath. But according to Scripture, man was made on the sixth day (Gen 1:26-31), and then the Sabbath was made on the seventh day (Gen 2:1-3); thus, the Sabbath was made for man and given to man as a day of rest.

 

q     Where does Scripture ever distinguish the Sabbath as “ceremonial” and the other 9 as “moral”? Nowhere.

 

q     Where does Scripture ever classify the fourth commandment as being any less of a commandment than the other nine? Nowhere. James 2:8-12 explains that if you break one of the commandments, you are guilty of breaking all of them.

 

q     Where does Scripture give anybody the right to divide the Ten Commandments 9 and 1? Nowhere.

 

q     As on old saying goes, “The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice.”

 

I believe if we really stop and think about it, we can see how the Sabbath commandment is indeed moral. It is morally good for us (physically, mentally, & spiritually) to cease from our labors, have a special time to worship and concentrate on our Maker, and have a special time of enjoying fellowship, all of which strengthens our moral fiber, on the special day that Yahweh has given to man.

 

Yahweh has given man this wonderful day on which to rest, recuperate, and worship his Creator, and we are told to remember it. “Remember” implies that you might forget; so, be sure to remember.

 

 

 

As a man by the name of Voy Wilks once keenly observed:

 

“All Israel, their servants, their cattle, and the Gentiles in Israel must rest. It has been said that the Sabbath was only for Jews. Are donkeys and oxen ‘Jewish’? They are to rest, even though they are not Jewish.”

 

-- How to Keep the Sabbath, Sermon Outline, Passover, 1985.

 

 

 

The importance of the Sabbath may be spoken of often by Sabbath keepers, and rightly so, but what we may not speak of often enough are the different aspects of how to keep it. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the different aspects of keeping the Sabbath holy.

 

 

 

I would like to begin this section with a personal testimony—

 

Many years ago, I worked out of Abilene, Texas, for a computer sales & service outlet, and I got dispatched on service calls to take care of clients that had computer problems. We had customers as far away as Winters, Colorado City, and Snyder (about an 85 mile radius from Abilene).

 

One time, when I went on a service call to Snyder, it was on a Friday. The day wore on … and the job wore on. The short of it is that I ended up working far into Friday night. I think it was about 3:00 A.M. that night when I arrived to my home in Cisco. Feeling terrible about it, the next day, on Sabbath, I was confessing and talking to a friend about it. His advice to me was to just not do it anymore. That was good counsel, and I appreciated it. With Yahweh’s help, I have stuck to that counsel.

 

In the Scriptures we find that all work is to be done on the 6 working days of the week and that work is to be ceased from (i.e., you are to rest) on the Sabbath—

 

Exo 20:9-11

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.

10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your Mighty One. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

11 For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

 

A comparison text to this is Genesis 2:3 —

 

Gen 2:3

Then the Mighty One blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which the Mighty One had created and made.

 

Exo 23:12

Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.

 

Deu 5:12-15

12 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Yahweh your Mighty One commanded you.

13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your Mighty One. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Mighty One brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore Yahweh your Mighty One commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

 

Notice that even the stranger was to rest. As Voy Wilks once stated:

 

“Everyone in Israel must rest from labor and business, including the Gentiles among them and the work stock. The Sabbath is a memorial of the 6 day creation.”

 

-- How to Keep the Sabbath, Sermon Outline, Passover, 1985.

 

 

 

Whether you are an employee or an employer, you must stick to remembering the Sabbath day.

 

As I once heard pointed out:

 

“The Sabbath time is time off the clock.”

 

-- Farris Wilks, in a message entitled “The Joy of the Sabbath,” Assembly of Yahweh (7th Day), Romney, Texas. c. 2005.

 

A special situation to consider when you are an employer is that your employees are your hired servants. The Sabbath commandment states that you are not to have your servants working on the Sabbath. Also, you need to be careful that your business is not conducting operations on the Sabbath.

 

I was impressed by an article written by Voy Wilks that appeared in the Sabbath Sentinel, June, 1988, entitled “Sabbath Rest for a Drilling Rig”:

 

Sabbath Rest for a Drilling Rig

By Voy Wilks

The Sabbath Sentinel, June, 1988

 

It is common knowledge that oil well drilling rigs continue operation day and night, through all kinds of weather, never ceasing until total depth is reached. A day of rest is for other people, not for drillers and rough necks. There is, however, one drilling company which closes down for the weekly Sabbath. This company is owned by a group of investors, one of whom is my son, Daniel.

 

For several years, Daniel has been interested in oil exploration, so some investors asked him to locate and buy a suitable drilling rig. Once it was located and the money was in place, Daniel told the other investors that he had one last stipulation to make.

 

“If you approve it, fine. If not, that is still fine, but I cannot join you as a partner. I’ll drop out and you can proceed without me.”

 

“Shoot! Tell us what is on your mind,” was the response.

 

“My religion calls for no work and no business for 24 hours following sunset on Friday. This means the drilling rig will never operate during those hours if I join you in this venture.”

 

“No problem,” was the answer. “We agree to this.”

 

Possibly this is the only rig operating in the state of Texas which shuts down on the Sabbath­- even though doing so requires hours of extra work. The drill stem cannot be left in the hole because of the possibility of a cave-in, in which case the drill stem may never be recovered. Once the Sabbath is past, the drill stem has to go back into the hole, using up more hours. Naturally, the number of hours needed to remove the drill stem depends on how deep the well is at the time.

 

“To observe the Sabbath hasn’t been easy,” Daniel told me. “Before accepting a drilling contract, I always advise the oil company that we rest on the seventh day. Still, it sometimes develops that people who have waited for months (even years) to begin drilling, find it difficult to wait another 24 hours, especially when a well is nearing completion. Yahweh has blessed us, however. Of the 15 wells drilled thus far, most have good production. We have set tubing in all of them. Although hundreds of rigs are idle at this time, so far, we have stayed busy.”

 

Daniel’s final comment:

“Dad, I may not be of much help at Sabbath services (actually, he plays guitar and leads singing in the worship), but one thing I can truthfully say. A lot of oil men are learning about the seventh-day Sabbath of rest.”

 

Do Not be Unequally Yoked Together with Unbelievers

 

Another factor to keep in mind is to not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

 

2 Cor 6:14-15

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

15 And what accord has Messiah with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

 

Some particularly good comments on this are from Frank Brown, in his “Search the Scriptures” Newsletter (No. 98, Mar-Apr 2009 Ed.):

 

“This applies to a union of a man or a woman in marriage, to a business partnership, to a religious affiliation, or to any other partnership or relationship that involves a converted and an unconverted partner. The unconverted one will sometimes make unscriptural demands or requests of the other, or do things that are unscriptural and expect the other to go along. We are no longer of this world or its ways, once we repent and begin our new walk with Yahshua as our example.”

 

 

 

Do not buy or sell on the Sabbath:

 

Neh 10:31

If the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt.

 

Also see…

 

Neh 13:15-22

15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.

16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?

18 Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our Mighty One bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.

20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.

21 Then I warned them, and said to them, Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you! From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.

22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my Mighty One, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!

 

Let’s take a closer look at these verses. What, exactly, was taking place in Nehemiah 13 that was profaning the Sabbath?

 

Certainly, the bringing in of the goods profaned the Sabbath – again notice v 15, which states that, “...they brought [the merchandise] into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day.” This is mentioned in connection with there being a problem with that activity on the Sabbath. That said, were there any other problems mentioned with what activities were taking place there on the Sabbath? Was it only the labor of bringing in the goods that profaned the Sabbath? Was it not also the buying and selling of the goods that profaned the Sabbath? Notice what we see in the last part of verse 15:

 

Neh 13:15b.

And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.

 

If it was only the act of bringing in the loads on the Sabbath that was wrong, and not the selling, then it looks like Nehemiah would have warned them against the bringing in of the loads while omitting the part about the selling. I am confident that Nehemiah was intelligent enough to get specific with them about which of their actions were wrong and which were okay. This is the responsibility of any good teacher.

 

Yet more evidence that there was an issue with selling is found in verses 16-17:

 

Neh 13:16-17

16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?

 

Notice the progression here:

 

  • Verse 16 states that they not only brought in their goods, but that they also then sold them on the Sabbath.

 

  • Verse 17 then states that Nehemiah contended with them about their profaning of the Sabbath, calling it an evil thing.

 

Again, if it was only the bringing in of the goods on the Sabbath that was the problem, and not the selling, then you would think that Nehemiah would’ve told them something like this:

 

“Look guys, I don’t have a problem with you selling your stuff here on the Sabbath day, it’s just that you’re waiting until the Sabbath to bring it in. If you will just make sure that you have brought it all in before the Sabbath begins, then there will be no problems with you selling it on the Sabbath.”

 

The evidence shows that it was not only the bringing in of the goods, but also the selling, that was profaning the Sabbath.

 

Automated Buying & Selling

 

In our modern age, it may be argued by some that the prohibition against buying and selling on the Sabbath stems from it causing someone to work. This, then, naturally leads down the path to the idea that automated transactions such as Internet shopping and vending machine transactions are okay, since, they say, it would not constitute work on the Sabbath for anyone. Add to that, that the Torah doesn’t specifically say, “Do not sell on the Sabbath,” and you have a recipe for justifying buying and selling on the Sabbath.

 

In answer to that, here is some further information to consider about Nehemiah.

 

Nehemiah was a mighty person of reform for Yahweh’s ways, and he was using the Torah as his guiding principle.

 

Note: Reform means making right the wrongs.

 

As well as dealing with abuses of the Sabbath, Nehemiah also made reforms in the areas of charging interest (Neh 5:1-13), marriages (Neh 13:23-27), and the priesthood (Neh 13:28-31).

 

A little further background information on Nehemiah:

 

“NEHEMIAH,” The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. (c) 1988, PC Study Bible:

 

Nehemiah’s character seems almost without a blemish. He was a man of pure and disinterested patriotism, willing to leave a position of wealth, power, and influence in the first court of the world and share the sorrows of his countrymen. He was not only noble, high-minded, and of strict integrity, but he was also possessed of great humility, kindness, and princely hospitality. In nothing was he more remarkable than in his piety, walking before his [Mighty One] with singleness of eye, seeking divine blessing and cooperation in prayer, and returning thanks to him for all his successes.

 

Not only was Nehemiah closer to the Torah time-wise than we are, but as one of Yahweh’s reformers who figures prominently in Scripture, one would think that if there’s a question on this matter, that Nehemiah’s understanding of keeping the Torah would be better than ours. Not to mention the general, overall fact that this is coming from the Bible itself, which we should be using as our guide.

 

We are not yet done with considering the evidence given in Nehemiah. Let us continue in Nehemiah 13, to verse 18:

 

Neh 13:18

Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our Mighty One bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

 

Nehemiah says that the forefathers had made the same mistakes for which he currently rebuked the people. If you have read the Bible, you know that Israel fell repeatedly into the same sins over and over again.

 

Also notice that Nehemiah says that these actions brought disastrous consequences, and that the people of Nehemiah’s day were only adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

 

Consequently, it can be seen that this is a very important issue, and we ought to take heed not to follow after the actions that were going on there.

 

What would Nehemiah’s approach have been if they had come in and set up Internet kiosks or vending machines for Sabbath purchases? In light of the information that we have already examined, how could we possibly think that Nehemiah would have been okay with this?

 

With that in mind, consider that all types of purchases are now available on the Internet at the click of a mouse. That being the case, if we were to go online and purchase, say, a car or some major appliances on the Sabbath, would this be okay? Surely not. By principle then, this also shows that we should not engage in lesser automated buying and selling on the Sabbath.

 

Once again, going back to Nehemiah 10:31, we have further verification that buying and selling is not a proper activity on the Sabbath…

 

Neh 10:31

If the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt.

 

We should remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy (Exo 20:8). Yahweh “blessed the seventh day and sanctified it” (Gen 2:3). The Sabbath is to be kept holy, that is, righteously set apart. Don’t profane it by making it like one of the other, common days of the week.

 

 

 

Once again, the Sabbath commandment states that you are not to have your servants working on the Sabbath. In the situation of eating out, your waiter or waitress, as well as the cooks, the dishwashers, and so forth, are your hired servants.

 

In addition, the buying and selling involved would also be a problem.

 

 

 

A Personal Testimony

 

I had a conversation with a friend many, many years ago, and the lyrics of a song, which my wife, Melissa, wrote were brought into our conversation. The song is a beautiful little song entitled “Today is the Sabbath Day.” The part of the song that says, “Today is the Sabbath Day, twenty-four hours of rest,” was brought up. My friend and I attended the same Assembly at that time, and he made the comment that twenty-four hours of rest really was not true at our Assembly. That comment kind of stunned me because, if that was so, then something was wrong. It is a comment that has stuck with me these many years. It’s a comment that I have re-played and re-contemplated over and over again in my mind.

 

I had to face the fact that running around drenched with sweat, trying to catch my breath, etc., is not resting. I ended up making an apology at that Assembly for my participation in such events, and I also give a personal apology for anybody I may have influenced in playing sports on the Sabbath.

 

 

 

Having stated the above with regard to sports on the Sabbath, I do think that small children should be allowed to fellowship together on the Sabbath, which would include them playing together, for this is the main way in which children fellowship.

 

However, as they grow, they should mature. Paul stated:

 

1 Cor 13:11

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 

We should also help them in this maturing process:

 

Pro 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

When the leading elders are involved in competitive sports on the Sabbath, it is hard to raise a standard for the younger members to ever reach.

 

 

 

Isaiah 58:13-14 from several translations:

 

Isa 58:13-14 (NKJV)

13 If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of Yahweh honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words,

14 Then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

 

Isa 58:13-14 (NIV)

13 If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and Yahweh’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in Yahweh, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

 

Isa 58:13-14 (RSV)

13 If you turn back your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of Yahweh honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;

14 then you shall take delight in Yahweh, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

 

Isa 58:13-14 (NASB)

13 If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of Yahweh honorable, And shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure, And speaking your own word,

14 Then you will take delight in Yahweh, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

 

Isa 58:13-14 (Amp)

13 If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of Yahweh honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words,

14 Then will you delight yourself in Yahweh, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.

 

Isa 58:13-14 (TEV)

13 Yahweh says, If you treat the Sabbath as sacred and do not pursue your own interests on that day; if you value my holy day and honor it by not traveling, working, or talking idly on that day,

14 then you will find the joy that comes from serving me. I will make you honored all over the world, and you will enjoy the land I gave to your ancestor, Jacob. I, Yahweh, have spoken.

 

Isa 58:13-14 (TLB)

13 If you keep the Sabbath holy, not having your own fun and business on that day, but enjoying the Sabbath, speaking of it with delight as Yahweh’s holy day, and honoring Yahweh in what you do, not following your own desires and pleasure nor talking idly-

14 then Yahweh will be your delight, and I will see to it that you ride high and get your full share of the blessings I promised to Jacob, your father. Yahweh has spoken.

 

With the thoughts that were just read from Scripture fresh in your mind, I would like to ask a couple of questions:

 

  • Are you keeping The Sabbath, or is it just “Saturday?” Because if it’s just “Saturday,” that may be just a day off from work, or a day off from school …or … just a day off period.

 

  • The same thing could be said of Friday night. Are you keeping The Sabbath, or is it just “Friday night?” “Friday night” may be just a night off where you don’t have to get up and go to work or school the next morning. Or, maybe it’s party night … or whatever.

 

The Sabbath is a day of worship and honor to our Creator as well as a day of rest. It is set apart from the other, common days of the week and the other, common activities of the week. It is holy.

 

Some say that the context of Isaiah 58 is limited to the Day of Atonement Sabbath, and therefore the stipulations mentioned in verses 13-14 only apply to the Day of Atonement.

 

First of all, I am not convinced that Isaiah 58:13-14 clearly refers only to the Day of Atonement. The very language that it uses, speaking of “the Sabbath,” sounds like a reference to the weekly Sabbath.

 

Even if Isaiah 58:13-14 were a reference specifically to the Day of Atonement, are we to think that observance of the weekly Sabbath is all that different than the Day of Atonement (other than the fasting component connected with the Day of Atonement)? In other words, don’t verses 13-14 describe the ingredients of Sabbath observance in general?

 

If we are going to split hairs here in Isaiah 58, why not split hairs in the same fashion in Leviticus 23:32, as it is the only verse that speaks of keeping your sabbath “from evening to evening”—

 

Lev 23:32

It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.

 

The context of this verse is clearly the Day of Atonement. And yet, should we then insist that only the Day of Atonement Sabbath is to be observed from evening to evening and that the parameters for observing the weekly Sabbath are therefore different? It should be obvious that the answer to this question is “no.” The evening-to-evening specification is a statement that the time period observed is an entire 24-hour day. Not only is the Day of Atonement Sabbath observed in this way, but also the weekly Sabbath.

 

 

 

Because the Sabbath has been so forgotten in our culture and because our world is therefore so geared to Saturday activities, being a Sabbath keeper in a non-Sabbath-keeping world can be difficult. It can be a huge step to repent from breaking the Sabbath.

 

Many times in life, we may come to the point where we need to repent of something.

 

In considering how to repent, we could compare it to David’s story. Sometimes, things can start small and grow bigger and bigger. You can become numb to a situation, all the while the situation is snowballing. This is dangerous, and it can leave you callous and unchanged.

 

One of the jobs of Yahweh’s Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Helper, or the Counselor) is to convict a person of sin, see Joh 16:7-8…

 

Joh 16:7-8

7 Nevertheless I [Yahshua] tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

 

Conviction is being convinced of an error and compelled to admit the truth. When true conviction of sin comes into the experience of a person and his attitude is one of sorrow for sin and a desire to turn from his sin, he is ready to repent.

 

As it is the job of Yahweh’s Spirit to bring conviction of sin, we should be very careful not to quench that…

 

1 Thes 5:19

Do not quench the Spirit.

 

This is something we’ve probably all been guilty of at one time or another.

 

Let us be aware that the law shows us what sin is—

 

Rom 7:7b

“…I would not have known sin except through the law…”

 

It’s compared to looking into the mirror that James tells us about—

 

Jam 1:22-25

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;

24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

 

When we see our lives reflected in that mirror, and something is going on that doesn’t match up to what the law says, it shows a need for change. We need to be very careful how we handle that. Not only does it reflect on us personally, but it also reflects on the Messiah…

 

Gal 2:17

But if, while we seek to be justified by Messiah, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Messiah therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!

 

It takes some courage, and it takes some fortitude to stand and do what we know to be right. We need to help each other do those things – see Heb 3:12-15…

 

Heb 3:12-15

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living Mighty One;

13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

14 For we have become partakers of Messiah if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

15 while it is said: Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.

 

 

 

In a way, it may seem odd that Yahweh would place such special emphasis on one day in the week. In our world, which is not a Sabbath-keeping world, it may seem a complicated thing to understand and do. And yet, really, it is a simple concept. It may not always be easy, but it is simple.

 

Will standing for Yahweh always be easy or convenient? I think most of you can answer that. The answer is no.

 

Will standing for Yahweh always make you popular? The answer is no.

 

Will Yahweh & Yahshua be faithful friends and guardians when we stand? The answer is yes.

 

To sum up:

 

  • Remember the Sabbath

 

  • Don’t work on the Sabbath

 

  • Don’t buy or sell on the Sabbath

 

  • Don’t seek your own pleasure

 

  • Guard your topics of conversation on Sabbath

 

  • Do your preparing on the 6th day in order to rest on the 7th

 

  • Congregate with others on the Sabbath

 

  • Rest and rejoice on the Sabbath

 

Yahweh has given man this wonderful day on which to rest, recuperate, and worship his Creator. And He tells us that it is a sign between Him and His people. Man is always looking for a sign, and here it is! Here’s your sign!

 

Remember who you are. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. And remember that, “remember,” suggests that you might forget; so, be sure to remember.

 

&

 

Comments