Keep the Sabbath holy

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.

With scripture like Isaiah 58:13, 14 the Jews had taken the Sabbath very seriously. I have been told the volumes of rules and regulations concerning the Sabbath surpass any other topics. This matter was so important to them that it was the first bone of contention between the Jews (the Pharisees and Sadducees) and Jesus. The friction started with this and then took on to Jesus calling Himself Son of God and God Himself.

Today also this topic causes great debate even among Christians. Some will claim Saturday to be the Sabbath and some will okay Sunday being the Sabbath. Today we who live in cities can take a holiday during the week but those in villages and doing occupation like farming, diary or breeding cattle these people do not have a concept of off day. Neither plants or animals abide by Sabbath, thus can God hold anything against them? Surely God knew that before made the law.

Jesus was always accused of breaking the Sabbath. When asked people say He was called the Lord of the Sabbath so He was exempted. That would prove Jesus false for He Himself said He was man (son of man), He abided by the Law and Bible also says He was without blemish. Therefore the problem is with our understanding.

Let us look at the Command concerning Sabbath - it states 'Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy'.

If we look at the Bible there are Sabbath day and Sabbath year. There are also certain days of the year like the 1st day and the 8th of the seventh month which was a Sabbath. Even the other important feast like the Passover and Pentecost (Harvest feast) were considered a high Sabbath or holy Sabbath.

The Sabbath was both a Commandment as well as a statute. People mistake the Commandment with the statute. People mistake the Commandment with the statute. Jesus kept the Commandment but did not keep the statute. The Jews mistook the statute and the Commandment, therefore were angry with Jesus.

When God created the world in 6 days and rested the 7th day, the word day used here does not necessary mean 24hr day but a period of time. Time is a factor relative to the point of observation. The records in Genesis chapter 1 are very accurate scientifically; they have been proved by many renowned people with Biblical and scientific background.

We need to understand the statute of resting on the seventh day is given by the Lord so that we can understand the Sabbath. Jesus is called the Lord of the Sabbath because He truly understood and executed His rest in the Holy Spirit and promise of the Father in Heaven. Jesus did not try to do more than what He needed to do; He did His task and let the Holy Spirit take over.

The Command of keeping the Sabbath holy is more than what people think. It is not about a calendar day, or week or year, it is about a period when we need to rest in the Lord. The times we doubt in the Lord even though we are told He will do a task or He will provide, we land up breaking 4th Commandment.

We will understand the statute of Sabbath more with the Commandment of circumcision which also was given by the Lord to Abraham and then to Moses. This was not really a Commandment but a statute which gives us the true understanding of circumcising our hearts during baptism. When man does not know the clear definition of heart or inner-man, it is just impossible for him to understand what circumcising it would mean. It is only by understanding natural circumcision we understand spiritual circumcision. Therefore when the understanding came the statute was not to be continued. The disciples were led by the Holy Spirit to stop the natural circumcision.

In today's message the Lord is telling us the times when we try our own even though the Lord has spoken to us directly, or by Word, or through someone, we will be sinning against Him and if we look at the position it takes on the 10 Commandments it is greater than lying or stealing. But those who abide by the Sabbath the Lord will prosper them in all ways, for the Lord takes delight in them.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, there are many time we read your Word which tells us You will take care of our problems yet we land up worrying about them and not trusting You. Lord we ask You forgiveness for those moments and ask for your help and grace to abide in You and take refuge under your wings...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference Scriptures ]
Exodus 20:8 - Remember the sabbath day , to keep it holy.

Exodus 35:1-3
1 And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.
2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

Leviticus 23:24 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

Leviticus 25:4 - But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

Matthew 12:1-14
1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Luke 13:12-16
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

Luke 14:1-5
1 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

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