Keeping the Sabbath day holy is one of the “Ten Commandments” (number four to be exact) but perhaps one of the most neglected. Compassion for God’s people poured over me today as I sat in a filled church this morning (Sunday), because I can’t help to think that the Christian church as a whole is missing the mark in this regard. God loves His people so much and has so much more for them than just Sunday morning “worship.” True worship is a way of life, not an upbeat praise song. And I often wonder of myself, does my life set to “mute” example that I am a disciple of Christ? Am I following God so closely that I am doing what I can to walk how Jesus walked? And if Jesus is my Messiah, my Savior, don’t I too want what Ruth cried out to Naomi (Ruth 1:16): Where you go, I will go, and where you live, I will live, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. So to Yeshua, Jesus, Where You go (even to the ends of the Earth), I will go, where You live (in Your Father’s house), I will live, Your people (Israel), will be my people, and your God, Abba (Father), will be my God.
The Big Picture
The Bible is a covenant book, a cosmic love story about the creating God dwelling among His people (Genesis 3:8). It is the story of redemption, the story of a loving Savior, Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Messiah), who, at the perfect moment in history came into the world, not to condemn the world (John 3:17), but to save the world. This saving, this salvation, is offered to all who accept Yeshua as the LORD of their life, who believe in Him (Acts 16:30-31). And our great joy is that in by believing in Jesus, who is the Word (John 1:1,14), we have eternal life (John 3:16)!
When you heard the message of truth, the gospel (good news) of your salvation, and when you believed in Him (Yeshua), you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
This inheritance is not only of eternal life, but of eternal life with God dwelling among us (Revelation 21:3-4). At that time, we will be given a new heart (Ezekiel 11:19-20) to follow God’s ways and directions, to go where He goes, to live where He lives, and to be His people (Ruth 1:16). Praise God that we have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14, above) who the Father sent to teach us all things and remind us of everything that Jesus, Yeshua has said (John 14:26).
And what did Yeshua say?
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.” John 14:15
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him. This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep Him commands. Now His commands are not a burden, because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:1-5
And Praise God that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), and that we are not saved by works, or by keeping the commands!
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift–not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Paul writes that we were created for good works, not to be saved by them, but to walk in them.
Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Are we walking humbly with our God today? Are we seeking to follow his directions and draw near to Him (James 4:8)?
Keeping the Sabbath
On the sixth day, God created man, male and female (Genesis 1:27, 31).
By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from His work of creation. (Genesis 2:2-3)
Did God need to rest because He was tired? He is God! The Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27-28), a beautiful gift of rest for us to meet with God and enjoy His presence. In the book of Ezekiel, God declares the Sabbaths to be a sign between He and us, so that we may know that He is God (Ezekiel 20:12, 20). But often we put aside this sign, or we have not yet been told about it. Perhaps we’ve been told that Sunday, as the Lord’s Day (Resurrection Day) has replaced the Sabbath. Or maybe we think the calendars have been changed from beginning on Sunday (Day 1, Saturday as Day 7) to beginning on Monday (Day 1, Sunday as Day 7). Regardless (and if any of these thoughts have crossed your mind, check out the links below), the Seventh Day, the Sabbath Day, is to be set apart as Holy, as a sign between our God and us, His people.
If you are married, turn your hands over and look at your palms. If you wear a ring as a sign of the covenant between you and your spouse, you most likely have it on your 7th finger (counting from the right). In a similar way, the Sabbath day is a covenant sign between us and our God. If we do not keep the Sabbath day holy, we are missing out on a shining, sparkling, beautiful reminder of God’s covenant love for us. This covenant is a choice relationship both parties have agreed to participate in, which is why it is so special. Let’s not overlook the importance of this day any longer!
Surely, this is not meant by any means to sound condemning, but hopefully, encouraging! God has made a date with us on the seventh day, so let’s meet Him there! The Bible has much to say about the Sabbath, the most important of which is “do not work” (Exodus 20:8-11). Rest in Him on this day. Seek Him. Pray to Him. Read His Word, He is the Word! Does this mean you should neglect to meet together (Hebrews 10:24-25) on Sunday or Wednesday or any other day of the week? Not at all! But of all the days, the Seventh day God set apart as Holy, whether we acknowledge it or not. And we are called to “Be holy, because the LORD our God is holy” (Leviticus 19:1). “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Rest in Him.
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
In Examination of a Saturday/Seventh-Day Sabbath Correlation – by Ariel ben-Lyman HaNaviy
Keeping the Sabbath: Scripture References:
- Genesis 3:8 => Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
- John 3:17 => For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
- Acts 16:30-31 => Then he escorted them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.”
- John 1:1,14 => In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 3:16 => For God loved the world in his way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
- Revelation 21:3-4 => Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself with be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.
- Ezekiel 11:19-20 => And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, so they may follow My statues, keep my ordinances, and practice them. Then they will be My people,e and I will be their God.”
- Ruth 1:16 => But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
- John 14:26 => But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit–the Father will send Him in My name–will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
- Romans 8:1 => Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,
- James 4:8 => Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!
- Genesis 1:27,31 => So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.
- Mark 2:27-28 => Then He told them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, thee Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
- Ezekiel 20:12, 20 => I also gave them My Sabbaths to serve as a sign between Me and them, so they will know that I am the LORD who sets them apart as holy. . . Keep My Sabbaths holy, and they will be a sign between Me and you, so you may know that I am the LORD your God.
- Exodus 20:8-11 => Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work–you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreign who is within your gates. For the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
- Hebrews 10:24-25 =>And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not trying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
- Leviticus 19:1 => The LORD spoke to Moses: “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.