A Defense of the Sabbath
And on the SEVENTH DAY God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the SEVENTH DAY from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the SEVENTH DAY, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
It is the purpose of this work to--
1. Establish that the sabbath is the seventh day of the week; and,
2. Establish that it ought to be observed today.
This is not a defense of Seventh Day Adventism (a cult founded by false prophetess Ellen G. White).
1. THE SABBATH IS THE SEVENTH DAY OF THE WEEK.
Genesis 2:2-3 teaches us that FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD, long before Moses ever received the law on mount Sinai, the sabbath has been the SEVENTH DAY of the week. God specifically ENDED his work on the SEVENTH DAY, RESTED on the SEVENTH DAY, BLESSED the SEVENTH DAY and SANCTIFIED it. There is actually a blessed, sanctified day of the week. All days are not the same. ONE has been set apart--THE SEVENTH DAY. The sabbath is the seventh day, has always been the seventh day, and always will be the seventh day. No other day is the sabbath of the Lord. It is a perpetual memorial of what God did when he created the heavens and the earth. No where in the scriptures does it ever say that the sabbath ever changed from the SEVENTH day. It can't--God rested on the SEVENTH day from his work in creation. That was a one time act. The sabbath is the SEVENTH day.
The sabbath is an ancient observance. Even Adam had it in that perfect world. It was by no means a burden, but a blessing. Two thousand five hundred (2,500) years after that first sabbath, God commanded the children of Israel to remember the sabbath. It was not to be forgotten.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8
The sabbath gives us time to rest and to acknowledge and remember our Maker. It keeps in mind that this world is the work of his hands. He made it all in six days and then rested. He made the air, the trees, the water you drink, the food you eat, the ground that you till. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. The sabbath is a memorial of God's work. No other day but the seventh day is the weekly sabbath of the Lord.
God specifies what ordinal day the sabbath is. It is the seventh/7th day of the week. It is the only day that God actually blessed and sanctified. The Bible teaches that there is a special day of the week. A day of blessing. It is not the first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, or sixth day. It is the SEVENTH day.
2. THE SABBATH OUGHT TO BE OBSERVED.
Before Moses received the law on mount Sinai (Exodus 20), Israel was reminded to keep the sabbath in chapter 16. In Exodus 31:12-17, we receive more information on the importance of the sabbath--..IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND YOU throughout your generation; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THAT DOTH SANCTIFY YOU. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you...IT IS A SIGN between me and the children of Israel for ever: ***FOR*** in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the SEVENTH DAY he rested, and was refreshed.
The sabbath is about you and God and who you are to each other. You belong to him and he is the one that sanctifies you. The sabbath is holy to you. It is a sign.. It is a remembrance that God made heaven and earth in six days and on the SEVENTH DAY he rested and was refreshed.
I did not always know this. In fact, I once published an ignorant article, written by myself, essentially defending sabbath-breaking. I was echoing the teachings of the false church. The false church has been chief in the trespass of obscuring the meaning of the sabbath and its observance. She says that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the sabbath. In light of the preceding scriptures, this is an obvious heresy. It may be a widespread belief, but it is an heresy nonetheless. It flies right in the face of God's crystal clear words. The leaders of this people do cause them to err. I'm glad that I came out of the false church a few years ago. Now, by God's grace, I can move on. My apologies must go to those that I have corrupted or confirmed in their false belief because of my own deception. Please forgive me.
Today we are not under the severity of the law of Moses. The disciples plucked ears of corn to eat on the sabbath and Christ healed on the sabbath. This angered the religious leaders. Christ answered that man was not made for the sabbath, THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN. The sabbath is a weekly rest for man, his family, his servants, and his animals. The sabbath is a day to rest and do good. Expect a blessing if you observe it unto the Lord. When I first began observing the sabbath, I didn't really know what to do with myself. I wondered if it would be death. But now I can truly say that I call "the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable..." (Isaiah 58:13-14). I call it "my weekly vacation".
By its very nature, observing the sabbath is a way to remember and worship God as Creator. Each seventh day when we rest we acknowledge that God rested from his work in creation. This is not something relegated to the Old Testament saints. Worshipping God as Creator is part of the everlasting gospel to mankind found in Revelation 14:6-7 at the end of the world--And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that MADE heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
It is important to remember God as our Maker. Observing the weekly sabbath allows us to do that.
This truth also means that we work SIX DAYS PER WEEK, NOT FIVE. When you rest on the sabbath, a whole wonderful day of rest, you are ready on the first day to get back to work (though sometimes I long for another Friday because I so enjoy the week end). I like to get up early Sunday mornings and go out into the yard and tend to my plants and projects. It is a day to tie up loose ends and prepare for a productive week. I LOVE IT.
Our "experiments" with the sabbath began when I read in Luke about the day of preparation. My daughter and I hurried about and prepared so that we would not have to cook on the sabbath. We read from the law where it said to bake that ye will bake today and seethe that ye will seethe (on the sixth day). In other words, don't do any cooking on the seventh day. We enjoyed the experiment and Hannah told her father that we would always do it. I thought that she was a little rash, but soon came to realize that it would be a permanent part of our lives though I wasn't sure how it was supposed to work. It was beautiful at first, but then I didn't know what to do with myself. "Could something of life be turned into death to us?" I wondered. Then one Saturday, the sump pump went out and we had flooding in the basement. I wondered why it happened on the sabbath. I went to work on getting up the water, etc. That day actually turned out to be a relief to me because I saw that if I have to do something, I can do it. I do not willingly schedule workers or go shopping on a Saturday but if something has to be done, I will do it. That day is always clear on my calendar. When the weather is warm, we spend much of the day in the yard (oftentimes nodding off). I've even created a little portable desk with papers, pen, Bible, and readings to take with me as I move from place to another.
The sabbath should be observed on the seventh day (called "Saturday" in English). It should be a day of rest and holiness. It is a time to read the scriptures, remember God as Creator, reflect on God's blessings and to expect good things in accordance with 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.