On the Sabbath

A spiritual undercurrent recently in our household has been the knitting together of the ‘Old Testament’ and the ‘New Testament’ into a more seamless garment of belief.  This past Friday evening seemed to be the perfect time for Jeff and me to discuss what the Sabbath is supposed to be. He suggested I get out a notebook, look up all the major verses pertaining to keeping the Sabbath and to write out the chapters and the basic meaning of each section. I am thankful for the leadership he has shown!

So here is what we’ve learned thus far:

  • The Sabbath is for the man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27), meaning, God made the Sabbath commandment so that his people would not get stupid like the pagans and work themselves to death (or their animals or their servants.) See Deuteronomy 6.
  • It is a sign between God and His people. Exodus 31.
  • It is a COMMANDMENT. Deuteronomy 6 and Exodus 20 do not contain the 9 commandments and the one suggestion.
  • It happens on the seventh day, from sunset to sunset.
  • The Sabbath will continue and all of Creation will participate in it. (Isaiah 66)
  • OT prophets had a lot to say on profaning the Sabbath, one of the major reasons Israel went into exile!
  • As believers living in a majority non-believing country, we are not to engage in commerce with others on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 10)
  • Jesus had much to say (and do!) on the Sabbath. From what little we do know already, He was attacking the multitude of man-made rules surrounding Sabbath observance rather than telling folks to disobey God’s commands.
  • The most interesting part of this study for me was noticing how the Sabbath was not necessarily a day of worship. There were ‘Sabbath rests’ incorporated into the feasts (Lev. 23) but each 7th day was not always a time to meet in a congregation, sing songs and listen to someone teach for an hour. How did we get this? I’d be interested in how the synagogue system developed, because in Acts, you see Paul going there on the Sabbath to teach the gathered people. Meetings for worship as described in the Corinthians epistles and so forth did not specify a day, only “when you gather together.”
  • We do not see an abrogation from Scripture that moved our Sabbath from the seventh day to the first.

For now, we are weighing these observations and seeing how to act. It seems clear, but we are waiting for some more Spirit-inspired guidance on how to obey. I especially liked this article from a group of Messianic believers on what they do on the Sabbath.

My immediate concern, as a WOHW (Work Outside the Home Wife) is how to juggle getting all the housework, shopping and cooking done after subtracting the precious waking hours between Friday and Saturday evening. Jeff was helpful in suggesting we save up our leftovers for that time. J If God wants us to obey Him in hallowing the Sabbath, He will grant us the practical planning tips.

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5 Responses to “On the Sabbath”


  1. 1 Kristie December 7, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Its funny you post this, over the past few weeks, God has been leading me to observing Sabbath! A couple of months ago, I read No Ordinary Home by Carol Brazo. It was wonderful, and it has suggestions on how to go about implementing Sabbath. Part of it is learning a rhythm to your week to get things done in time. We are slowly working towards this 🙂

    I am also doing research on Biblical feasts, and it has been interesting. here are a couple of websites to check out that might be of interest :

    http://www.jewfaq.org/index.htm which could give a little insight to the varying Jewish views on Sabbath, and

    http://www.eliyah.com/sabbath.htm

    http://www.biblicalholidays.com/sabbath.htm

  2. 2 cbrunette December 7, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Fun to see God working in other on the same things at the same time!

    Thank you for the links, too. You know, I’m pretty wary of shouldering many of the traditions that surround the Sabbath that come to us through modern Jewish practice. It seems rather codified, down to what you should cook for the meal and such! [Mind you, I LOVE Challah bread!]

    Maybe this deserves another post! 🙂

    ~Anna

  3. 3 Kristie December 8, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    yes, I have to agree. I believe that it should be far more relaxed. “No Ordinary Home” describes a more “laid back” Sabbath. 🙂

  4. 4 thywordistruth December 26, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Anna,

    I think you’ll enjoy my current post which deals with the Sabbath and would be interested in your response to it:

    http://thywordistruth.wordpress.com/2007/12/26/sabbath-rest-vs-sabbath-day-is-there-a-distinction/

    I’ll also check out the links you posted.

    Lord bless,

    Jim

  5. 5 jenniemo4jesus April 26, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I have enjoyed reading your comments from several years ago. I know I have come to this discussion fairly late. 🙂 I just wanted to say I have been blessed by being raised as a Sabbath-keeper and have in the last few years been convicted by the Spirit to prepare more ahead of time and to prepare for it with joy and expectation instead of stressing out in my preparations last minute. This has helped alot. Here is a website that may be of interest and help to someone searching: http://www.sabbathtruth.com Hope you all have a blessed day!


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