April 19, 2019

KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.(Exodus 20:8-11)

Why did God establish this day of Rest called Sabbath Day  a day that He set aside not to do any work, and He blessed the day and made it holy? From Genesis 2:2-3 we read ” 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.”  From this scripture the Lord made the seventh day holy because He had finished the work of creation and rested that day. Thus the children of Israel was now made to enter into this covenant with God as his special people. What should they use the day for or rather what should they avoid doing and why? I think of work as something that engages every part of one’s physical being. Because of the kind of work I do, I have to put my whole self into it, prepare the subject to teach, deliver it to them, grade the papers, create time for one on one mentoring, and this task involves all my emotions and energy and usually my thoughts are overcrowded with this daily activities.. I also know that many other professions go through the same exercise everyday, Therefore God that created us in His image knows there should be a day set aside to forget about the work we do (whatever kind of work) and reflect on the Creator that made everything possible. So what should we do on the Sabbath day? I believe God made it so that we can direct our thoughts and actions towards Him throughout that day. One can only go through this spiritual exercise when one’s mind is free, that is, not clogged up with daily activities. It is not too much to spend one day in a week to come to God with heart of thanksgiving, worshiping and praising Him.

Whatever we do outwardly (physically) needs our spiritual strength to carry it through as we do not have strengths of our own. Therefore when we dwell in the presence of the Lord on that day, reading the scriptures and meditating on the word, worshiping the Lord, our spiritual strength is renewed and the energy we need to carry through is given to us. Psalm 16:11 says “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Therefore there are so many benefits that one can  derive from spending quality time in the presence of God because daily activities do not allow us to do this. So Sabbath day is meant to be spent on things that will bring glory to God. For the children of Israel, it was Saturday that they observed as the Holy Day. But since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ falls on first day of the week which is Sunday, the restful day called Sabbath has been observed on Sundays by some Christians both Jews and Gentiles, though some churches still hold on to Saturdays and many Jews observe it on Saturdays. Exodus 31:16-17 says “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 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.” Though the Jews had problem with Jesus when He performed many miracles on the Sabbath days, Jesus had to explain to them as good deeds should not be considered as defiling the Sabbath. Mark 2:27-28 says “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

Jesus said it the way it is, “Sabbath was made for man to be refreshed and to worship God.” Either Saturday or Sunday, use the day to thank God for all His blessings on mankind, for providing rain and sunshine, which makes food available, and also for good health. Spend the day fellowshipping with other believers and then endeavor to do “good things” such as visiting the sick, or the old people in order to give hope to them.. May the Lord bless all we do in the name of Jesus, and bring more souls through us into His kingdom in Jesus Name, Amen. Remain in His Love!

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