Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Ten Commandments: The Sabbath

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-12)

This is a wonderful command. It tells us to work six days and rest one. God did not say, “Work five and rest two.” God gave Himself as the reason for this pattern by His own example. He worked six days and rested one.

The Church today is divided over which day is the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week or the first day. However, the argument is generally over which day we are to gather together for worship, not which day we should rest. The command does not speak to the subject of worship. It speaks only to the subjects of work and rest.

The New Testament reinforces this emphasis in every instance where Jesus is called to heal on the Sabbath. The question was working, not worship. Here are two complaints:

“Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’” (Luke 13:14)

“The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?’” (Mark 2:24)

Jesus’ answers to these two complaints were:

“The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’” (Luke 13:15-16)

“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’” (Mark 2:27)

Healing on the Sabbath is not violating the Sabbath, and the Day of Rest was made for the good of man. Man was not made to be a servant of the Day of Rest.

Jesus is the Lord of the Day of Rest.

Are you violating the Day of Rest? Read Isaiah 58.

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