Categorized | Sabbath, Sabbath Observance

Sabbath In The Bible

Another day another post, the Sabbath in the bible. It is easy to argue based on philosophy etc when discussing the Sabbath but at the end of the day our rule of faith should be the bible.

Other areas of study have their place but everything should be tested by the bible and if not in line with what the bible says then it should be abandoned.

The first occurrence of the Sabbath is found in the creation story in the book of Genesis. Genesis 2:2 says “On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work”. The word rested in this passage is a translation of the verb form of the word “shabbat” which can also mean to “cease”.

It is therefore clear to me that the Sabbath was instituted even before the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. The Jews were keeping the Sabbath even before Sinai. It is a permanent institution that is to be with us to the end of time. In fact the book of Isaiah said the Sabbath will be kept in heaven and the new earth.

It is interesting that when Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20 says remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. I think God recognized that the Jews during their exile may have forgotten the Sabbath and needed to be reminded. While the remembrance may also apply to the future I think it is also a reminder of a forgotten institution.

All through the Old Testament we see the Jews keeping the Sabbath and being reminded if they had forgotten to keep the Lord’s day. The prophets warned the people about the dangers of not keeping holy the Sabbath day.

In fact one of the reasons the Israelites were taken into exile was because they had failed to keep holy the Sabbath. Surely an institution of such importance could not have been temporary.

As I have already said the book of Isaiah actually says we will keep the Sabbath in heaven. Therefore the idea that the Sabbath ended on the cross has no merit. How else could we talk of keeping the Sabbath in heaven when allegedly Christ had abolished it.

In fact Christ who actually kept the Sabbath while on earth and who made it a custom to visit the synagogue every Sabbath said “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it”. The Decalogue will never be abolished according to Christ.

The Sabbath is actually a wonderful gift of love from a loving God to his beloved children. The Sabbath is not a burden but something to rejoice about and to welcome with a smile.

It is a divine appointment with a God who loves us so much. Why would anyone not want to keep such an appointment. We ought to be excited about meeting God  on the Sabbath. It should bring a smile on our face.

The Sabbath in the bible is not a burden but a delight and the book of Nehemiah actually calls on the Jews to celebrate the Sabbath. They were told to prepare good food and not to treat it as a day for grief.

In the New Testament there are various texts that show Christ and his disciples keeping the Sabbath holy. There is no mention of any plan to abolish the Sabbath.

In fact Christ urged his disciple to pray their fleeing from Jerusalem during the coming siege should not be on a Sabbath or winter. This shows that Christ never planned to abolish the Sabbath and expected his disciples to keep it after he left the earth.

The keeping of the Sabbath after Christ left is found in various verses where the apostles are shown observing the Sabbath. In fact the Church initially continued to worship in synagogues in its early stages. Christianity was more of a Jewish sect as you read the New Testament.

In the book of Revelation we see language that is directly quoting the creation story asking us to worship the creator of earth and sea. This is the same language that is used when referring to the Sabbath in the Old Testament.

The Sabbath calls upon us to worship God who is a creator.

In the video below Pastor Kenneth Cox preaches on the Sabbath in the Bible.

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