Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Exodus 20:10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. [sanctified it, set it apart and made it holy] And in :8 God is saying to us to KEEP it that way. We are not to defile the day by doing our work on it, RATHER we are to observe the day in a way that is pleasing to God and follow the example He set from the very beginning in:
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The words “rested” can be understood as “sabbathed”
1) to cease, desist, rest
2) (Qal) to keep or observe the sabbath
Related Word: from H7673
God did not need to literally rest from His work, but He did cease from His Work, the Creation Business and He Sabbathed
A day of rest is then to be understood for us as:
A day of ceasing from our work
Most often translated “ceased”
Nehemiah 6:3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease [same two words as work and rested in Genesis 2:2-3] while I leave it and go down to you?”
So in that vein, let’s look at the second iteration of the 10 Commandments in:
Deuteronomy 5:12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
Deuteronomy 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Deuteronomy 5:14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
Deuteronomy 5:15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
Exodus 6:6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
Exodus 6:7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Leviticus 23:7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary [KJV: servile] work on it.[same word as bondage in Exodus 6:6] The work that we do on the six days has a connotation of bondage, of having to do these physical acts to live, these burdens of life.
Nehemiah 13:15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.
Nehemiah 13:16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 13:17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?
Nehemiah 13:18 Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
Nehemiah 13:19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.
Nehemiah 13:20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.
Nehemiah 13:21 Then I warned them, and said to them, “Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!” From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.
Nehemiah 13:22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!
Today, the Sabbath is a day that we are freed from our day to day mundane and worldly necessities. We do not do customary work, this work of servility, but this is not to be understood as only the really hard work, but ALL of OUR works.
Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,
If we are not to be our own work and our own pleasures and our own ways and speaking our own words – what are we to be doing then?
God’s work and our God’s pleasures and God’s ways and God’s words
It is a day of ceasing from our own things and doing God’s
You noticed I said that we are to be doing work on the Sabbath?
It is a day of resting as it were from our regular work
Here is my simple definition of Work: effort over time
A day for doing the things of God; the work of God
It is a liberating day when we rid ourselves of the burdens of the world. The Sabbath is not a burden, IT IS JUST THE OPPOSITE!
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
The Sabbath frees us from the world. We get to come out of the world and be separate and have this meeting of the minds with God through His word and by the power of His spirit!
We do this by shunning our day to day activities and focusing on God and what He wants?
Let’s dissect Isaiah 58:13 a little further:
- We turn away our foot from the Sabbath: We do not walk the same usual path that we walk throughout the week. [what is that?]
- From doing your pleasure on My holy day: All of a sudden what we are not to be doing on the Sabbath got a whole lot bigger. Not only are we to not do our burdensome work or now even our own not so burdensome work, but we are not to pursue our own pleasures and desires and what we value during the week – what is that?
- And call: We are to recognize it as: a delight, The holy day of the LORD, and honorable: We are too really and truly see it in these ways
- The Sabbath a delight: Obviously not begrudgingly; He want wants us to say this sincerely and believe and live it wholeheartedly.
- The holy day of the LORD: a time set aside for God
- Honorable: A day that we esteem highly and greatly respect; and then he goes on to tell us how we show honor
- And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,
- Not doing your own ways: Are we beginning to see what this means? We show God our love towards Him by turning from our ways to His
- Nor finding your own pleasure: Isaiah is being somewhat repetitive here with these first two, but he is making the point that this is how we honor God.
- Even to the point of not speaking your own words: Not talking about the things that we normally would talk about throughout the week.
Do you see what God is doing here? These are general guidelines. He wants us to ask these questions and answer them truthfully. He is giving us guiding principles that allow us to make the right decision on how to observe the Sabbath
He does not say Thou Shalt Not Surf…or Facebook or Snapchat…why? Other than the obvious reason, there is no way to list everything that can possibly be done on the Sabbath.
The other more important reason is that doing these things (or radio or TV or computer or books) are not inherently bad or wrong – it is the use of them in regards to keeping the Sabbath; our ways, pleasures, etc
This is a Test
Exodus 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.
Exodus 16:19 And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.”
Exodus 16:20 Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.
Exodus 16:21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
Exodus 16:22 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
Exodus 16:23 Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’ ”
Exodus 16:24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it.
Exodus 16:25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.
Exodus 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”
Exodus 16:27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.
Exodus 16:28 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?
The Sabbath is a specific day of the week and this happened every week for 40 years or over 2,000 times for the wandering Israelites.
Did God think it necessary for them to observe the right day? Only if you didn’t want to fast once a week….
Are you going to do what you want or what God wants? Your way or My way, your pleasure or Mine?
Israel and Judah Failed the Test
God was serious about it
Jeremiah 17:19 Thus the LORD said to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;
Jeremiah 17:20 and say to them, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates.
Jeremiah 17:21 Thus says the LORD: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
Jeremiah 17:22 nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.
Jeremiah 17:23 But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.
Jeremiah 17:24 “And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the LORD, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it,
Jeremiah 17:25 then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever.
Jeremiah 17:26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the LORD.
Jeremiah 17:27 “But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” ‘ ”
…and when they did not heed God’s words, He allowed the consequences to happen:
Jeremiah 52:13 He burned the house of the LORD and the king’s house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire.
Ezekiel 20:1 It came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me.
Ezekiel 20:2 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezekiel 20:3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will not be inquired of by you.” ‘
Ezekiel 20:4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Then make known to them the abominations of their fathers.
Ezekiel 20:5 “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God.’
Ezekiel 20:6 On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands.
Ezekiel 20:7 Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’
Ezekiel 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’
Ezekiel 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
Ezekiel 20:10 “Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’
Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
Ezekiel 20:13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.
Ezekiel 20:14 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.
Ezekiel 20:15 So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands,
Ezekiel 20:16 because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.
Ezekiel 20:17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:18 “But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols.
Ezekiel 20:19 I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;
Ezekiel 20:20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’
Ezekiel 20:21 “Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; but they profaned My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:22 Nevertheless I withdrew My hand and acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.
Ezekiel 20:23 Also I raised My hand in an oath to those in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them throughout the countries,
Ezekiel 20:24 because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols.
Ezekiel 20:25 “Therefore I also gave them up to statutes that were not good, and judgments by which they could not live;
Ezekiel 20:26 and I pronounced them unclean because of their ritual gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire, that I might make them desolate and that they might know that I am the LORD.” ‘
There is a coming captivity for the same reason. We are modern day Israel and are doing the same thing
Can you imagine what it will be like? Do you think that they will be ready to keep the Sabbath after this?
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Plan for the day
Exodus 16:5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”
Exodus 16:29 See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”
Exodus 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Do we see why now? Do we understand the importance of the day to God
A day of ceasing from our works, our ways, our pleasures, our words and our burdens and instead we keep the Sabbath holy and it is not burdensome.