Significance of the Sabbath
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Too often, discussions about the importance or relevance of the Sabbath focus on what to do (or not to do) on the Sabbath. This inevitably leads to arguments which are usually unproductive.

Instead of the Do/Don’t aspect of the Sabbath, let us briefly consider its significance and relevance to us today.

The Sabbath reminds us about who God is…

The Sabbath is not just about Creation (which happened a long time ago). Yes, God is the Creator, and remembering that is very important. But, the Sabbath is also about the impact that God has in our lives right now.

The Israelites were commanded to keep three feasts onto God each year (Exodus 23:14-17), which required that all able-bodied men left their homes throughout tMM900365299he land of Israel and went to the sanctuary to worship. During their absence from their homes and family members, God protected them and their homes from their enemies. In a similar fashion, each Sabbath we can fully put aside the cares of our daily lives, and God will keep things in check for us as we focus only upon Him during the Sabbath hours. He is our glorious provider and sustainer, and we need not worry as we rely upon Him. This is one key blessing of the Sabbath.

The Sabbath symbolizes restoration with God…

Not only does the Sabbath provide a time of physical recovery (and I don’t mean by sleeping away Sabbath afternoon), it also provides a time of spiritual restoration. Without the distractions of our daily cares, we are free to focus on our relationship with God. We are free to reflect upon His desire for our salvation, and the work that He has already accomplished to that end. The Sabbath is like a pitstop in the journey to the Kingdom of God.

During the Sabbath hours, we can practice what it will be like to worship God totally unencumbered by sin. As we experience the joy of the Sabbath – a period of time that God has infused with His very presence, we can begin to prepare ourselves for an even more intimate experience with Him in Heaven and the Earth made new.

If we were more diligent in experiencing the benefits of the Sabbath that God has already prepared for us, we would have a far greater testimony about the beauty and relevance of the Sabbath that wouldn’t degenerate to an argument about activities which can or can’t be done during the Sabbath hours. It’s almost as if God has given us the Sabbath as a high-definition BluRay video, accompanied by a super-crisp 50” high-definition TV, but we insist on watching it on our 19” black and white TV – all the while saying, “I don’t see anything special here.”

The Sabbath is God’s, but it was made for us. There is still a little time left for us to experience its joys and blessings…

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Significance of the Sabbath — 7 Comments

  1. Thank you for this article. I was reading in Peter the other day and he said something interesting that I always used to glance over until recently... (paraphrasing A LOT) "I will keep reminding you of these things as long as I'm alive so that when I'm gone you will always remember." [2 Peter 1:13-15]

    This is another one of those things! The beauty of the Sabbath the restoration of the Sabbath the rest and yes!!! the PROVISION of the Sabbath.

    Many of us Adventist (don't want to admit this) have a hard time giving totally over to worship devoid of our secular pursuits on the Sabbath. I know I've caught myself asking myself, "is this Sabbath material?" to dwell on, to talk about, even to listen. But just like the provision that God made for the Israelites when they would come to the feasts, He will take care of our secular pursuits...

    We must continually remember that God always has our best interest at heart and the Sabbath is an excellent way to show to Him that we believe His promises!

    Thanks again for this article.

    Like(1)
  2. I found your articles very educating. Please help me on this matter. I am a new convet. I would like to learn if it is lawful for married couples to have sex on sabbath hours that (friday evening).
    Your answer will help me very much. Use my email address please.

    I am in Kasama Zambia-Africa

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    • Isaiah 58 Verses 13 and 14
      13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

      14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
      It says, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. From this, sex making is a pleasure and does not sanctify the sabbath keeping it holy.
      Again, Exodus 19 verses 10-15
      10And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

      11And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

      12And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:

      13There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

      14And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

      15And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
      Verse 15 says clearly Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.It is commanded that love making/sexmaking should be abstained until sabbath is over. Yahweh, our Father will teach, guide you and make you to bear it and give you understanding. Shalom
      Raphael Agwuncha

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      • Along with the Sabbath, marriage is an institution that comes to us direct from Eden, and we read in Hebrews 13:4 that "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled."

        Exodus 19 contains dire warnings against coming close to the mountain from which God would speak His Ten great Commandments. A fence was built around the mountain, and they were not even to come near it. The prohibition against marital relations was in this context and is not directly related to the Sabbath.

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    • I did not reply earlier, Chisusu, because the request to use your e-mail address seemed to limit responses to the moderators of the website, and also because I do not know of any clear Biblical answer to your question.

      I respond now because, having read Raphael's reply, I still don't know of any clear Biblical answer. Isaiah 58 certainly is about Sabbath keeping, but just what would it mean for us to do our own "pleasure" on the Sabbath day? I understand that this prohibits the pursuit of our own business on God's holy day, as well as simply doing as we please by engaging in worldly matters, contrary to God's clearly revealed purposes for the Sabbath. However, I cannot believe that this is a blanket prohibition of anything that might happen to bring us pleasure, such as going for a walk in nature, for example. It seems to me that any implication that physical relations in marriage have anything to do with worldly business would tend to degrade the sacredness of the marriage relation. So I must respectfully object to Raphael's attempted application of this text.

      The passage from Exodus 19 does explicitly refer to the avoidance of sexual relations at a particular time. However, this particular time was not the Sabbath day. It was when Israel was preparing to have God descend upon Mount Sinai to audibly proclaim His law to them. Do you see any implications here for the Sabbath? If so, that's fine. But I certainly cannot see any command here, concerning Sabbath observance.

      May God bless you, and guide you by His word.

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    • Greetings, Chisusu

      Thanks for your question, which is a popular one. Please see my full answer here (http://ssnet.org/blog/2011/09/Sabbath-and-the-Marriage-Bed/) with reference texts to help as you study this topic.

      -ASB

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