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Thursday: A Time for Us — 12 Comments

  1. We often read Isaiah 58:13,14 because of its reference to Sabbath-keeping, but I think we miss an important message if that is all we read it for. The context is about restoration, and it makes sense to connect restoration with Sabbath-keeping and the Day of Atonement.

    I was once involved in a discussion with some Seventh-day Adventist folk about Sabbath-keeping and the point was made that we needed to keep Sabbath because it showed that we were different to the Roman Catholics. We needed to show them that we had the right day. I think that emphasis is wrong. The importance of Sabbath-keeping is that it is a day of restoration. If we get the purpose right, then the timing becomes meaningful.

    We need to remind ourselves that this passage is really God’s answer to the criticism that He offers in Isaiah 1. Read Isaiah 1 and then Isaiah 58. The message is essentially that if you want to give meaning to your religion you have to practice in a way that provides restoration to the needy and those who have been marginalised.

    Likewise, the Day of Atonement was not just about getting rid of the old sins. It signified a new beginning, an opportunity to restore.

    “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
    then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
    The LORD will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
    You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
    Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
    you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Isaiah 58:9-12 NIV

    And then it talks about Sabbath-keeping!

    • The lesson states, "Similarly, although the primary context of Isaiah 58.13-14 is the ceremonial Day of Atonement Sabbath, its message also applies to the weekly Sabbath." I do not see the primary context as being the Day of Atonement. I checked half a dozen bible commentaries and they did not see it either. I agree that the Day of Atonement was a type of sabbath, but the primary context here appears to the weekly Sabbath, not the Day of Atonement.

  2. There is always a cost to kindness. It inevitably causes you to sacrifice time, money, energy, reputation, privacy, or something.

    .... feed those who are hungry and take care of the needs of those who are troubled, then your light will shine in the darkness . . . The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs in dry lands . . . You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry” (Isaiah 58:10-11 NCV).

  3. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased....Luke 14:11

    A Time for Us
    Many times we do our own pleasure on the Sabbath. But what is our own pleasure? Or we speak our own words. But what is our own word? Or we go our own places. But what or where are the places that we should or should not go? Many times many say I dont see anything wrong going here or there, or speaking this or that. Does Jesus change according to our situations? Do we really spend time with Jesus during the sabbath hours? Is this thing a switch on and off?

    If Isaiah 58 deals with three main themes: self-denial, social kindness, and the Sabbath. How many times do we denial our selves for spouse/children/grands/lesser degree parents, or our best friend in proportion to a stranger?
    How many times do we pack a little thing for our Pastor or family, or our good friend in church. How many times do we walk with something for the beggar, homeless along the way or someone who might just be visiting for the day?

  4. What does the Sabbath mean to me?
    A reminder that in Christ I am a new creation, what gives me pleasure is completely different now.
    My priorities are totally reorientated.
    Read Galatians 5 and especially Gal 5:22-24 - in the Fruit of the Spirit the first three are our relationship with the LORD, the second three are our interaction with other humans and the last three are our changed nature.

    What a privilege the LORD has given me, He says don't worry about food, clothing or shelter, I will provide, spend the day with me, on beholding you will become like Me.

    Gal 5:22-25. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

  5. This message from God was to a nation who had forgotten the law of God, and how it is fulfilled by love/service to God and man, and this includes the Sabbath Rest. If we don't deny ourselves, we will cultivate selfishness and the law of God will be dishonored by our focus on pleasing ourselves. Can one truly observe the Sabbath Rest while sinning against their fellow man? Can we keep any commandment while breaking the others? We are either holy or unholy.

    Regarding the day of Atonement, there is to be “no servile work” on this day. What does that mean to those now living during this an-typical day of atonement? How do we fulfill this requirement of God today?

    SSQ: "What kind of day is the Sabbath supposed to be?"
    We read that “the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. The law is spiritual, and only those who are spiritual, and filled with God's Spirit will “see God”(Matt 5:8).

  6. If we are not willing to change. If we are not willing to turn then we would be the most miserable people in heaven. Its the mercy of God allowing to perish who have not found delight in Him.

  7. True Sabbath keeping brings joy. Now we can say that Isaiah 58 is how we should live everyday, now the fact is God gave us 6 days to do all our labor, and then set aside the Sabbath to assisting the poor releasing the oppressed, with service to others. Seems a little foreign to do work on the Sabbath, to assist others, but that is what brings joy to the genuine Christian. We turn away from our own pleasure on the Sabbath to heart felt attention of the needs of others. It is Thursday and I do believe breaking into the enigma, or if you will, the baffling of understanding regarding buying salvation without money. God reveals mysteries to those that allow the Holy Spirit to work on, and in their hearts.

  8. The question: ‘What are the connections between self-denial, social kindness, and the Sabbath?’ could be answered by seeing these words in the light of the new nature being developed after accepting Christ into our hearts. The new heart reflects the Love of God to others, and with this we are able to exercise self-denial(restrain), social kindness and so honor the Lord everyday as well as on His Holy Day set aside for us to reflect on our relationship with Him.

    Yes, Sabbath - the day of Rest - is a delight because we can spent its time uninterrupted by the usual toils and cares as we rejoice in our Salvation having been released from the snare this world lays out for the unsuspecting who struggles every day for his survival. I believe that it is as much a day for physical rest as it is a day for mental, emotional and spiritual renewal, all done in the context of the Giver of Life who chose to rest on this day.

    The 'responsibilities'assigned by the organized church to its followers can burden the individual believer and member of a fellowship with many demands and so prevent him/her resting on the Day of Rest. If it were left up to me, I would arrange to come together in the early-afternoon for singing praises, testifying and prayer followed by a time of study and fellowship around the shared meal by all who want to participate. Why not make this truly a day of rest and rejoicing to focuse on coming before the Lord praising and thanking Him for the abundance of blessings we receive!

    I think that changing our mind about what constitutes ‘service’ could benefit us. We usually look at service as if it is something 'separate', but for the believer, service is his whole life, we cannot separate ‘service’ from being alive – our life is service!
    Our daily life is the stage where we express our new nature - 24 hours a day. Every minute of every hour in every day we are aware of the presence of God in our heart, wanting to remain lovingly inclined toward our fellow man.
    Every moment presents an opportunity to demonstrate the Love we have received from our Lord and Savior as we lovingly consider our fellow man.
    His Love is contained and expressed in every little and big thing we do; everything we do deserves our attention to detail because we want to do it right for His Honor and Glory. We look through the eyes of the renewed heart and mind which are finetuned to observe/see opportunities to become involved for the benefit our fellow man so honor God.

    Every minute of every day we remember that our life rests in the arms of God, that 'resting in His arms' frees us to behave in the manner which puts the other person’s needs first. No more justling for position to be first in line to be served – it is our pleasure to defer.

  9. In our Christian life we are not called to obedience without being baptised of the Holy Spirit. Let us not try to do these acts of obedience in our own strength as we will only fail. Let's work on truly having a love for God and to yearn to be completely transformed by the Holy Spirit, so we do all obedience with the right motive and experience a genuine joy and love in serving God. God bless and may we be real with ourselves when we say we have enjoyed our time with God during this Sabbath.

  10. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Ps 67:3

    To me, what the sabbath meant to me is different from others. I have several friends and some are older ones. Older people love me for some reason or the other, I like to give them advise and be truthful to them, although they have to reconsider life many times. I encouraged them to think about their lives at this momement and ask them what are their plans. Ask if they have a plan A, B or C. I truly have interest in people salvation and pray for them because I know I might/will not see them again until eternity. I take opportunities seriously.
    So with this the Lord had allowed myself and an older couple to cross path. They have children but stated the children is not 'stepping up' to help them. They have heal issues. They asked me to go over by them on Sabbath just for company. I never went to no place on the sabbath except go to church and visit the sick and pray for them but I told them yes. Now I am praying for them to be converted to Jesus. I am the one who will have to direct the conversation and can use the moments to lead them to Jesus. They are Roman Catholics. For some reason many of my friends are not SDA. It is the Lord directive that other people invite me to their homes who are of other religions. I have a work to do for souls whether it is on Sunday or Sabbath. I dont think the church told anyone not to go to visit others on Sabbath to encouragement them but you can go to them from Sun-Fri to help them with their work/labor.


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