Sabbath and Such

Isaiah 54-58

One thing kept jumping out at me today: Sabbath.  Perhaps that is not coincidental…just the other day I wrote in my blog about being still.

These chapters of Isaiah give promises for the righteous, for those who seek out the Lord.  But a condition of those promises — over and over again — is for the people to not make the Lord’s Sabbath “despicable:”

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

There is a clear IF…THEN clause in these chapters, and it appears more than once.  I’ve always thought that the Sabbath was a day of rest for ME.  That I rest on it because the Lord rested…but what constitutes rest?  Apparently, whatever constitutes rest is the opposite of “going your own way” and “speaking idle words.”

Here I was, already planning out some of the organizing I could do on Sunday after church…and I didn’t even ask the Lord what HE would have me do with my day.  It looks as though I need more practice in being still and seeking Him.  I want to honor the Sabbath…but I don’t know how to do that.  How do you honor the Sabbath in your home?

Is it wrong to take a nap?  That’s going my own way.  What about preparing meals?  Driving to church?  There could be a great deal of legalism drawn out of these verses, but I think the Lord is speaking to our hearts rather than requiring us to be like the Pharisees.  Jesus allowed his disciples to gather food on the Sabbath…and He healed on the Sabbath.  In those cases He was doing the Lord’s will…and him doing so does not give us the excuse to completely ignore it, does it?

Where do you fall on the spectrum of observing the Sabbath?

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