SABBATH

THE SERIOUSNESS OF KEEPING THE SABBATH

“If you value your lives, don’t do any work on the Sabbath….” (Jer 17:21 CEV).

Take heed to yourselves; the Hebrew is, Take heed to your souls, intimating to us that the sanctification of the Sabbath is a great thing, where in the welfare of our souls is concerned” Matthew Poole (ref#112, p550, [Jer 17:21]).

“This message has life-or death consequences. The Sabbath is a day of ceasing from work, thus a time for physical and spiritual renewal and a gift to mankind” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1406-1407, [Jer 17:21]).

“Earth, spoiled of Sabbaths is a rapid road to hell” Henry Law (ref#214).

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SABBATH

A SIGN OF THE COVENANT

“Blessed is the man who refuses to work during my Sabbath days of rest, but honors them; and blessed is the man who checks himself from doing wrong” (Isa 56:2 TLB).

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the Sabbath And holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer” (Isa 56:6-7 NASB).

“Keeping the Sabbath was a sign of the covenant” The NIV Study Bible (ref#96, p1099, [Isa 56:4,6]). “Covenant union with God defines the true people of God and their true worship” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1343, [Isa 56:6]).

These Scriptures in Isaiah 56 convey to us our part of GOD’s covenant with us—“the duties which men owe to God…” Matthew Poole (ref#112, p454, [Isa 56:1-8]). We must prepare ourselves if we are to be included in the covenant and benefit by it. We are to avoid evil (v 2), keep justice and do righteousness (v 1).

“The Sabbath is a covenant sign that represents a lifestyle of devotion to the Lord, for it requires the practical recognition of every week around him” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1342, [Isa 56:2]).

We are not only instructed to keep the Sabbath, but be “resolute and constant in so doing; that not only begins well, but perseveres in it”  Matthew Poole (ref#112, p455, [Isa 56:2]). The Sabbath keeping “is an eminent part and the bond of all the rest” to GOD’s covenant (ref#112, p454, [Isa 56:1-8]).

If we desire the blessings of GOD we need to make the Sabbath rest part of our every week. “Sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God’” (Ezek 20:20 NASB).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Resisters

[We all have friends and family that do not want anything to do with Christianity so it is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

SIN NOT LEADING TO DEATH

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 5.32.48 AM“There may be those…in sin that there may seem to be…almost no ground of hope. They may have cast off all the restraints of religion, of morality, of decency;…they may have been professors of religion, and now may have renounced the faith of the gospel altogether, but still, while there is life it is our duty to pray for them,…” Barne’s Notes (ref#16, [1 John 5:16])

FATHER, I am thinking about ____. Your Apostle John says, at the end of his first epistle, there is sin that leads to death and sin that does not lead to death (1 John 5:16). I do not know where ____ is in (his/her) spiritual life, because I only see the outward signs, but, I pray for (him/her) with a “hope and expectation of success” Matthew Poole (ref#21, p941, [1 John 5:16]).

You say, You will give me what I ask for in 1 John 5:15. And follow it with: “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life…” (1 John 5:16 ESV).

Oh FATHER, how I want to believe that ____ is sinning in a way that does not lead to death so that You will give (him/her) life. I pray ____’s sin is not an obstinate sin, thus incurable (ref#21, p941, [1 John 5:16]). I pray ____ is not refusing Your diagnosis of (his/her) need and Your offer of forgiveness (ref#56, p1828, [1 John 1:10]). I pray ____ is not chronically disobedient to Your commands (ref#125, p2437, [1 John 5:16]) for continuing in such a state leads to permanent death.

Sin that does not lead “to death is sin for which forgiveness is possible because (1) forgiveness is sought” and (2) You, FATHER, are “willing to grant it” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2437, [1 John 5:16]).

Turn ____ from (his/her) wandering, evil course; save (him/her) from death (James 5:20). FATHER, nothing is impossible with You (Luke 1:37). Grant ____, repentance that (he/she) may escape from the snare of the devil, for (he/she) now is captured by him to do his will (2 Tim 2:25-26).

SABBATH

THE SERIOUSNESS OF KEEPING THE SABBATH

“…the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him” (Numbers 15:30-31 ESV).

While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation.  They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him.  And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.”  And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses” (Numbers 15:32-36 ESV).

“This seems to be a case of sinning ‘with a high hand’—and publicly, too—so that the offender is actually executed, not just left to be ‘cut off’, which applied only when the offender escaped human detection. In this case it is clear that the man has sinned, since all work on the Sabbath is prohibited (Ex. 20:10)…The mode of his execution underlines the importance of observing the Sabbath” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, [Numbers 15:32-36]).

How serious about sin is GOD in His command we keep His Sabbath holy? Our nonchalant attitude about the Sabbath proves we are not concerned about being kicked out of GOD’s presence.

As with other situations in life we are tempted to think just time passing will again allow us back into His presence. So many things we let time heal. Can we do that with our sins? Can we do that with defaming the Sabbath?

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

BLOGGING ON THE SABBATH

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 11.55.30 AMWas reading about the Sabbath on the Sabbath—particularly GOD speaking to the Israelites about manna:

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day…On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily’” (Ex 16:4-5 ESV).

“…The LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days…” (Ex 16:29 ESV).

“This pattern embodies trust in the Lord’s provision for something Israel has no part in producing; later, when Israel has settled in the land and is depending more on its own labor, the regular Sabbath rest will be seen as an expression of divine mercy” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p171, [Ex 16:22-30]).

“… the manna’s condition is controlled, as their lives should be, by the word of the Lord (see v.28)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p171, [Ex 16:24]).

The whole manna thing was to test them to see if they would trust GOD. It corresponds to the words we have in the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” GOD wants no storing up and forgetting who provides daily for us.

All this reminds me again that the LORD creates my circumstances and is able and willing to walk me through every one of them. Everything everyday I need He provides and all I have to do is trust Him.

So, like the Israelites, the LORD provides for my Sabbath! He has plans for me. Therefore, honoring the Sabbath is not so much about what I do on the day but who I trust and follow as each hour goes by.

Part of my weekday work is writing a blog. But, here I am sitting at my desk writing this on Sunday. Am I keeping the Sabbath holy? Well, I feel that the SPIRIT of GOD is putting words in my head and that always prompts me to come to the computer and write them down. I feel I’m following the LORD and trusting Him in this situation. But, am I? Maybe if I would resist getting His words in print today He would bring them to my memory on a weekday. Maybe I’m writing so I can have something good to post. Yes, maybe I’m taking GOD’s goodness and giving glory to myself and not Him. I could easily persuade myself to close this computer. The logic of law tells me that I should not do weekday work on Sunday. So, do I have a catch in my spirit about what I’m doing right now?

Actually, no. First, one thing I’ve learned is that when the SPIRIT is speaking I need to write it down immediately. His thoughts are foreign to my thoughts therefore I have no affinity to remember them therefore I must write them down. And, I have never had Him repeat Himself. Obviously, for me at least, if I take His words lightly by not writing them I grieve Him. And, secondly, if I don’t act immediately on His prompts He immediately leaves.

Today He has illuminated the passage of Scripture about manna and I must follow Him as He teaches me. I have no self-gratifying motives. I simply delight to do the will of my FATHER (Ps 40:8). For me this activity is perfect. For me today this work like my weekday work is a Sabbath rest.

NOTE: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…” (Rev 1:10 ESV). I am glad the Apostle John allowed himself to write on the Sabbath otherwise he would not have penned the book of Revelation.