The Sabbath

o be lived. And should this be the case then our entire life is one of spiritual livelihood and direction. Lose the day of rest and you lose everything! Or to go one step back, lose the preaching the proper preaching and you lose the day of rest. 

The importance of maintaining this day, both the pure preaching and the day itself, is obvious from Christ’s own words. In the first place, and probably the neatest expression of our Lord on this subject, reads, “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Here our Lord is speaking from an observatory point of view and essentially declares that the sabbath cannot keep man, man must keep the sabbath! In the second place we cannot help but pen the one command of ten which awes our souls and accuses us so often of sin and which reads, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy . . .” Need we mention the incident of the Old Testament Israelite who was put to death for its desecration? Holy Writ gives us every indication of sabbath seriousness. 

Keep the day! But how? 

To answer such a question requires a manifold reply. Possibly the fundamental reply would be that we build the ingoings and outgoings of the day about the pulpit with its preaching. Thus if you neglect the house of worship and prayer its observance is impossible. But even then the attending of this house does not necessarily mean proper observance of the day. What do we do before and after services? Perhaps some perform unnecessary labor, or so! A serious and precarious disturbance of Rest indeed should this be done. But we have overlooked the mountain! In all likelihood the greatest disturbance of rest in this day and age is pleasure. Both of the above mentioned factors hinder the saintly concentration of the issues of his life on spiritual things. More categories could be added but let this suffice. 

Pleasure, in particular now, dulls the spiritual appetite even as certain manufactured products of men dull the natural appetite. For example, give the child some sweets prior to meal time and what becomes of his appetite? Even so permit the flock of Christ Jesus to partake of the Sunday afternoon ball game, the boat ride or beach bathe and their hunger after righteousness is gone. Mealtime comes to mean little to them. Besides, the Sunday television program and news paper are a poor dessert after the Meal of God’s Word. Moreover experience may well have informed many that it is spiritually awkward to leave the courts of God and moments later stand at the counter of the corner drug store or beside a wheel of industry. Or experience no doubt has taught us that it is awkward to step from the arena of entertainment and enter the audience of the awed as they behold the beauty of God in His temple. 

Sorry to say but some boast of liberties in sabbath observance, while others boast of laws. The fact is that men are divided on this score. Perhaps or perchance among our readers there are the liberals and the conservatives! If so, let us not ridicule the “reserved” for their narrowness as is sometimes done but assuredly let us rebuke the “libertine” for his lawlessness. The command is succinct, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” 

Do we forever heap rule upon rule, precept upon precept and law upon law? No, that is our answer, and, the author of this article teaches no such thing. The simple command above is both broad and beautiful. It is enough. 

Blessed sabbath day! 

Its observance is only possible and a privilege for the faithful, the objects of God’s unrestrained and unchangeable favor. To these the sabbath is set aside for rest, that is, spiritual activity in the Kingdom of our King. 

—A.M.