God created the Sabbath so that man may rest from his physical labor and fellowship with His Creator (Genesis 2:2,3). The Sabbath is truly one of the greatest blessings God has bestowed upon mankind (Mark 2:27). When man keeps the Sabbath day, he shows his love and appreciation to his Creator and Redeemer (John 14:15).
The “Rest” of the Sabbath Commandment
The commandment states, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).
The rest, here, spoken of is not to be considered only in terms of cessation from every day work though this is, of course, included. It must be a holy rest, in which there is a living relationship and connection with our heavenly Father. The work that is to be done should be done on the first six days of the week, so that the Sabbath, which comes on the seventh day, may be free for the worship and service of God.
The Jewish Pharisees in Jesus’ day had added many do’s and don’ts to the Sabbath law. But Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). God did not create people because He had a Sabbath and needed them to keep it. Rather, the Creator knew that people needed time for moral and spiritual restoration.
Bible Principles of What to Do on the Sabbath:
- The Sabbath should be a day of delight, celebration and rejoicing (Isaiah 56, 58).
- It is a day to cease from work and fellowship with the Creator (Genesis 2).
- The Sabbath should be a holy convocation to meet with others in church worship (Leviticus 23).
- Sabbath hours are not to be spent in buying, selling, daily work, studying…etc. (Nehemiah 13).
- Food preparation and house work should be done a day earlier (Exodus 16).
- Following Christ’s example, believers should do good deeds on the Sabbath and help those who are in need (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).
- The Sabbath is a time to discuss spiritual matters (Acts 17:2, 18:4, 11).
- The Sabbath is a time of healing. It’s hours should be used to visit and comfort the sick (Matthew 12, Mark 1, 3, Luke 13, 14, John 5). Jesus’ healing miracles on the Sabbath showed that it is right to do merciful acts on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:10-13).
- Nature activities are appropriate on the Sabbath as it draw believers to the Creator (Psalms 19:1)
- Witnessing is an important Sabbath activity as it allows the believer to share his faith with others (1 John 1:7).
For more on the Sabbath, check (Lessons 91-102) of our Bible Lessons.
In His service,