Sabbath: What’s the Big Deal?

Back in February I talked about Sabbath as opposed to Sunday. We saw then that Sunday, the first day of the week, never replaced Sabbath nor even supplemented it. Today I am more interested in stressing the point that Sabbath observance is a, “Big deal.”

Sabbath defines us more than any other thing.

People rarely inquire about our other beliefs. As soon as we identify ourselves as, “Sabbath Fellowship” or “Church of God 7th Day” nothing else seems to matter. Of course they frequently want to associate us with Seventh Day Adventists. And we in turn tell them about Sabbath.

*   (Exo 20:8 NIV)  "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

*   (Exo 20:11 NIV)  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

God created the world and wrote the Ten Commandments in stone with His own finger. Twice! That makes the Commandments a “Big deal” and the Sabbath is the first of the commandments after those defining our relationship to God. That makes Sabbath a, “Big deal.”

Importance of “signs.” Signs declare important things. Signs from God are a, “Big deal.”

*    (Exo 31:13-14 NIV)  "Say to the Israelites, 'You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. {14} "'Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people.

*   (Exo 31:16-17 NIV)  The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. {17} It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.'"

*   (Ezek 20:12 NIV)  Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.

*   (Ezek 20:20 NIV)  Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God."

Can we identify with Israel? This question is also a, “Big deal” because God was dealing with Israel through out the entire Bible

*   (Eph 2:11-12 NIV)  Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- {12} remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

*   (Eph 3:6 NIV)  This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

*   (Rom 11:24 NIV)  After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

*   (Isa 56:6-7 NIV)  And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- {7} these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.

Sabbath during and after tribulation How’s this for a, “Big deal”? And notice that this is talking about a time long after the death of our Lord.

*   (Mat 24:20 NIV)  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.

*   (Isa 66:22-23 NIV)  "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure. {23} From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD.

Capital punishment When failure to obey a law results in execution, that’s a, “Big deal.”

*    (Num 15:32-36 NIV)  While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. {33} Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, {34} and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. {35} Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp." {36} So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.

*   (Jer 17:27 NIV)  But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.'"

A song When we are moved to write a song about something you might say that’s a, “Big deal.”

*   (Psa 92:1-3 NIV)  A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day. It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, {2} to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, {3} to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.

A gift from God If God gives you a gift then that’s a, “Big deal.”

*   (Mark 2:27-28 NIV)  Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. {28} So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

*    (Isa 58:13-14 NIV)  "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.

Want to be like Jesus? Being like Jesus is a really, “Big deal.”

*    (Luke 4:16 NIV)  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.

*   (Luke 23:55-56 NIV)  The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. {56} Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

God is not like men. If He says something He means it and stands by it.

*   (Num 23:19 NIV)  God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Therefore, if God changed the Sabbath rules it would have been an extremely, Big deal.”

In conclusion remember this.

*   (2 Tim 2:15 NIV)  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.