In search of what's next

Friday, December 19, 2008

Keeping the Sabbath holy

There is another blogsite I read that is really entertaining and recently there was a post [language warning] that caused a stir about Obama's birth certificate. Apparently the writer doesn't think the fuss over the birth certificate is worthwhile, while others disagreed (including myself). But that's not what I was intending on writing about. What got me to write this was one of the writer's replies to a reader post was:
[I've never met a Christian who keeps the Sabbath Day (Saturday) holy. -Ed.]

My first response is me niether, but it's not from lack of trying.

My next response to anyone who asks this is "how do you keep the sabbath holy?" This is mandatory information for the rest of the conversation because it determines whether or not you have an understanding of what it means to keep it holy. Do you try to keep your sabbath holy, or just use the excuse that others don't, so why should I?

I'm going to try to make a simple explanation, mostly because that's what it takes for me to understand these things. I hope this isn't too long winded...

If you're going to nitpik the "sabbath" part, I guess you have to look at it from at least 3 points of view, and maybe even more. Are you looking at it from a Hebrew, Catholic or Christian point of view? For Catholics, it's Saturday. For Christians, it's Sunday. I think Hebrews still view Saturday as the Sabbath, but I could be wrong. With the Hebrews & Catholics, the sabbath day was on the 7th day of the week, (or from the Roman calendar) Saturday. The reason I'm not sure about the Hebrew day is I don't know how their days of the week line up with the calendar we use now.

The Christians do the sabbath on Sunday. Sunday has been traditionally the first day of the week. Why would this day be set as a sabbath instead of using the last day of the week, like the others do? Didn't God rest on the last day of the week? Aren't we supposed to be like God?

I've always felt it had to do with the reason Cain killed Abel. He was jealous over God's acceptance of Able's sacrifice and not Cain's. Cain was a plant farmer and Abel was an animal farmer. The problem occurred when Abel brought the firstlings of his flock. Cain had only brought some of his fruit in. I've heard arguments that fruit and vegetable offerings weren't up to par for God's requirements, but that's wrong.

I emphasized the word in the passage that is the reason Cain's offering was inadequate. He didn't bring of the first fruits, he only brought some of the surplus. Why is this important?

It shows God that Abel recognized Who gave him the flock to begin with and by offering up the first new members of the flock, God is pleased and blesses Abel with more in the flock. We, in our greed, look at the first fruit of the herd as the first chance to start making back a little of the fortune we have invested in the herd to begin with. We don't account for God's hand in the mix and don't give him back that first part for His blessing.

Based on this, Christians start the first day of the week off by offering praise (church service). But if you're serious about it, that's only the tip of the iceberg. (I won't go into them, but here are a couple more to make you think...tithing and time. Do you give them back to God?)

Let me put it this way: If you start your day with praise and prayer to the Lord, then you are making every day a sabbath day to God. By offering the first fruits of your day (your thoughts, your actions, your words) to God, then God will in turn bless you throughout the day in return. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we shouldn't be offering up praise on Saturday evening. We're supposed to praise the Lord constantly.

Some would like to use the excuse of "we're not to work on the sabbath" but then we spend the day watching football. Technically, if you want to nitpik, you're making the football team, the tv crews, security teams, food vendors and others all sin, if that's the case. So you're not helping your case at all with that argument.

If you want to pick any day and determine that you must keep it holy, then we'll all have to be praying that you make it through the day. I believe it is physically impossible to keep any day holy by strict biblical definition. That's why I am so glad I have a Savior who covers my sin by grace and the power of His blood. But that is not an excuse to not to try to keep a day holy.

In reality, every day is a gift from God. Look at Matthew 6:11. It says "Give us this day, our daily bread." Everyone pretty much agrees this means we're asking God to provide us with our daily bread (food/income/health/etc). But what did He have to give us before that? The day. So, every day is a gift from God.

I try to keep all my days for God, not just one of them. For every day is a gift that I must praise and thank Him for.



Post a Comment

<< Home