One of the Ten Commandments that was held in very strict regard for nearly two mellinium was the concept of the Sabbath Day. In the book of Exodus, Chapter 20 verses 8-11 it says:
8. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.
9. 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:
10. 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.
It was very evident that in the Days of Christ, the Jewish leaders were very strict on the adherance of the sabbath day. For Jesus was criticized for doing something as simple as plucking corn on the sabbath day and was accused of breaking the sabbath for such an act (Matthew 12). Jesus response in verses 5 and 6 are as follows:
5. Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days, the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless.
6. But I say unto you, that in this place is one greater than the temple.
8. For the son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
In Mark 2:27, the same incident records that Jesus also said at this time:
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.
The savior did not take the sabath day lightly. Nor did he do away with it with the coming of the new covenant which did away with the Law of Moses. Did he lighten up the strictness that was being upheld by the Jewish leaders of the time? Yes, I think that would be a valid statement.
I have wondered since I was a child, why it is that many Christians exit their churches on Sunday and head straight to the restaraunts. Sure, they are not working themselves, but by promoting this practice, they are undoubtedly going against the concept of:
in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor they stranger that is within thy gates.
For I have heard statements from individuals who wanted to keep the sabbath day holy; however, out of financial distress, choose to take work in those restaraunts feeding those individuals who half heartedly practice thier religion by attending church then immediately break the Lords commandments within ten minutes of exiting their walls.
Why is it that so many Christians take this commandment so lightly. Do they not believe that they have to obey all of the Lords commandments? Do they really believe that if they say a prayer at one time accepting Jesus into thier hearts then they are exempt from the law?
Or do people justify breaking the sabbath by taking the Saviour’s latest quote as saying “the Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath” so as to mean that we can now do whatever we want on this day? I don’t buy it. When you go to a restaraunt on the Sabbath Day, or go to the store on this day, you are making your servant work.
No one is exempt from the law. Why push the law to the edge hoping that you will not be punished in the end. If this is your attitude, then have you really accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? I really question it.
So what did the Savior mean when he said “Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” He meant that this is a day to do his work. This is the day to visit the sick, care for the hungry and naked, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and find beneficial ways to promote the Kingdom of God on this earth. That is what he meant by doing well. He healed a man who could not walk immediately after making that quote.
Today, I had to work on Sunday. I end up doing it periodically. I do not make it a habit. If the job required it every Sunday of me, it probably would not be long before I would begin looking for another job that does not require it. So why do I justify doing it from time to time?
11. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12. How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
Sometimes it is necessary. What justifies necessary is an individual personal decision. You keep your heart and mind single to the glory of God, strive in every way to keep his commandments, and follow the guidance of the spirit. If it is wrong, he will whisper it in your heart.
As individuals, we make decisions daily. If our heart is single to his glory, our actions will consistently improve and bring us closer to him. We will strive to obey all of his commandments. When we choose to break his commandments, the spirit will leave us until we decide to change or repent. We will be left alone and we will have to bear our own burdens…he will not be able to step in and make our burdens light.
I have a testimony of the importance of the Sabbath Day. It is a day to recover from the things of this world. It is a day to sit back and ponder on the events of the week and help us to once again focus on what is really important–strengthening our relationship with our Savior and with our family.
As you strive to obey his commandments, all of them, may the spirit of God rest upon you more and more abundantly guiding you and teaching you, bringing you closer and closer to the truth. And may this continue until you are standing before him on the final day of judgement with your hands clean and your heart pure. And if this is the case, all will be well with you an that final day of judgement.