“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall 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…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)
Somewhere along the way, we lost our edge when we gave up our Sabbath. Our Israel nations threw away one of the greatest gifts we ever received from God. Of course, we know from the Bible, in particular Numbers 15: 32, that there was always difficulty in keeping the Sabbath, yet, it is a fact that during those times when the nations of Israel were in most concert with this Law of God, the greater their power. Break this link, as we almost totally have over the past fifty years, and it is rather easy to spot one of the reasons for the decline of values, our prosperity, our health and our greatness. The Bible warns us of this consequence in Isaiah 58: 13, 14 and 59: 2. Our iniquity in this sense has greatly separated us from our God and we are paying a mighty penalty because, as the Bible says, we have “turned our foot from the Sabbath.” We were told in Exodus 31: 13-17 that the Sabbaths were to be “a sign between the Lord God Almighty and Israel and we should keep it holy unto us.” It is a sad testimony to these last days that we have obliterated the sign. Ironically, centuries of respecting the Sabbath is but another mark of identification of true Israel.
From an individual standpoint, one day’s rest in seven is a physical necessity and at one time, men of medicine would be quick to point this out. Of course, any mention of keeping the Sabbath today is invariably scoffed at, or results in a retort like, “I’m not working, today, I’m going to watch a little sports on television, or do a little shopping, or play a little golf, etc.” This is not resting. But, more importantly, it’s not keeping the Sabbath because the Sabbath is something much more than a day of rest. Initially, the Sabbath was a memorial of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage but without knowing our identity, this doesn’t mean very much to true Israel today. Still, what should mean everything to us is the opportunity to stand back from the hurly burly of a stressful world and reflect on the wonder of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and to praise our Saviour and Redeemer for lifting the bondage of sin, both from an individual and national perspective. It’s not “Sabbath keeping” to spend an hour in church, then going for lunch at a restaurant or off to the office for an afternoon’s work.
At one time our Israel nations had laws on the books to prevent business from being contracted on the Sabbath, including sports and other events designed with a profit motive. You couldn’t even impose unnecessary labour on Israelites on the Sabbath. I read somewhere that at the World Exhibition in Paris in the year 1900, neither the British nor the United States would participate on Sundays. If you think back, they were the glory days, especially for the British Empire. Obviously, our government and church leaders better understood the power of Sabbath keeping in those days. Sadly, without the knowledge of our identity, we can’t possibly understand that what has happened with our Sabbath is but the sad outcome of the loss of our dominion (Genesis 27: 40). That, for the most part, the Sabbath has been set aside for profit by enemies of Jesus Christ who wish nothing better than to tighten their yoke of control. The portrayal of Israelites as sheep certainly captures a people who are so easily led astray.
The Sabbath is only one of the Ten Commandments but its almost total abolition has been greatly instrumental in bringing us down. We need to concentrate on these few words from a small booklet entitled “The Royal Law – Coronation Souvenir 1937” to understand the once allegiance to God’s Law. “God’s Word – the Royal Law as it is called in the Coronation Service – is the safest guide for the Nation. Indeed, the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue, given by God through Moses on Mount Sinai comprehend the greatest wisdom and philosophy of the ages, and are in fact God’s Moral Law for the good government of the world. If men let go any one of these Ten Commandments they become morally and spiritually poorer. These Commandments make plain our duty towards God and Man.”
So, from that moment we let go of the Sabbath, we have partaken of the bitter fruit of our disobedience.