My Joy in the Sabbath! 10 Commandments Series – 4: “Remember the Sabbath Day”

Yes, I enjoy the Sabbath.  I look forward to it each week.  I rest from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.  As the Sabbath is a huge topic, there will be a couple posts about it.

We are told that we are made in God’s image, but what does it mean, “in His image?”  To me, the Sabbath encapsulates two aspects of what it means.

One reason God gives for us to observe the Sabbath is that He created all in 6 days and rested on the seventh.  (See Exodus 20:11.)

I, in celebration of being ‘in His image,’ can also rest from my work on the seventh day.  What better way to honor and worship Him then to copy Him?  I take a break, for a whole day, from my usual daily routines of work, stress, and worries.

Another reason that God gives for us to observe the Sabbath is that He brought us out of the land of Egypt, out of the bonds of slavery.  (See Deuteronomy 5:15.)

I don’t have to be a slave to my daily routine or my continuous striving to earn a living.  I can choose to rest one day a week, proclaiming, “I am free!”  Once a week I can recall that Yeshua (Jesus) told us to be anxious for nothing as the Father supplies all.  Once a week I can do something no other creature on the earth can do: I can choose to obey my God and rest for a whole day!  I get to celebrate that I am not a slave, neither to my work nor to the business and activity of daily life.

“Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD (Yehovah), sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13 (ESV)

In observing the Sabbath every week, I am learning obedience, and learning how to choose what is right.

We are given two different commands regarding the Sabbath in the two places the 10 statements (10 commandments) are given.  We are to guard and we are to observe.  Guarding is a week long process; learning to order your week so that the Sabbath will be free.  Observing is then choosing to keep the day free; a day of rest.  I call this training in righteousness that has almost immediate rewards!

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27 (ESV)

God made it for us to enjoy.  I’m still learning, but I won’t give up observing the Sabbath for anything!  I feel sorry for those followers of Yeshua who don’t observe the Sabbath – they are missing out on a real blessing; missing a chance to worship God through simple obedience; missing a chance to learn to choose what is right; missing a chance to be a light to the world by simply following Yeshua; …

And missing out on some simple joy and peace in this hectic world!

Shalom,

  • Yosef

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Forgiveness and Offense

The following was written in reply to a great post by the blogger “Tancy” titled, “You will be offended“.   Her post deals with a topic that has been twisted or ignored in the churches.  Here are my comments to her post.  Read her post to get the full picture.


Thanks Tancy for the timely words, as in our day, and in our churches, it has become vogue to ‘not forgive’, though this is behavior is buried behind other words. You make the comment, ” If you do not learn to forgive, … you won’t be eligible for God’s forgiveness either.” I know few Christians who would recognize your comment as Christ’s words immediately after he gave “the Lord’s prayer” (Mat. 6:9-15). They are words, however, that we need to remember at all times.

It seems that Yeshua’s (Jesus’) words are slipping away from the churches and our daily lives. Who remembers, and practices, Yeshua’s words where he states that we are to forgive (without exception) even up to “seventy times seven” times (and if you’re counting, you are missing the point). And what about the apostle Paul’s words where he exhorts us to bestow even greater honor, and treat with modesty, those that we deem ‘unpresentable’. (1 Cor. 12:22-24).

I like your comment, Tancy, of, “forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge.” I’ve seen people’s live get eaten up and ruined simply because they were unwilling to let go of resentment and hurt.

Perhaps some of the problem is the teaching around ‘forgiveness’ that one finds today. It is an unfortunate fact of life that sin has consequences, even after one repents or is forgiven. Forgiveness does not mean an unconditional restoration of a relationship. One needs to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matt. 10:16). Some things take time to heal, but they will never heal as long as one does not ‘let go and forgive.’
When one finds oneself caught by unforgiveness, and can’t even bring oneself to forgive, one can start by asking God to help. But in the end, the step has to be taken, and the offender forgiven.

I’ll close with these words of Yeshua, “judge not, lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of measure, you will be measured.”

So, keep proclaiming His word, even when it seems others aren’t. Thanks for your post.

  • Yosef

Migrant Crisis in the USA

The migrant crisis has been dominating news media for many days now.  Everyone is hollering that children should not be separated from their parents, or locked up with their parents.  This ‘crisis’ brings many hot issues together, and this posting is too short to address more then one issue.  So, does the Bible give any guidance at all about the issue of separating children of illegal migrants from their parents? 

In answering this question, two scriptures (among others) are considered.  They are:

You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. Numbers 15:29 (ESV)

and

…But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by law as transgressors.  James 2:9 (ESV)

The discussion is in the forum (click here to see the discussion; click here to sign up).

Check out the discussion and give your opinion.  Mostly, think about how a follower of God and Yeshua (Jesus) should respond to this issue.

  • Yosef

Law of Christ

In the book of Matthew, chapter 7 verse 23 (see last post), Jesus is declaring, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  The problem is that he was address this comment to people who Christianity today would call strong Christians!  So what does “workers of lawlessness” mean?

First, many will try to explain, with hands waving, that the people to whom Jesus is talking weren’t real Christians.  They did not have the “law of Christ” in their hearts.  Or some sort of similar explanation.  Of course, this leaves open the question, “what, then, is the law of Christ?”  To this one will get a more nebulous answer.

Yet the answer is in black and white in the Tanakh (called the “old Testament.”)  God gave us his law (see the book of Exodus, especially chapters 19 and 20).  He gave it to all the people there, which weren’t just Israelites (Exodus chapter 12 verse 38).  It shall be put on our heart (Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 6).  And these words are for all of those who chose to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (See Deuteronomy chapter 29, especially verses 14 and 15).  There are many, many more verses where God makes it clear that his law if for both Israel and the foreigner among them.  He makes it clear that it is meant to be followed, and not hard (Deuteronomy 11:11 to 14) and (Matthew 11:29 to 30).

Freedom is not being without laws.  True freedom is being able to follow the law of God and rejoice in it.  One of the problems that most Christians will run into with this is the view that the law is something negative, and when one doesn’t keep some part of it, one is almost doomed.  Read the next post to see what the Hebrew viewpoint of the law and keeping the commandments is.

Shalom!  -YTL

If It Feels Right, Do It

“I feel that God is okay with me considering Sunday as the Sabbath.”

I hear this type of comment many times.  The question is, is it true?

It is written that God wrote the 10 commandments in stone.   It is also written that His laws shall be written upon our hearts.  (Deuteronomy 9:10;   Deuteronomy 6:6; and other verses).  Throughout the Tanakh (“Old Testament”) God shows (and says) that we need to do things His way.  (See the story of Aaron’s sons offering unauthorized fire before God, Leviticus 10:1, or the story of Ananias and Sapphira in the Apostolic Writings (“New Testament”), Acts 5:1 to 5).

Is there anywhere in scripture where God says that we can decide whether one of His laws applies or not, and if it does, if we can apply it in our own way.  This is the same error that Adam and Eve made.  God made it very clear that they were not to eat of the fruit of the one tree, but they self justified themselves and changed, be it ever so slightly, what God said.

“Be holy for I am holy,” says the Lord God.  Be set apart.  Follow His ways and not our reinterpretations and traditions that go against Him.

If we hold to our feelings as to whether or not we need to do something His Word states, we are setting ourselves to judge God.  We are saying that we know better then He.  The excuses that I hear when this is done are amazing and varied.  But they come down to saying, “I want to do it my way.  No one should tell me otherwise.”

And the funny part is that one person will say he feels it is okay to do something one way, and another says it is okay another way.  In other words, they have a schizophrenic god!

Quit!  Return to the ways of God.  Lay down our own ways and follow Him.  His ways are not a burden.

-Yosef