8 Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work.
10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.
I found in studying this one I needed to find out just what "a Sabbath" was. Beyond the quick definition.
The term "Sabbath" derives from the Hebrew shabbat (שבת), "to cease". In looking through the Bible, the Lord has a lot to say about the Sabbath.
13 "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.....15 For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.
"...put to death." Alrighty then. He is SERIOUS about this.
And I discovered that people get pretty serious about their interpretation of this also. And there is a LOT of interpretations! Is the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday or Friday night to Saturday night? What time does it start? Does it even apply to us now? Can it be any day as long as you are resting and honoring God?
But it seems that folks are more worried about "when" the Sabbath is, than they are concerned about obeying the directive of the command.
"... keep it holy..." "Holy" means set apart as special, sacred. Before you breeze past this one, remember that God is holy. So if our Holy Father says to make a day 'holy', this needs to go past our daily thankfulness to Him.
Oh to be sure people like that "shall not do any work" section. Family time...here we come! But notice it doesn't stop with your household. "... your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns." In 2009 could that read..."sales clerks, wait staff or 'pick an occupation'"? What is the Lord whispering to your heart about that?
Does that mean we need to kick back and just have a good time at home? Take a look at what the Lord had to say about that in Isaiah...
Isaiah 58:13-14 (New International Version)
13 "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.
Confused? I was. So what can we do?
Matthew 12:12 - "... it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." This was spoken by Jesus to the Pharisees after He healed the man with the withered hand.
So what to do now? I feel that my Sabbath - which I chose to be on Sunday - will be a day of rest.
Physical rest in that I am not going to labor. And I'm not going to go the way of the Pharisee as to define to a sliver what is or is not labor! You know when something is work and when it's not. Spending time with family and friends, enjoying a home prepared meal, going out for a walk or drive to enjoy God's beauty is all good.
Spiritual rest by enjoying the Lord's presence, studying His word and doing good things in His name.
And I personally feel that I should not cause others to work on Sunday. So... no more meals out and no more shopping. But I will have to remember not to be judgmental and not to cause others to stumble because of my belief.