If It Were Not So: A Forgotten Promise – Part One
“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
The Bible is filled with many beautiful promises. So often when we are reading Scripture, we forget to really look at God’s promises. There are many instances in which God has given us conditional promises – i.e. If you do this… I will do this… The Sabbath day is one such promise.
I was not taught about the fourth commandment as a child. Yes, I read the 10 Commandments. I heard them spoken of. I knew it was important to keep God’s law. But I was also taught other things. I was taught that God’s law was not eternal. I was taught that His law had been nailed to the cross and was not longer truly applicable in my life.
It was not until I met my future husband, Mykal, who believed in following all of God’s Commandments that I began to understand – really understand – God’s plan for this world. Mykal was a Sabbath keeper. In other words, he kept the seventh-day Sabbath just as Jesus did during His life here on earth. It was something I had never studied and so I began an exciting foray into the Scriptures to learn just what God wanted me to understand. It was then that I realized how much I wanted to live a Biblical life. To really follow the Word of God and not the ideas of men.
The Sabbath has become such a beautiful, integral part of my life. It is hard to explain, but it is the highlight of my week. I look forward to the Sabbath above any other event or celebration in my life. The Sabbath is a 24 hour period set aside solely to worship my Savior and focus on my family without the pressures of work or other matters in life. For 24 hours, we can come aside to simply be with our Creator, the one who gives each of us the breath of life.
Most people do not want to take the time to follow God’s commandments. It is easier to continue in the path they have been following their entire lives. However, once a person realizes and understands the blessing that the Sabbath presents, their lives are changed forever.
Over the last few years I have noticed a number of common arguments or assumptions used by people when I discuss the Sabbath with them. I decided to simply go through each one here. I want to be clear and make no assumptions on my own part so that you can see what the Bible has to say on this subject.
From the Bible we know that God’s law, the Ten Commandments were special. They were different from the Mosaic laws which showed the Israelites how to keep the law. The Israelites were a very stubborn people who easily forgot how much God had done for them. The Mosaic laws were needed to remind them of the wretchedness of sin.
The Ten Commandments were written by God’s own finger. The stone tablets were placed inside the ark of the covenant and the Mosaic laws were placed on the outside of the ark. This showed God’s people the sacredness of God’s law. God told us that His words would not be altered or changed.
“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Psalm 89:34
When I first began keeping the Sabbath, it was hard. I was so used to being busy, that I had to force myself to stop. Just STOP. No TV, no shopping, nothing secular, no work, no housework, etc. The Bible says:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days thou shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work … For in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11
Most people will say that the Sabbath is for the Jews only. However, you can see in the verses above that God blessed the Sabbath day at the time of Creation – before the Jewish people existed. God knew we would forget and he asked us to remember.
God’s law has always been and always will be. It is the law of Heaven. When Satan fell, it was because he had broken God’s law. We know this because without God’s holy law there can be no sin. The law tells us what sin is. The Bible says:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20
“… for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4
We know that Abraham kept God’s commandments.
“Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:5
And if God’s law was not in existence at the time of creation, how would Cain have known that killing his brother was a sin? He knew because sin is the transgression of the law.
It is impossible to commit a sin and not break one of God’s laws. The Bible tells us that:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7
“I delight to do your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8
“Happy is he who keeps the law.” Proverbs 29:18
Come back tomorrow for Part Two of A Forgotten Promise!