It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed. Exodus NLT. You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. As you can see in the above scriptures, the Sabbath was made by God for man as a day of rest and not worship.
In the book of Genesis, it is mentioned that God Himself rested from the creation on the seventh day. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. Genesis NLT.
This seventh day is actually an illustration of the rest God gives us believers, His church, through His Son Jesus Christ! For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. For only we who believe can enter his rest. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:. Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.
So let us do our best to enter that rest. Hebrews NLT. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations.
He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Ephesians NLT. That is why the Jewish believers of the first century church never were commanded to teach the gentiles to obey the Old Testament Sabbath day law. In the New King James translation of the book of James, chapter 2, verse 10, it clearly states:. But now we have been released from the law , for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
Romans NLT. The apostle Paul also puts it this way:. This servant's duty was to supervise the child's character development. Part of his job was to take the child to school each day. He wasn't the child's teacher, but was responsible to ensure that the child was under the teacher's care. God's laws have the same function as the household servant.
Scripture's precepts do not say only, "Don't do this" and "Do that.
Lens Principle. Precepts, put into practice, are based on principles.
Making Time for Sabbath
Ellen White expressed it this way: "The principles of truth impressed upon the heart, line upon line and precept upon precept, will produce right action. Sometimes I've had to help my children deal with hard issues. As we worked through them and came to a final decision, I've told them, "We're doing this as a matter of principle. Rules are many, Principles are few. Rules may change, Principles never do. A principle is larger than a rule or precept.
The Sabbath lay aside the burdens of life and rest focus on God and His agenda seek intimacy with God highlight the happiness, delight, and joy that come from having a relationship with God focus on God's Word enjoy God's created works and reflect on the love that gave them to us use the Sabbath to reflect on the gift of salvation and embrace eternal life focus on nurturing relationships with people use the day in service as a witness for God participate in corporate worship of God with church family respond to God's love with joyful obedience create an atmosphere of celebration it is the birthday of the world prepare in advance of Sabbath to enjoy its benefits express acceptance, love, and affirmation to the people in your influence use the day to ignore life's stresses and trust in God delight in spiritual healing, relief from guilt, and physical refreshment care for necessary physical needs.
For example, love is the principle behind God's command to love our neighbor Matt. Reverence for life is the principle behind God's command "Thou shalt not kill" Ex. Honesty is the principle behind "Thou shalt not bear false witness" verse The value of our relationship with God is one of the principles behind "the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work" verse Here are a few of the biblically based guiding principles for Sabbath observance I used in my study see box :.
These principles may exist at various levels of generality, but precepts rules emerge from them. And not every principle for Sabbathkeeping can or should be highlighted every week.
The Sabbath lasts, after all, only 24 hours. In that time we can sample only some of the many joys God created for our enjoyment on that day.
Samoa, the International Dateline Shift, and the Seventh-day Sabbath
But knowing the biblical principles behind Sabbath rules better equips us to make sensible, God-guided choices for Sabbath observance and living the Christian life in general. Still, principles are not the bottom line. There is yet another level beyond the principles to which precepts specific rules point. Lens Person. Precepts are not right only because they reflect a principle; they are right because they come from God--they reflect His nature.
For example, Exodus , 7 depicts God as compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, forgiving, and just. First John states that God is love. He inspired timeless truths principles and precepts rules to live by. If we know the Person, we have a better idea of what the right choice looks like in person.
True Sabbathkeeping is mostly about God, not only about us. When we are dealing with different cultures, decisions about Sabbathkeeping often seem difficult. What's prohibited in one culture is practiced freely in another, and vice versa. However, when we focus on God and His character, there is plenty of room for the Holy Spirit to guide the application of a biblical principle within different cultures.
So What? In Psalm David describes God's law as perfect, sure, right, radiant, pure, and righteous. The law has these qualities because they belong to the Lawgiver--God Himself. Likewise, Sabbathkeeping principles flow out of God's nature into His laws. These truths principles are "right for all people, for all times, for all places. Let's examine McDowell's and Hostetler's three P's--precept, principle, and person--in light of understanding how God wants us to observe the Sabbath.
Often the Sabbath comes at the end of a busy week. Work, school, and social obligations make our week a blur of often nonstop activity. How refreshing it is, when the family comes to Friday supper, to have special traditions, place settings, perhaps with scented candles, to remind us that God's day of rest has arrived. Perhaps a simple but special meal or dessert is reserved only for Friday evenings. What happens if the church continues to drive on the right handside when everyone in Samoa drives on the left My wife and I recently spent a year living in Malaysia. Until now, I am the driver for our family, so I did quite a bit of driving during that time.
In Malaysia, as in many countries, the rules require one to remain in the left lane of a two-lane highway, except for overtaking other vehicles. This, of course, is the opposite of many other countries, such as the U. Generally, vehicles are manufactured in such a way as to seat the driver toward the middle of the road.
Adventist Review: Of All the Week the Best
Thus, while we were in Malaysia, I sat in the right front seat for driving, while my wife was seated on the left. In , independent Samoa, in addition to moving ahead one full day in time, switched the rules of the road to require driving in the left lane. Thus, they will now prefer right-hand drive vehicles. I had to chuckle when Jenkins suggested, to our imagination, all of the Adventists stubbornly continuing to drive in the right lane.