The Sabbath

Since my husband became a believer last year we have often wondered about the law, specifically were we as Christ followers who are saved by grace still under the law and if so all of it or just part.  After many months of seeking God’s word on it, His enlightenment and understanding, we both feel led to keep the Big 10 as I call them.  The one’s God himself wrote on the stone tablets on Mt. Sinai.  You know all those thou shalt not’s, that are so important in a just and moral society, and that remind us of the sovereignty of God, that he is the only true God.  Those seem to be eternal laws, the Big 10.

God write 10 Commandments.jpg

But the laws also given to Moses at Sinai but referred to as the Law of Moses we feel those don’t hold up under the grace of Jesus – after all they were just pointing to what he would do on the cross.  They were the foreshadowing of His death and of the grace we are given as believers.  They were given to the Jewish people to point them toward the coming of Messiah, they weren’t given to all mankind necessarily.

So we keep the Big 10, that’s pretty easy really.  The first 3 are all about God, we got those down pat.  And the last 6 are moral laws, necessary for society to exist in any sort of harmony.  They are the common sense, if they aren’t upheld society breaks down, we have those too.  (Maybe socie3ty has certain members who need a refresher on them but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord so we got them.) You know don’t kill, steal, cheat, lie, or covet.  Without those basic laws life in any group becomes chaos.  They are fundamental, a part of our souls really, we all know them to be true whether we act on them or not.

So that just leaves numbers 4 and 5.  Keep the Sabbath and Honor thy Father and Mother.  These two laws seem to be two very misunderstood laws today.  I won’t deal with number 5 today – honoring our parents.  That’s a post for another day.  Instead I want to talk to you about the Sabbath, it’s the law I feel the modern church has forgotten about the most.  Actually they’ve just plain old got it all wrong according to Scripture.

4th-commandment

At some point in the last year or so I became increasingly aware of something, that we Christians as a whole generally keep the Sabbath on Sunday, the first day of the week.  Which began to feel weird, then wrong to me.  I think that I first began to feel convicted about it when I was teaching the creation stories to the toddlers at church, the whole seventh day thing kinda hung in my head, you know that the seventh day is Saturday, not Sunday.  It wasn’t until many months later that it really began to eat at me though.  I approached it as I do any problem I have, in prayer and study.  After my husband got saved he joined me in trying to sort it out.

It’s hard sometimes to feel led to do something that will put us at odds with most of our brothers and sisters but we do. We wholeheartedly believe we are meant to keep the Sabbath, on Saturday, just as God decreed some six thousand years ago.  What ? you say, Moses wasn’t alive six thousand years ago!  Where’d you get that?  Well, let me tell you a secret, Moses wasn’t the first to get the Sabbath law.  Nope, it is much older than that.  Here let me show you.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.  Genesis 2:1-3

This is Genesis guys, right at the beginning on day 7 – a Saturday as I will point out in a bit, that God gives the Sabbath to ALL mankind, right there in the garden to our first parents Adam and Eve.  Really letting that sink into my head was the real clincher for me but it took me a while to work my way back to it, after all the churches I had attended had both taught that we are under Grace not the law and that the Sabbath was on Sunday – only the Jews kept it on Saturday.  Which might be why it ate at me, why should we keep it different, why did the Jews insist on Saturday?  I started looking into why it was a different day for Christians, I mean it didn’t make sense really that there were two Sabbaths.  Obviously God only had one seventh day of creation so what was the story behind the switcheroo.

genesis-23

Turns out that way back in the early church days the Sabbath was celebrated on either Saturday along with the Jews or on Sunday if you happened to be in an area where the Romans wanted to kill you if caught worshipping on Saturday. Ok, that didn’t help much.  But this does.  The Roman emperor Constantine the Great enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in 321 AD. The law did not mention the Sabbath by name, but referred only to a day of rest on “the venerable day of the sun.”  From there the Catholic Church decided to just outright declare that Sunday was the new Sabbath and that’s what it’s been ever since.  (I’m summing it up here guys, it is complicated and messy, I wanna just cut to the truth.)  So man decided to change it, ok, that settles it for me – I’m going with what God said.  Saturday it is.

hebrews-44

But how am I sure Saturday is the seventh day well Jesus was crucified on Friday, the preparation day and they had to put him in the tomb before sundown because the Sabbath began at sundown.  Then he rose the day after the Sabbath (3 days from crucifixion to resurrection) on the first day of the week, Sunday.  That just leaves Saturday between, guess the Sabbath or seventh day is Saturday.  That’s it in a nutshell, if you’re interested in knowing more here is a very good documentary that really broke it all down for us and led us back to God’s eternal decree for the Sabbath.

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