Friday, June 10, 2016

Mercy on the Sabbath

Genesis 2
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 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.
3 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.

God is God. God doesn't need rest. However, like a good father, He has set the example that we are to follow. Does God stop working on the Sabbath? I don't think so, but God's work includes making sure that His children are cared for and provided for. He expects each of us to act accordingly.

Jesus said,

Mark 2:27
“And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:”

When the Scribes and Pharisees accused him of profaining the Sabbath when he healed a man,

Mark 3:4
“And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.”

So, I think that as long as we are doing works of mercy (providing for our families so they won't starve, ministering to the sick, helping the poor, etc.) then we are not breaking the law of the Sabbath.

Matthew 12:7
“But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.”

This does not excuse anyone of not getting the rest that our bodies need. God mandated a Sabbath rest because He created man to need that rest. So, in order for our bodies to recharge it's vitality, rest is required, and that is the reason for the Sabbath Day. God knew that man would not rest unless he was made to, which is why He proclaimed the Sabbath Day as Holy, and made it a law.

Exodus 31:15
“Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”

As with any law that is broken, God (unlike earthly judges) looks at the intent of the heart. Was the lawbreaker acting in integrity? Was he given little choice but to work so that others could be blessed?

Luke 14
2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
6 And they could not answer him again to these things.
7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;

As long as we remember that God has blessed the Sabbath, and that He expects us to keep it Holy, blessings will come to those who honor it.

Exodus 20
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

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