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  • Writer's pictureWayne Shelton

The Sabbath as Joy

When we look at the Scripture’s case for observing the Sabbath, it is wise to start from the beginning. So, in the beginning, in Genesis 2, we see God setting apart the seventh day as a day of holy rest. It’s a day of worship, and it is for the good of his people. While it is true that we were made to work, we were made for more than work. We were made for worship—fellowship in communion with the living creator God. This is the goal of the Sabbath.

As we move on in the Old Testament, this is confirmed. And it is confirmed especially in the law of God as he gave it in Exodus 20 and the parallel in Deuteronomy 5, where God makes explicit that he wants his people to observe one day a week for worship and for rest. On this day we are to remember that God has made us and that God has redeemed us. In fact, God reminds us at the beginning of the giving of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, “And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…’” In other words, the giving of the Law is in the context of redemption.

Guy Waters, in his book, The Sabbath as Rest and Hope for the People of God says, “This command, which God gave at creation for the good of all his image bearers, takes on special meaning for the redeemed. When we remember our God—who he is and what he’s done for us—and then we come to the ministry of Jesus and see he is very critical of the Jewish leadership of his day, not because they’re keeping the Sabbath but because they’re not keeping the Sabbath. They’re breaking both the spirit and letter of it by adding what God has not commanded in his word and making it a crushing burden. But Jesus affirms the Sabbath. The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath.”

Join us this Sunday as we look at the Sabbath as joy rather than burden from Matthew 12. Remember, there will be no Sunday school, so join us for worship at 10am.

In Christ,




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