Monday, August 24, 2009

Sabbath - What are Correct Sabbath Activities?

What should a person honouring the sabbath day do, and be expecting of the day?

In regard the first of these I have heard mothers say that the Sabbath is a constant run around; getting the kids ready for church and getting home to prepare meals etc. Then it has added challenge if they have a teaching calling. They question what kind of a rest day is it? I knew a man who went to church and then slept most of the day, as that was his rest day. Should I watch TV or listen to the radio?

Exodus 35:2-3 states _ "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whoever does work in it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire in a place you inhabit on the sabbath day."

To light a fire required cutting and carrying wood, starting a fire. This would have restricted food preparation which would have additionally required heavy lifting of cooking utensils. It was quite a chore compared to switching on a stove or microwave and carrying a saucepan. Obviously though, involved cooking would be an infringement still. But this is for you to decide, with help from the Holy Spirit. Whatever you do must rest well with your conscience in reality.

To understand this we need to consider what the idea of a sabbath day actually is. Why did God give the sabbath day commandment? How can taking one day aside out of seven help us spiritually?

To answer that let's look at what if God gave no sabbath day. What spiritual thought would the average Israelite have had? The vast majority would have had almost none. And would quickly have turned to idol worship and sacrificed their firstborn children in the fires of Molech etc. This is an extreme example to demonstrate God's wisdom and purpose in making a sabbath day.

In reality we should attempt to make our entire life built around spiritual things and being more God like. Thus we would have seven sabbath days a week in our hearts. However because we don't do this we need to have a sabbath day. This day should be a day of spiritual rest from unspiritual things of the world. These unspiritual things don't include motherly or fatherly duties. In regard such work on the sabbath day Jesus said, "My Father has been working up until this time, and I am working" (John 5:17). That work for the Father is looking after us His children.

So is watching TV or listening to the radio what would constitute "unspiritual things of the world"? I don't see too much spirituality on the TV myself (though I hardly ever watch it for that reason anyway). There are spiritual things that could be watched on the sabbath, such as conference videos or wholesome religious movies. The LDS distribution centre put out some of these. And the radio commentators often express sexual inuendo to suggest this thinking is normal. Thus it lowers moral standards in people's heads, suggesting we should think like that. As a side issue here, I find it a typical trick of Satan that those with one track minds are termed "broad minded", to hide the opposite reality.

To summarise then it is important to remain focused on the whole point of a sabbath. Whatever you do it should support God's concept of increasing you as a spiritual person by getting closer to Him. Scripture study, pondering upon spiritual things, prayer and service to others are the best things to accomplish this.


yeti said...

"Whatever you do it should support God's concept of increasing you as a spiritual person by getting closer to Him. "

do you think that is true of what we should do at all times, or only on the Sabbath?

Doug Towers said...


I think that question gets back to what I was saying in regard practising a Sabbath day at all. It really is a Law of Moses type of idea to make only one day a week in which we have a special religious day.

We should be practising a constant Sabbath to the Lord. My life is far better off by practising a seven day week of Sabbaths in my heart.

But first I had to learn to practise a one day Sabbath correctly.