How Should we Keep the Sabbath?

Posted in Sabbath Day
How Should we Keep the Sabbath?

Those who think that since we are in Yahushua, everyday is the Sabbath would think twice if they knew that if this were the case, then they would never be permitted to work or do anything having to do with our own pleasures on the Sabbath.

There are many blessings attached to keeping the Sabbath day holy. So lets find out what it means to keep this day Holy:

Deut 5:13- Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim. [In] [it] you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who [is] within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

So not only are we to rest, but those who work for us are to rest also. If we own a business, it is not acceptable to have all the employees working while we enjoy a restful Sabbath day. This commandment also includes anyone who we temporarily hire to work for us. For instance, when we go to restaurants we are hiring the cook and the waiter and the person who rings up the bill as a servant to work for us.

Also anytime we purchase anything on the Sabbath such as groceries and other merchandise we are hiring others to stock the shelves, clean up and ring up the bill for us because we are paying for their service when we purchase the items.

Nehemiah rebukes buying and selling quite sharply in this scripture:

Nehe 13:15- In those days I saw [people] in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all [kinds] [of] burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned [them] about the day on which they were selling provisions. 16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold [them] on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing [is] this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day? 18 “Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our Elohim bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

So buying and selling is clearly forbidden on the Sabbath. Going to restaurants and shopping malls and grocery stores is no way to keep the Sabbath holy. The Sabbath is a day of rest and prayer and worship. Not a day for doing our own pleasures:

Isai 58:13- “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, [From] doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy [day] of Yahweh honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking [your] [own] words, 14 Then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

So keeping the Sabbath day holy not only means that we aren’t to buy or sell, but also means that we are to refrain from our own pleasures such as sporting events, television, movies, etc. Also we are not even to speak our own words! Even our speech should be about Yahweh and His word. I assure you, if we keep the Sabbath day in this manner it will be much easier keeping Yahweh’s commandments because we have one day each week to refresh ourselves spiritually. It is a day that we can look forward to during the week that we can fully refresh ourselves both physically and spiritually. Yahweh never made our bodies to withstand constant labor day after day. It is no wonder that so many people we meet are so tired all of the time. And it is no wonder that people often fall away

Cooking and Preparation day

When Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, he re-instituted the Sabbath day. No doubt that the Egyptians expected them to work seven days a week. Here is Moses telling the children of Israel what they should do in preparation for the Sabbath:

Exod 16:23- Then he said to them, “This [is] [what] Yahweh has said: `Tomorrow [is] a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh. Bake what you will bake [today], and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’ “

On preparation day, we should prepare our food that will be eaten on the Sabbath so that we will not have to cook or prepare it on the Sabbath. There are many variations of how to do this which will not be discussed in this study. I encourage all who want to know more to either email me or study it out for themselves.

What is permitted on the Sabbath?

Now there are some things that are always okay to do on the Sabbath that the Scribes and Pharisees in Yahushua’s day would think forbidden:

John 5:10- The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry [your] bed.”

Luke 13:14- But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Yahushua had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

Luke 6:7- So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him.

Luke 6:1- Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grainfields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate [them], rubbing [them] in [their] hands. 2 And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?”

Note that in the above verses that the issue was not whether or not to keep the Sabbath but rather how the Sabbath should be kept! Let’s look at Yahushua’s response to these accusations:

Healing on the Sabbath:

Luke 13:15- The Master then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead [it] away to water it? 16 “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound–think of it–for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

Luke 14:5- Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6 And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

John 5:16- For this reason the Jews persecuted Yahushua, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Yahushua answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

Mark 2:27- And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

John 7:22- “Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?

Also take into consideration that the Levites sacrificed animals on the Sabbath day and therefore had to work. This is Yahushua’s answer to them when the disciples began to pluck grain to eat on the Sabbath:

Matt 12:3- But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 “how he entered the house of Yahweh and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests ? 5 “Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath , and are blameless? 6 “Yet I say to you that in this place there is [One] greater than the temple. 7 “But if you had known what [this] means, `I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless

Yahweh expects us to keep the Sabbath day holy. But it is always ok to do good on the Sabbath day and clearly Yahushua and the disciples did not have time to prepare for the Sabbath because they were doing Yahweh’s work. So if we have to do a little work on the Sabbath or cause another to do a little work on the Sabbath for Yahweh’s purpose then this is not breaking the Sabbath.

Of course one could take this to the extreme as well and say that it is impossible for them to refrain from going to work on the Sabbath or they would be fired and then not have any food. This is ridiculous. Yahweh will provide for us.

We needn’t be concerned about our food if we are obeying His Sabbath.

So, in summary we can see that Yahweh wants us to keep His Sabbath Holy by not working, buying, selling, causing others to work for us, speaking idle or vain words or doing our own pleasures on the Sabbath. There are only exceptions if we are fulfilling Yahweh’s purpose for something.

And this I leave to one’s own heart for only Yahweh knows our heart. To add a bunch of laws to try and apply to specific situations is legalism. And this is what the scribes and Pharisees were practicing. Yahushua clearly taught against that.