Summary: As believers who celebrate the Lord’s Day, we can learn from what God told Israel about the Sabbath and how you and I can enjoy the Lord’s Day the right way.

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ISAIAH 58:13-14

INTRODUCTION: In Isaiah 58 we see God speaking concerning the religious activity of the children of Israel during the Babylonian captivity. He addresses and gives stern condemnation of their religious forms and ceremonies calling for genuine demonstration of faith in God. God then goes on to center in on one area that if observed properly would prominently testify to the world of their faith and relationship to God – the proper observance of the Sabbath. As believers who celebrate the Lord’s Day, we can learn from what God told Israel about the Sabbath and how you and I can enjoy the Lord’s Day the right way.

While the subject of Sunday observance may not be popular today nevertheless it is important. First let us consider how Israel abused the Sabbath and how Christians have been guilty of similar abuses of the Lord’s Day and then consider how I believe God would have us observe it.

I. Sunday Observance – Legalistically

A. Deuteronomy 5:14 "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, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou."

B. During the Maccabean period of Jewish history a number of zealous Jews pushed to excess the idea of resting on the Sabbath. They went to the point that they forbade even self-defense on the Sabbath in time of war.

C. John 5:16 "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day."

D. John 9:16 "Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keeps not the Sabbath day..."

E. Luke 13:14-16 "And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"

F. Matthew 15:8-9 "This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. [9] But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

G. In 1610, in Virginia, the first Sunday law in America required church attendance of all, and decreed death upon the third offense.

H. Captain Kemble, of Boston, was, in 1656, set for two hours in the public stocks, for his ’lewd and unseemly behavior,’ which consisted of kissing his wife in public on a Sunday morning on the doorstep of their home upon his return from a three-year ocean voyage.

I. A man who, having fallen into the creek while on his way to church, had returned home to dry his only suit of clothes, was found guilty and "publicly whipped."

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