Summary: Is Sabbath important? People say Sabbath is no longer relevant. Sunday is now the day of worship. What are you suppose to do on Sabbath?
-- Picking Oranges from Trees --
Have you picked an lemon or persimmon from a tree branch that hangs over the wall? Or walked next to orange orchard and pick a orange because it is hanging over the fence?
There is a law in Israel that allows people that is passing by or the poor to pick-up wheat and barley from the corners of the field or wheat that has dropped on the ground from the harvesters. The story of Ruth was all about helping the poor by allowing them to harvest the dropped wheat.
-- Harvesting on the Sabbath --
So it was with Jesus. Jesus and his disciples were spending a quit afternoon walking through the countries side. It was the time of harvest. As the sun rose toward noon, the disciples picked some wheat and rubbed the cornels so they have a bit to eat.
They must of been talking about something important as they forgot it was Sabbath.
Well, there were some Pharisees nearby that saw this. The Pharisees approached Jesus to confront him of this.
"Why are you allowing your disciples to harvest on the Sabbath? Don't you know that you are not suppose to work on the Sabbath?"
Jesus' replied by saying: "The Sabbath was made for men and not men for the Sabbath."
Many believe that by saying this, Jesus nullified the Sabbath restrictions. We can do most anything we want on this day.
As Seventh-day Adventists, we should understand the Sabbath well. At first, I was under the impression that most people sitting here know all about the Sabbath, but I found that to be untrue. So I decided to address some of the issues that I see about the Sabbath.
When I think about the Sabbath three main questions come to mind. I shall attempt answer them but first let us remind ourselves of the origins of the Sabbath.
**** Pray ****
-- God's Date --
Six thousand years ago, God and Adam set a date. God told Adam that He will come down to spend time with him every evening and on seventh-day of every week. On that day, Adam did not have to work but rather take the day off to spend time with God. Let's read it for yourself:
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3 NKJV)
So God made this day holy or a day to worship Him.
8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9 NKJV)
That was the beginning of the human race's relationship with God. Our ancestors stood God up.
-- Sin --
After sin, Adam and Eve was not able to walk with God any more. They were sinful and God's glory would have killed him instantly. But God did not abandon them. Every Sabbath, they were to come to the gate of their old Garden home and worship there.
Down through the ages, God continued to come to on the Sabbath, but man forgot their appointment except for a few.
-- Exodus --
About two thousand years after creation, a man by the name of Moses came along. God called Moses out of exile to go and deliver His people from slavery. After a series of miraculous plagues the Egyptians finally let the Israelites go. They arrived at the mountain of God, Mount Sinai. There, God gives these people His laws - the Ten Commandments.
One of those Laws renews the original agreement - the date God had set with humanity. Do you know what is the name? - Yes, the forth commandment.
Shall we read this commandment again. Turn your Bibles to Exodus 20:8-11:
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11)