JEREMIAH 17:24-27: “And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the LORD, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, 25 then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever. 26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the LORD.
27 “But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” ’ ”
OBSERVATION: What is the significance of the “Sabbath”? In this exhortation the blessing or judgment of Judah hangs in the balance of their observance of the Sabbath. The Lord had told them not to do any work on the Sabbath, but to hallow it as a day unto The Lord. The promise was that if they did this the throne of David would be established forever. However, if they did not hallow the Sabbath – judgment would follow.
The Sabbath was a day of rest, reflection, worship, faith, and trust in Jehovah. The Lord had told them in the commands given through Moses – “Six days you shall work, but the seventh is a day of rest.” Jesus made it clear – “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man.” God was calling His people to a day of rest, reflection, and worship. However, it would require faith and trust. In fact, it was the indicator of the level of faith and trust they had in Jehovah.
The natural inclination was – we have to work! If we don’t work, we won’t eat! We can’t miss this opportunity to get things done.! All of these pressing attitudes revealed a lack of trust and faith in The Lord. The Lord had taught the children of Israel in the desert – obey The Lord and He will provide. Their hallowing of the Sabbath was the measurement of their faith and trust in Jehovah. This is why The Lord could make this promise. It was not a promise based on “works” – It was a proclamation based on faith!
Although we are not under the Law, and in the New Testament we have the freedom to observe a different day for worship (Romans 14:5-6), the principle of the Sabbath is still relevant for our lives. There was a time in our culture when this was honored and respected. Sunday was the day that we set aside for worship. It was the Lord’s day. We labored and rushed all through the week – but Sunday was the day that was dedicated to The Lord. It was a day that as a family we would celebrate His goodness by worshipping at church and then celebrating His love together around the Sunday dinner table. Could our lack of respect and observance of the “Sabbath” today be an indicator of our lack of faith in The Lord?
It takes faith to stop our business. It takes commitment to order our lives around the call to worship. We must choose priorities. We must give up something so that we can gain that which cannot be taken away. As we raised our daughter, and throughout our life, Karen and I have always honored the Sabbath. We have made it not only a priority, but a joy and privilege to worship The Lord together. Have we ever missed a Sunday – of course. However, this is the rare exception. Even on vacation, when possible, we have taken great joy in worshipping The Lord with another church family. It has proven to be a hallmark of strength and blessing for our family. Our memories of our Sundays together are some of the best memories that we have!
Hallowing the Sabbath is a choice. Hallowing the Sabbath is a commitment. Hallowing the Sabbath does more to teach our children the importance of honoring The Lord in our lives than almost anything else. If worshipping The Lord is so important that we set aside an entire day for this purpose – surely we should also honor Him in every area of our lives. If you have fallen from your commitment to worship – please return. It will be like a rudder that will begin to turn the ship of your life and family aright. Hallow the Sabbath Day! In Jesus Name!
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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. 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 NKJV)