christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

the sabbath holiday

Previously: why I started celebrating the seventh day sabbath

For a number of weeks now I have been resting on Saturday, the seventh day, and observing the first holiday which was ever instituted: the Sabbath. The first time I did this, I was so blessed with the Lord’s presence with me, and with such a restful day of peace, that I was loathe to not celebrate it again the next week, LOL. So it has gone. I have just finished my work for this week, and am taking the afternoon to prepare for the Sabbath, as I have done for the past weeks.

I was resting on Sundays for many years, but never experienced anything comparable to what I am experiencing now, when I rested on Sundays. So my question has been, “Why, Lord? Why Saturday, since I have been taught that the day in which we are to honor You was changed from Saturday to Sunday after the resurrection of Jesus?”

“And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.” Gen 2:2-3

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exo 20:8-11

“The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are My appointed feasts. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places.” Lev 23:1-3

I noticed two things right away. 1) The seventh day has been made holy — i.e., set apart from that which is common or profane — in commemoration of something important, that it is YHVH God who is our Creator, therefore we owe Him worship and service; and 2) the sacredness of the seventh day was established from the foundation of the world, about 2500 years before the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Then I discovered something else. The Lord names eight holy days (holidays) in Lev 23 which are His appointed feasts, and Sabbath is the first on the list. It is actually set apart in the text of the list, if you read the entire chapter. (A set apart day in which the instructions concerning it are also set apart from the rest of the instructions … interesting. I wonder if that means something?)

An appointed feast, in Hebrew, is moed, and it literally means an appointment. God has made an appointment with His creation in these eight feasts, of which the seventh day, the Sabbath, is first and is even set apart from the other appointments. The first time this word appears in the Bible is in Gen 1:14:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, …”

The Hebrew word for “signs” is moed, an appointed time. This verse might even be saying, “Let the sun, moon, and stars be for marking YHVH’s appointments, and the seasons, days, and years.” Calendars can change, but not the sun, moon, and stars, not until the Lord Himself changes the heavenly bodies. They serve as vast cosmic timekeepers, and will continue to do so until the time decreed from the foundation of the world for them to be rolled up.

So I initially concluded that God’s presence shows up in our home on Friday evenings when the sun is going down, rather than on all those Sundays when we never experienced Him in a similar way, because He has made an appointment with His creation on the seventh day!

Continued: sabbath views and questions

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