Keeping the Sabbath “HOLY”

Gen 2:1  “…the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Gen 2:2  And on the seventh day God  ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

Gen 2:3  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The keeping of the Sabbath Day was not commanded for the first time at Mount Sinai, it was sanctified or ‘set apart’ as a special day at creation. Thus Moses said, “Remember” the Sabbath.

It wasn’t given to the ’Jews’, who came along some 1500 years after creation, it was  given to  “mankind,”  namely, Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, and to all their descendents after them, including  those of us alive today.

The question we’re going to address in this article is that since the 7th day of the week, the sabbath, was made a sanctified or set apart day, by the Almighty, at creation, how do we honor it as such?   How do we ‘keep’ or observe the Sabbath Day?

The apostle Peter tells us that ‘all’ things have been given to us pertaining to life and holy living (2 Pet 1:3).  In other words the answer to all our questions, including our observing of the Sabbath Day,  are found in the Book, Yahuweh’s Word.

The command to keep holy the Sabbath was included in the 10 commandments, that most Christians today say they believe and obey, but fact is that most do not.  

Exo 20:8  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exo 20:9  Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:

Exo 20:10  But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahuweh thy God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within thy gates:

Exo 20:11  For in six days Yahuweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahuweh blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

We’re told 4 things concerning the Sabbath Day:  

1st - we’re told to keep the Sabbath Day ‘holy.’   The word ‘holy’ means to “sanctify or set apart” as something special.  

2nd - we’re told to do all our work on the 6 days of the week, and the 7th day is a Holy Day to Yahuweh, in it no work at all is to be done.

3rd - we’re told that “you“ are not to do any work at all, nor your son, daughter, maidservant, manservant, your livestock, not the stranger within your gates. 

4th - and lastly we’re told that because Yahuweh made the heaven and the earth in six days and rested the seventh day, we also are commanded to rest “on the 7th day.“

Be ye holy – Leviticus 19:2

When Yahuweh tells His people to “be Holy” it wasn't a request, it was a command. But what does it mean to keep something “HOLY?”

The  word translated ‘holy’ is the Hebrew word ‘qodesh,’  and it simply means to “set apart,  separate, sanctify.”  So this one day, the 7th day of the week, is to be a set apart day, dedicated to Yahuweh. 

It’s his day, all 24 hours of it.  Not 12 hours, not 18 hours, not 23 hours and 59 minutes, but all 24 hours of it. And to use even one minute of it for your own purpose, is a violation of that sanctified, set apart time, that Yahuweh calls His Sabbath Day, and it is a sin. 

How are we commanded to set apart or sanctify the day? 

By ceasing from our own pleasure, and to dedicate the day, the whole 24 hours, to Yahuweh (Is 58:13).  Using it to study his word, learning his will and purpose in our lives.

Could someone spent the day watching TV or listening to secular programs on the radio, even for a half an hour on the sabbath, and tell themselves it’s for Yahuweh’s entertainment their doing it? 

Could we or would we dare to say that watching a football, or baseball game on the sabbath is sanctified time? Sanctified, meaning set apart, dedicated to Yahuweh? If anyone can answer yes to that question, I assure you, you do not know Yahuweh.

Baking and boiling

We’re  commanded “not to bake and boil on the Sabbath.” (Ex 16:23). 

Some people while obeying the commandment ‘not to bake and boil,’ in my opinion, seem to go beyond what is written, and refuse to even warm food on the sabbath. The command is not to bake (cook).  Once something is ‘fully’  cooked, warming it is not a violation of the commandment.  If any one would disagree please explain to me how warming something over a stove that has already been fully cook is any different than someone warming themselves at a campfire. Surely you wouldn’t say you were being “cooked”.

While at the same time, others show total discard for the commandment by boiling their coffee on the sabbath day. Or  baking their favorite meal on the Sabbath. 

Many people today ’rationalize’ how baking and boiling somehow doesn’t apply to them, but I firmly believe it’s rationalizing that’s going to keep a good number of “believers” from the Kingdom.  By your “thinking” something doesn’t apply to you, in no way changes the fact that it’s a “sin”. 

The Savior tells us that on Judgment Day there will be many people that “thought” they were saved.  But they weren‘t. And neither will anyone who continues to “bake and/or boil” on the sabbath.    Matthew 7:21-24

Kindling a fire

We’re commanded “not to kindle a fire”  (Ex 35:3) on the sabbath.

The word “kindle” can be defined two ways.  One is to ‘start’ a fire and the second is to ‘feed’ a fire, by adding wood to an existing fire. 

Before we look at how it is Yahuweh meant for it to be understood let me say that whichever of these two meanings we come to understand the word ‘kindle‘ to mean, that’s what we’re commanded to abide by.  Not to do so is called ’sin’ and no practicing sinner will inherit the Kingdom.

Realizing that the sabbath is called a ‘feast’ day, a day of delight. (Lev 23:1-3; Is 58:13)  And realizing that it snows on occasion in Israel, I think we’re safe, at least in my opinion, to assume that Yahuweh did not expect for his people to huddle with blankets on the sabbath day, because they we’re not permitted to add wood to an existing  fire.  But let me add that if that is what he commanded us to do then that’s what we would have to do. And even though we might not understand why Yahuweh commanded certain things, it doesn’t matter. Our responsibility is to simply obey. 

But the good news is, that isn’t what he meant by ’kindling’ of fire.

I  believe, and I think the following passages will bear witness to the fact, that to ‘kindle’ a fire is to ‘start’ a fire.  Which we’re not permitted to do  on the sabbath day.  

Four times the word ‘kindle’ is used in the KJV bible.  One being the verse in question, Exodus 35:3 and the other 3 are listed below.  Parenthesis are mine:

Isa 30:33   For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Yahuweh, like a stream of brimstone, does kindle (start) it.

Isa 43:2   When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle (start) upon you.

Jer 7:18   The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle (start) the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

 And 9 times the word ‘kindled’ is used, and again I believe all 9 times all bear witness to the fact that to ‘kindle’ a fire is to ‘start’ a fire.

(Exo 22:6;   2Sam 22:9;   2 Sam 22:13; Psa 2:12;  Psa 18:8;   Psa 106:18;    Isa 50:11;  Jer 44:6;   Eze 20:48).

I might add,  and would be happy to explain further, that if a fire was started before the Sabbath, to ’move’ that fire, say from a burning candle to a stove, is not starting a fire, it‘s ‘moving’ an existing fire to another location.  The fire was already started before the Sabbath and simply moved.

The example of Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-2), who rather then taking, or ’moving’  the fire from the alter to burn the incense, used  ‘strange’ or common fire from another source, tells us that once a fire is lit, we’re not “starting” a new fire by “moving” it to another location.

Which is one of the reasons for the lighting of the Sabbath ‘candle’.  

 Buying and selling on the Sabbath

We’re not to “buy or sell” on the sabbath day. (Neh 10:31)

In other words we do not transact business on the sabbath day.  I don’t believe this is a hard concept to understand and yet so many today that call themselves believers refuse to obey it.

Is paying someone, anyone, money to work for you on the sabbath day, transacting business? 

Would you, by paying someone to do something, anything, for you on the sabbath, be classified as “buying” their services? The answer is definitely “YES”. 

And that’s called ‘sin’.

If someone were to work for you on the sabbath and yet you didn’t pay them until after the sabbath, would you still be “buying” their services? 

Can we grocery shop, or go to Wal-Mart and shop on the sabbath and pay with a credit card rather then cash and tell our selves we’re not transacting business, since we don‘t have to pay for it until the end of the month? 

How about if someone offered to work for you “on the sabbath” by washing your car and cleaning your house “for free,” would that be a violation of your ‘man servant or maid servant’ working?  Aren’t your animals even commanded to rest on the sabbath day?

What if someone offered to work at your business for you “free” on the sabbath, would that not be a violation of the command not to have my man or maid servant working on the sabbath day? 

Of course it would be.  And that’s called sin.  And no sinner will inherit the Kingdom. (Ps 5:5; 1 John 3:6-8). 

Who has the responsibility to make sure the Sabbath day is kept holy?

Of  course the command is for everyone and anyone that belongs to Israel or would join themselves to Israel. But who is directly responsible for making sure that the sabbath day is observed as a holy, set apart, day? The answer is the ‘man’ is,  the head of the household.  (1 Cor 11:3)

Sorry ladies it’s the man that’s the head of the household, not the sons, not daughters, not man or maid servants, not even the wife, it’s the man that Yahuweh commanded to “make sure the sabbath is observe” under his roof and on his property. 

Because some women will find it hard to accept the fact that it’s the man that Yahuweh put in charge of the household, and because some men refuse to take the responsibility of being the head of his house, I’ll take the time to go through and show that it’s the ‘man’ that Yahuweh is speaking to and it‘s the man that Yahuweh will hold responsible, if the sabbath is not observed in his house or on his property.

In Exodus 19:6 Yahuweh says to Moses, “…these are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

The word ‘children’ found in this passage is the Hebrew word ’bane’ or ’ben’  and it’s translated approx. 3,000 times as “son, sons, man or men.” 

And approx. 1,568 times as “children, children’s, or child.”  Meaning men or women, or both.

And one time as “daughter.”

But in reference to the sabbath and who’s responsibility it is to make sure that it’s observed,  it’s definitely referring to the man.  As I’ll go on to show.

Also in Ex 19:6 these same ‘children’ are called to be priest,

And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”

Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the Scriptures, realizes that ‘women’ are never called to be priest.  Yahuweh is speaking to the ‘men.’

In verses 14-15, Moses went unto the ‘people’ and said, “"Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman."

Obviously these ’people’ that Moses is speaking to are the ‘men.’

And on the third day, after refraining from going near a women,  “ Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God ; ….  (Ex 19:17) 

These ‘people’ were the “men.”

And throughout the rest of the chapter the ’people’ mentioned are the ’men.’

It’s the “men”  that were standing by the mountain.

And it’s the men that were being spoken to by Yahuweh and given the commandments.

And it’s the man that will be responsible for making sure that these commandments are observed by his family. 

With that in mind lets read the command to “keep holy the sabbath.”

Exo 20:8  "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exo 20:9  "Six days you (men) shall labor and do all your work,

Exo 20:10  but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yahuweh your God ; in it you (men) shall not do any work, you (men) or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

Exo 20:11  "For in six days Yahuweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahuweh blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

To all the men:  it’s your sons, and your daughters, and your male and female servants, etc… that will keep holy the sabbath and it’s “your” responsibility to make sure that it’s kept. 

I think a sad truth is that many men today are not the head of their households.  But the sadder truth is that Yahuweh will hold them responsible, because they never assumed the roll that Yahuweh commanded of them. 

To the men: if someone in your household, your son, your daughter, your servants, or a stranger that happens to be visiting you on the Sabbath, “YOU” are responsible to make sure that they observe the day as a set apart, holy day. If you allow them to violate the sanctity of the Sabbath, you might as well be violating it yourself, because you will be held accountable on Judgment Day. 

To keep the Sabbath day holy, is not a request, it’s a command.  And for anyone to not obey that command, again that’s called ‘sin.’  And there won’t be anyone in the Kingdom that continues to practice sin.

Your reward will be a “… a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation…” which Yahuweh promises to those who continue in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth. (Heb 10:26-29) 

Contrary to the lie that Satan has so many believing today, in that Yahuweh loves the sinner but hates the sin,  Yahuweh ‘hates’ sinners. (Ps 5:5)

There wouldn’t be any sin in the world if it wasn’t for the ‘sinners’ committing it.

The ‘Fear’ of Yahuweh is the  beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10).

If you fear Him you’ll understand the importance of keeping the sabbath ’holy.‘

Especially you men,  your responsible isn’t  just for yourself, but for your entire household.

If anyone would like to add or discuss anything I’ve stated I’d be happy to do so. 

If anyone should disagree with anything I’ve said, Please out of love for me, explain to me why you disagree.  If I should be wrong, I won’t hesitate to change.  I don’t want to find out when it’s to late, on Judgment Day, that I was wrong.  And hopefully neither do you.

Shalom Reuven.