Bible Insights

The Sabbath Day

Sunday Should Not Be a Day of Restriction but a Day of Freedom and Celebration

In the book of Exodus, God and Moses have a face-to-face meeting. That is significant. How cool would it be to have a direct conversation with the Almighty? Certainly, we’d remember what he told us and be careful to follow it completely.

One of the things God tells Moses is to only work for six days and then take a break. Many people today view this as an outdated command. They think God is trying to restrict what they do, limit their freedom, and force them to be bored for twenty-four hours.

That isn’t God’s intent at all. In fact, God wants to give them—and us—a break from our routine. Remember, these people are coming out of enslavement. They never had a day off. Every day was the same: work, work, work. From sunup to sundown and probably even more.

One day would blur in to the other, doing the same old same old thing day after day.

The Gift of the Sabbath Day

By telling them to rest on the seventh day, the Sabbath day, God was giving them a mini vacation from their labors. And what better thing to do on that day of rest then to focus on God and thank him for this amazing gift of a break.

If this idea of resting on the seventh day seems a bit familiar, go back to the creation account. God takes six days to form the reality in which we live and then he takes a break from his labors to consider the results.

He did something amazing and then takes time to rest from his work and marvel at what he has done (Genesis 2:2–3). In this he gives us an example to follow, and later, through Moses, insists we do so.

In case we miss this idea of the seventh day being a gift from God, Jesus reminds us. He says, “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

In this he confirms we aren’t beholden to the Sabbath Day, held captive by it, or restricted in any way. Instead, the Sabbath is for us to enjoy.

This means we must shove aside legalistic ideas of what we may and may not do on Sunday, which we adopted to be our Sabbath day. Instead we must embrace our seventh day for the freedom it gives us. How we do so is left for us to determine.

Viewing the Sabbath as a gift from God to us should change everything.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Exodus 32-34, and today’s post is on Exodus 34:21.]

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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

2 replies on “The Sabbath Day”

Nice article, but very confusing. All through the article you say the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week and then you say that we have adopted Sunday as the Sabbath. How can that be? Can man change what God has said? Sunday is clearly the first day of the week. When God blesses and sanctifies something man can’t change it.

Dan, yes, it is confusing how (and why) we switched from the Sabbath to Sunday.

I’ll add some links to more posts about the Sabbath and Sunday to the post.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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