The Sabbath – Key Scriptures

  • What is the fourth commandment? (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15).
  • Is the Sabbath to be a holy convocation (commanded assembly)? (Leviticus 23:2).
  • For whom did Jesus say the Sabbath was made? (Mark 2:27).
  • Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath because He made it Mark 2:28). God the Father created all things through Him (Colossians 1:13-16).
  • When did God make the Sabbath? (Genesis 2:2).

The Sabbath was made for man during creation week.

  • On which day of creation week did God rest? (Genesis 2:3).

God made the Sabbath by resting, whereas all else was made by working.

  • Did God rest because He was tired? (Isaiah 40:28).
  • Was observance of the Sabbath to be a sign of identification between God and His people? (Exodus 31:13-17).

The Sabbath is special to God.  It is a memorial of creation – a sign identifying God as Creator and those who keep it as His people.

  • Do days begin and end at sunset according to God? (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
  • Does God command us to celebrate His holy time from “evening to evening?” That is from sunset to sunset?  (Leviticus 23:32).
  • How did God intend the Sabbath be kept?

Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words,”

  • What are “your own ways”, “your own pleasure,” “your own words?”

Your own ways – This means course of life, mode of action – that is, your employment, enterprises, finances, the business of making a livelihood.

Your own pleasure – We should avoid having or mind, time and energy taken up in hobbies, sports, and pleasure seeking.

Your own words – This is the spiritual application of the first two principles.  We talk about what we are thinking.  Our words (Matthew 12:34) show what is going on in our minds and hearts.

  • Is the Sabbath to be observed each week regardless of pressing duties, rush business or ripe crops? (Exodus 34:21).
  • Does God command us to prepare for the Sabbath day? (Exodus 16:23-25).
  • Will God bless a faithful Sabbath keeper? (Isaiah 58:14, Isaiah 56:2-7).
  • How did Christ intend the Sabbath to benefit mankind?

Exodus 23:12 “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.”  (Notice the words “rest” and “refreshed”).

The word “Sabbath” means “rest” in Hebrew.  The Sabbath allows us to rest physically and mentally after a busy week.  God knew humans would need period rest from work.  The Sabbath allows us time to think more about God, to pray and worship Him, and to study the Bible to understand more about God’s purpose for us.

  • Was Sabbath keeping a test to see if the Israelites would obey God? (Exodus 16:4-5).
  • Was rebellion, especially Sabbath breaking, the reason God did not allow an entire generation of Israelites to enter His “rest”? (Ezekiel 20:12-13, 15-16).

The land of Canaan – the promised “rest” into which Israel finally entered (Joshua 1:13) – is spoken of in the Bible as a symbol of the Christian’s spiritual “rest” (Hebrews 4:1) – of being born into the universe-ruling Family of God!

  • What are New Testament Christians admonished regarding the assembling of themselves? (Hebrews 10:24-25).
  • Did Christ keep the Sabbath? (Luke 4:16, 31).
  • Jesus obeyed His own command to meet every Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3).
  • Was it the Apostle Paul’s custom to keep the Sabbath? (Acts 17:1-2).
  • Did the New Testament Church of God observe the Sabbath? (Acts 13:13-15, 42, 44; Acts 18:1, 4, 11).