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Friday, May 22, 2015

#29. What shall we do on the Sabbath? Part 7 - Take Delight in The Lord

Isaiah 58:13–14 — “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, 14 then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

In our final consideration of this passage, we want to see some of the outcomes for the believer that are promised by the Lord if he or she will observe the day as indicated.

By way of reminder, we have seen that we are to call this day a delight - it is to rank as the best of days to us.  We are to consider it honorable - heavy-laden with glory, spiritual riches and importance and we are to live in the light of that consideration. We are to set it apart from the other six days of the week, not occupying the time with our own interests, ways and pleasures but rather seeking to know and to do what pleases the Lord and what are His ways and His interests and to occupy the time with those things.

What will be the result once we give the day this kind of place in our lives?  The Lord tells us three things, and the are well expressed by Matthew Henry in his commentary:

1. We shall have the comfort of it; the work will be its own wages. If we call the sabbath a delight, then shall we delight ourselves in the Lord; he will more and more manifest himself to us as the delightful subject of our thoughts and meditations and the delightful object of our best affections. Note, The more pleasure we take in serving God the more pleasure we shall find in it. If we go about duty with cheerfulness, we shall go from it with satisfaction and shall have reason to say, “It is good to be here, good to draw near to God.”

2. We shall have the honour of it: I will make you ride on the heights of the earth, which denotes not only a great security (as that, Isaiah 33:16, He shall dwell on high), but great dignity and advancement. “You will ride in state, will appear conspicuous, and the eyes of all your neighbors shall be upon you.” It was said of Israel, when God led them triumphantly out of Egypt, that he made them to ride on the high places of the earth, Deuteronomy. 32:12-13. Those that honor God and his sabbath he will thus honor. If God by his grace enables us to live above the world, and so to manage it as not only not to be hindered by it, but to be furthered and carried on by it in our journey towards heaven, then he makes us to ride on the high places of the earth.

3. We shall have the profit of it: I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, that is, with all the blessings of the covenant and all the precious products of Canaan (which was a type of heaven), for these were the heritage of Jacob. Observe, The heritage of believers is what they shall not only be portioned with hereafter, but fed with now, fed with the hopes of it, and not flattered, fed with the earnests and foretastes of it; and those that are so fed have reason to say that they are well fed. In order that we may depend upon it, it is added, “The mouth of the Lord has spoken it; you may take God’s word for it, for he cannot lie nor deceive; what his mouth has spoken his hand will give, his hand will do, and not one iota or tittle of his good promise shall fall to the ground.” Blessed, therefore, thrice blessed, is he that does this, and lays hold on it, that keeps the sabbath from polluting it.

There is much more to see about how we should treat this day from a practical standpoint, but these verses have give us a very helpful foundation concerning the attitude of our hearts and how that should work out into the way we live on the Lord's Day.