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Friday, April 24, 2015

#25. What shall we do on the Sabbath? Part 3 - Honor the Day

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.”

From our previous meditations, we have seen that we are to keep the whole of Sunday holy to the Lord, and that we are to delight in this day above all others.

The next thing we see in our text concerns the honor that is to be afforded to this day.  Again, this is not simply a matter of what we say about the day (we are to say it is honorable) but it is a matter of what we do (we are actually to honor the day).  So immediately we see that as far as the Lord's Day is concerned, we must not simply talk the talk, but we must walk the talk as well - living out what we say we believe.

The word that is translated "honorable" above literally means "weight", and in the Bible it often has to do with glory, riches, importance, splendor, respect and distinction.  These ideas immediately create a clear picture of how we are to regard this day.  It is to be seen as a solemn day, for sure, heavy laden with the glory of our God. At the same time it is to be considered precious, full of spiritual riches. We are to hold this day in the utmost of respect, seeing that it is our Lord's day. It is different from all other days - distinctive and special.

However, we are not merely to have such thoughts about the day when we consider it.  We are in actual fact to treat it as a day that is full of these characteristics.  We are not to behave on this day as we do on every other - it is special and we are to behave in the light of its distinctiveness.  We are to regard it as "heavy with glory",  which means that we will not engage in trivial and meaningless pursuits on this day.  If this day is full of riches, more than any other, we will set ourselves to gather in as many of them as we can for the good of our souls.  If we regard it as important, we will not be swayed from our determination to keep the day holy to the Lord.  In behaving in this way, we will be honoring the day that the Lord has given us.

How often do we wake on a Sunday and slip seamlessly into the routine that applies on the other six days of the week, without sparing a thought to the fact that this is a day we are to honor and enjoy above the rest?  Perhaps in the light of our text we might train ourselves when we go to sleep on Saturday and as soon as we wake up on the Lord's day, to reflect on the "weightiness" of this day - overflowing with good things for our souls if we will only treat it in the right way and seek the Lord for His grace to do so!