The Morality of the Sabbath
Does God’s seventh day Sabbath have any connection with our behavior and moral conduct? In this article we will briefly review this question.
Throughout my many years of researching, and sharing, the truth of God’s word with others, I thought all the reasons that could be presented against the observance of God’s seventh day Sabbath, as detailed in the Ten Commandments, had been heard (see Exodus 20: 8-11), until the following one was presented.
I cannot quote the discussion here, but the focus of attention was directed against the keeping of God’s Sabbath (from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset) because it was asserted that while God’s other nine Commandments have to do with morality, His fourth one does not.
To understand this issue better, we first need to examine the meaning of the word moral and discover its close associate morality.
The definition of moral and morality includes:
- Of, or relating to, principles of right and wrong in behavior.
- And, morality is a doctrine or system of moral conduct.
From this we can see that both of these words have to do with conduct and behavior.
In the Ten Commandments we find principles that affect our worship of God and our duty to our fellowmen. But to some, right in the middle of these Commandments is God’s Sabbath; and it seems to some that it would be much better if it just was not there.
We know we are to worship only God; and not bow down to idols.
Using, or speaking God’s name in an irreverent manner (including ways in which people live) isn’t appropriate.
Honoring your parents is good, and a blessing.
As for killing… most people will agree that we should not kill (murder).
There are still people today who believe in the sacredness of marriage, and the family unit, and would uphold it until death would part them.
Stealing is not a good thing to practice, because it brings loss and hurt to others, and sorrow to yourself if you get caught.
Lying, and coveting things that aren’t yours, has long been known to present problems in every society, even though, unfortunately, people still do these things.
Most would agree that the foundation of God’s Ten Commandments has helped keep the world together; and every civilized nation generally recognizes their value in theory, though not always in practice.
God’s seventh day Sabbath, however, has long been an issue in many minds as to whether it should be kept or not, which day it really is, and whether we are still required to hold it as an important principle for God’s kingdom.
But, does the Sabbath have to do with our behavior and moral conduct?
To answer this question we will turn to the Scriptures.
The Bible states:
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… 1 Thessalonians 4:3
Sanctification is the process whereby God prepares us for eternity. We cannot enter heaven today, because our sins have not yet been overcome; and no sin will be allowed in that holy place. Sanctification is the work of setting God’s people apart for a holy purpose. It takes a lifetime to mature and perfect our characters so we may fill the place the Lord would have us fill, and so we maysee, and be with, Him forever. We know, too, that sin is rebellion against God and His law.
Rebellion is the highest form of treason against God and His government. God’s will is that in this life we prove ourselves true in every way to all of His commands and show that we can be trusted to be faithful in every way, both now and in the new world to come, where sin will never rise again. Jesus prayed that the will of His Father might be done: …as in heaven, so in earth….
If we truly love God, it will be our delight to obey Him in whatever He commands.
When we relate these things to the Sabbath, we can see that God commanded it for a purpose.
It is His will. The very first word of the fourth commandment, lest we forget, is Remember.
It was to be remembered from the start – when it was first given at creation – as a memorial of His creative power, declaring that He is the only God of the universe.
In observing the Sabbath according to the commandment, we show that we recognize His ownership of the world and of our lives.
We acknowledge Him as our Lord and God, and show that we are willing to be obedient to the directions He has set forth for our good and happiness.
The value of God’s seventh day Sabbath is clearly stated:
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you… It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed. And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Exodus 31:13, 17, 18
If we obey the principles of this commandment according to what God has said, and written, all our conduct and behavior can be brought into harmony with His will.
It is the highest form of loyalty to be in complete obedience to the King of the universe, and there is nothing more moral than this.
This article was written by Chris Teske
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