For most of my working career I spent the week looking forward to Friday. Yeah, TGIF, you know it “Thank God it’s Friday”. During hard-drinking years I made great preparations. Things like making sure I had at least a half-gallon of the booze I was drinking, sometimes whiskey and others vodka. This was especially true during the years I spent in Utah, the land of state run liquor stores and ‘bring your own bottle’ laws. But no matter where I was I was prepared before the sun set. It’s party time!
You know what is odd when I became a Sabbath keeping Christian, I still look forward to Friday night and TGIF still applies. The difference is now I celebrate God’s way! So on this Friday I thought I would share some thoughts one of the most amazing blessings that most of the world misses out on, the Sabbath.
The first thing, I guess, is to see where I traveled to become a Sabbath believer. Some people are sure that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Biblical Sabbath. While others believe that Saturday, the seventh day of the week, is the Sabbath. When I was coming to the Lord, I was confused and tired of listening to others. The only real authority I could believe was God’s word. So I checked out the book of Exodus and for sure there the fourth commandment said : “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor and do all your work but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.”(Exodus 20:8). I already knew the book of Genesis says at the very completion of creation God declared a rest for Himself and all He created. “And on the seventh day God ended all the work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3). From there I had to believe Adam kept the Sabbath, so did Noah, Abraham and all the Patriarchs. But I could see after the people had been in bondage they forgot about the rest God had given them. When Moses received the commandments it was clear to me God reminded the people how important the Sabbath was. The fourth is the only commandment to begin with the word “Remember”. I think it was this that convinced me but I still had questions.
I heard Christians saying that all of this was changed by Jesus and His death and resurrection, but when I looked at the Word I just didn’t see it. In New Testament I saw Jesus followers still observing the Sabbath after His death, Joseph of Arimathea had buried Jesus, the women were following and Luke tells us “That day was the Preparation and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” (Luke 24: 54-56). The next verse states the women came back on the first day of the week, they had rested and a new week was beginning then they were ready for 6 days of work.
But what about the resurrection didn’t that change everything? Again I never saw a clue that any of Jesus followers ever stopped keeping the Sabbath. All through the book of Acts, Peter, Paul and all of the Savior’s disciples kept the commandment. I found out the word Sabbath is mentioned 84 time in the book of Acts while the ‘First Day’ just 8 and only once concerning a worship service. That sure seemed odd to me if the first day if the week was important. So for this hardcore skeptic it was evident the Bible just didn’t support the whole idea of a changed day. Sure I did go on to read many books on just how the day was changed and if you are looking for more on the topic there are many good books written on the subject, a short and easy read you can get online is: “From the Sabbath to Sunday” by Carlyle Boynton Haynes. Check it out.
As for me I now believe in and find joy in the Sabbath day. I Thank God it is Friday and like in the old days I am preparing. Nope, I am not storing up the booze. Now a days I am filling my heart and mind with the God’s Word. Just look what the prophet Isaiah says: “If you keep from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day. If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find joy in the Lord and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” (Isaiah 58: 13-14). When we delight in His day, He blesses us. A pretty good deal!
Maybe you should give it a try! Take tomorrow off. Your Boss and Creator will be taking it off right along with you!
I am voting to change TGIF to TGIS: “Thank God it’s Sabbath.” Yeah, I like that! How about you?