Reasoning, Prohibitions, & Inauguration of the Sabbath (Thought #3)Posted: December 4, 2008
I have not posted many thoughts due to studies in seminary and my workload at the time. I however took an hour to set a side this week to look once more at the issue of the Sabbath, and issues within the Sabbath. Below is a list of assessments I made this week on the Sabbath and just my thoughts on it.
Reasoning behind the Sabbath – It seems from Scripture that the Sabbath was made by religious and social concerns. Meaning that the Lord made the commandment in Exodus to his people to show a timetable. This timetable is that the Lord’s people follow the seven-day week that the Lord had made at creation. However it as well is not only a social but also a sign. The Sabbath mentioned in Exodus is a covenant made between God and his people.
Prohibitions – Seems once more from the Scriptures that work, all occupational work is to be ceased.
Inauguration of the Sabbath – Now I know that I may get a lot of flack for this, matter of fact I can assure you that many of my dear brothers my get quite upset at my thoughts at this section. However the question basically boils down to two areas of thought:
1. Is the Sabbath a universal institution given at creation by ordinances from the Creator, given to all of mankind?
2. Is the Sabbath Israelite institution based on a pattern and eschatological stance in which has purpose and goal in it to fulfill?
At this point in life, study, and seminary I have seen many faults in Dispensationalism and even yes, Reformed Theology. Now I happen to yes learn one way more than the other, but by no means do I stand on one ground or the other. And every time I do, usually that side I stand upon ends up kicking me out. However I see clearly from the Scriptures my own position on the above questions and will end today’s thoughts here.
Traditional Reformed, The Puritans, and many others believe that at creation God was setting ordinance that were to be followed for all of creation, man, animal, etc. They see that the day of rest given at creation was a divine plan of creation in order to make the creation ordinance.
To this my thoughts… that this world has yes come from the hand of God, and been ruined by that of man’s hand. This logic would only lead one to then see, that today’s world is not exactly that of creation itself nor is what God intended as the final plan. Today’s world does not have that of which finality will hold. So, the term “creation ordinance” is inadequate. Why is it not? Simply the divine rest is not made for all of mankind, so therefore how can the Sabbath shadow that of what Christ offers? I hear oh so often that Genesis 2 was given to all of mankind, however when I look at the text, I see nothing given of a “Sabbath”, nothing of a religious festival, nothing mentioned of a moral law, no actual command given to be kept in anyway. No, all we are given is simply this, God finished his creation and rested (not Sabbath) and ceasing from all activities that day blessing it. Yes, God did bless the 7th day, and now I often then hear, “that the language is the same from Gen. 2 and Ex. 20.” However the similarities are not identical, nor is the reasoning for mentioning the day the same. Matter of fact my thought is that yes at creation god blessed the day, then commanded that later to Israel so that if they kept it, then they would be blessed because he had already done previously.
None the less I end with this, that the Sabbath day can in now way be given perfectly in human terms but can finds its end goal in revelation in the New Testament in the gospel of Jesus Christ what it foreshadowed. I end with two thoughts:
1. Gen. 1-2 was to proclaim the creation of God, showing his holiness, sovereignty, majesty, and power, which he truly is. The act of creation was not “man-centered” so to speak but centered on the glory of God.
2. Therefore, Genesis 2 does not speak of a “creation ordinance” nor does it speak of the actual “Sabbath” that was given to Israel in Exodus 20. This mention of the day of rest in which God took was a day that yes was based on the account of creation, in which would become a sign (Exodus 20) of God’s redemptive goal for mankind, namely the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Be sure to check out the next thoughts on the Sabbath dealing with the Sign, Promise, and Observance of the Sabbath.