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.
I did NOT expect the number of readers that actually read my first thought on the Sabbath, which is fine I guess. The thoughts I plan on to mention in the writing below are only a short one to two sentences over the Pentateuch’s mentioning of the Sabbath and what the Sabbath is literally. I think it is good at times to know what exactly this Sabbath is in order to know what we are talking about for future reference when dealing with it, and defining it accordingly to Scriptures definition and not some confession or some opinion, or even dictionary.
Ex. 23:12 – This here is the first session of the giving of the Law and only but a brief mention of the Sabbath is given, and might I add that it seems to include a social concern as reason in mentioning it. In context here, first the Sabbath is mention among the regulations that govern Israel’s social behavior among the other nations. Second, it seems as if this mention of the Sabbath here is giving a transition to the celebration of feast and in the offering of sacrifices, hence the reason that the Sabbath was incorporated as a celebration for the nation of Israel.
Ex. 31:12-17 – Here God concludes his list of instructions on the building of the tabernacle by the repeating the Sabbath Law. Here it must be kept or death. Here the Sabbath is shown as a type/sign of the covenant showing what God had done in His creation work in resting. Might I add that this sign was for only God and His people to cease work, or death.
Ex. 34: 21 – This here is one reminder that is given in the second tablets of the Moral Law.
Ex. 35:2-3 – Here the Sabbath has been reminded as a contribution of building the temple, and is mostly shown in law keeping more than any of the other mentions, allowing the woman to cook, bake, etc. most likely referring to Ex. 16:23.
Lev. 19:3,30 – Here in its shortest form, and here God claims for the first time as the Sabbath “my sabbaths.”
Lev. 23:3 – Here shows that the feasts begin with the Sabbath.
Lev. 26:2 – Repeats the theology and doctrine of the Sabbath from Lev. 19:30.
Duet. 5:12-15 – Here the Sabbath is done in repetition of the Decalogue, however here the Sabbath instead of being told to “remember” it is said to “observe.” In addition here the Law of the Sabbath is told to not use an “ox or ass” in its list of workers, as well as “menservants and maidservants.”
Concluding Thoughts I have made from this:
#1 The Sabbath in these passages is now introduce, the Law of it, and the keeping’s of it for the first time.
#2 All daily work must cease for everyone on the Sabbath.
#3 Those that break the law of the Sabbath must die.
#4 No fire can be made in the homes on the Sabbath.
The past two years I have attended Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary for my Masters of Arts (MAR). Realizing I now only have 13 months to go, I am starting now to think about what is it that I’ll be doing in January of 2010. But for the past two, and still this next one to go, I have had to study personally and number of areas of theology because my lack of wisdom from North-Central Ohio, or my pervious under grads that I had attended. Doctrines like going over the human soul, the humanity of Christ, to baptism, church government, and end times… They have all been a path that I have enjoyed dearly studying beside my reformed brothers that at often times may disagree with me on a number of issues (Baptism, Church Government, End Times) but still respect me and what I hold to from the Scriptures. Over the past year I have read numerous books, heard a number of debates and listen to many people on how the Sabbath carries over to that of the Church in the New Testament.
“The Moral Law still exists”
“The Sabbath was made before the Moral Law was given”
“The Sabbath was given at creation”
“The Moral Law cannot be fulfilled”
“The Sabbath is a Law given to all of creation”
“The Sabbath was a type of Christ and now looks back to Christ”
“The Sabbath is a clear distinction of seeing who the Lord’s people are”
“The Sabbath has now transferred to Sunday”
“It’s not Sunday, It’s Sabbath Day!”
“We have Sabbath-school, not Sunday-school…”
I hear a number of comments, sayings, sides, etc. Now since this is my own personal blog hopefully this post nor the numbers that will come that I plan to write on the Sabbath/Lord’s Day will not get me into trouble with my seminary nor my work. These post that I plan are only and will be only my thoughts as this next 3 months I plan to study the other side (against the keeping of the Sabbath) and just place them up for whoever wants to read, whoever wants to comment, and whoever wants to bash me. I plan NOT to respond back due to the lack of argument I want to create but just give my opinion and my thoughts as I study this area of Theology out, and please do leave whatever thoughts you may have.
22 On k the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of l solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” 24 So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and m it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for l today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”
27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, n “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people o rested on the seventh day.
Exodus 16:22-30 is the 1st occurrence of the actual term and/or concept of the Sabbath. The passage clearly allows one to believe that the institution of the Sabbath was unknown to the people of God (Israel) at this time. Before this actual mention of the Sabbath, the Israelites had been holding to the Egyptian 10-day week calendar. Matter of fact the narrative seems to be preparing the Israelites for the Sabbath which would then be commanded to then in the next coming months, namely Exodus 20 (Decalogue). Matter of fact verse 30 of this section says, “so the people ceased to gather on the seventh day.” Which clearly shows us that this celebration was not on the cultic aspect yet, but a human preparation.