The Blessings of the Sabbath
I am not a sabbitarian, but sometimes wish I was. At the moment I can’t overcome a few theological issues that prevent me from embracing the view. Thankfully this does not prevent me from honoring Sunday and seeking to set it aside as a special day, one dedicated to the Lord in a unique way. I recently found this quote in Walter Chantry’s Call the Sabbath a Delight. Again, though I am not a sabbitarian, I can agree with him on the blessings that can be ours if we keep this day set apart to the worship of the Lord, to instruction and to fellowship (which is to say if we seek to make it a day set apart from our usual tasks of studying, working, earning a living).
There is blessing to be had in connection with keeping the Sabbath Day. Surely the reference is to blessing which falls on his creatures who enter into God’s rest with him. There is great benefit and happiness heaped upon those who keep the day holy. Our heavenly Father has pledged blessing within Sabbath observance.
Where a weekly day is not spent in the worship and service of God, ignorance of God and his Word increases rapidly both in and outside the church. Families disintegrate, finding inadequate time to instruct children in morality, no time to pray together as families. Individuals are “stressed out” because their souls are neglected and they can find no fountains of spiritual refreshment. Churches are weak and neglected. Few worshippers are present and even fewer are found who will devote time to the Lord’s service within her body.
What blessings are to be found in devoting an entire day to the worship and service of the Lord? His own nearness to his people. A knowledge of the day of salvation. Fellowship with the saints. Homes in which parents worship with children, read the Bible to children, talk with children about moral issues of our day—52 days per year, one entire year out of every seven. Churches full of people seeking to praise God and to find avenues of service to the Lord. Nations whose thought and moral fibre are lifted toward heavenly standards. The Word of God abundantly studied. Prayer multiplied. Spiritual refreshment, joy, progress in the kingdom. Psychological strength.
How trite to proclaim that a Sabbath Day is impractical and impossible. How unspiritual to call it a burden which is hard to bear. It is impossible to conceive of any measure more perfectly designed than is the Sabbath to bring everlasting blessings to individuals, families, churches and communities. Spiritual men bemoan the lack of time to pray, read, worship, witness, teach children. God in his wisdom and grace has provided just such time for these very wishes of the godly by commanding that a day in each seven be set aside, devoted to the Lord.