Finding God's Heart for the Sabbath
Why do we keep all the commandments except the 4th?
If the Law was done away with, why do we still keep it at all?
Why Sunday when the Bible only mentions the Sabbath?
Over the years, I always had this question in the back of my mind that would not go away. Why were the 10 commandments still kept, all except the 4th – remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
I started to delve into the arguments for both sides in more earnest. It was clear that in the OT, the Sabbath was the seventh day of the week, but what about the New Testament times. And why would God change it?
What finalized convinced me that the Sabbath was God’s chosen day, even for today, was not in any of these articles, nor in any of the usual scriptures. All those served as backup, but what finally convinced me was in
Genesis 1, and not what I had heard or read or heard anywhere in all my searching.
I came across a comment mentioning that the world will only exist for 6000 yrs. That intrigued me as I had not heard that before. It was based on the week of creation and 2 Peter 3:8 which states “..one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
and Psalm 90:4 “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by...”
So correlating the creation week, with each 1000 years of history... I thought, well, if the 6000 yrs idea is right, I wonder when Jesus came to earth. Various ideas have existed as to why He came when He did. Did He come then because the Roman Empire made the spread of the gospel easy - with a peaceful time and extensive road networks everywhere? But if that was so, why did Jesus not come now? with the internet, the news could go so much faster. I found that Jesus came around the year 4000 AM, that is 4000 years after creation. So I looked in Genesis, to the 4th day to see what happened then, if it had any correlation with His coming to earth. On the 4th day, God created the sun and moon, as signs, to separate the light from the dark. That just hit me. WOW! That is exactly what Jesus did. He came to separate spiritual darkness from spiritual light. He came right on time. “In the fullness of time..” He came within the 4th day. Not into the 5th day. The 5th day the fish were created just like the followers of Jesus would multiply like fish as His followers were fishers of men.
After realizing this, I searched and found this idea was not new.. in fact, during the years before Christ came, the Jews were looking for the Messiah to arrive during that specific 1000 years because they understood the 6000 year plan of God. And according to the days of creation, the Messiah should arrive in the 4th day.
The arrival of the Messiah on the 4th day shows God’s timeline is tied to the days of creation.
I started to think more about the significance of the days of creation. Maybe there was a whole lot more to those days than I had realized. In Genesis 1, we see the unfolding of creation. Each day is a wonderful new addition to the day before, And with each day, the level of complexity increases, from matter, to land and water, to plants, to animals, to man. We usually think that God stopped creating on the 6th day. But the 7th day was God’s greatest creation. On day 6, God made man; on the 7th day God made a way for man to walk with His creator. This day was the culmination of creation, the creation of man walking in fellowship with his God. This is far more than interacting with another human. It is another level of creation entirely. This was the sole purpose of all of creation. This was God’s heart. His greatest gift. The final act. The day that was to never end. All other days of creation are stated as “and it was the evening and morning of the third, or the fourth day...” The 7th day has no time boundary like the other days. This day was to be a delight, one of pure joy and enjoyment of all that God had made, but most of all it was God’s fullest expression of love to us, to give Himself. It was His wedding day with mankind. The Jewish people consider the Sabbath as a wedding ring, If someone is keeping the Sabbath, then they are married to God. This idea of marriage is throughout the Scriptures, God longing after His people who have been unfaithful to Him.
Creation ‘week’ was 7 days long. Each day, God created something that surpassed the previous day. The 7th day was His ultimate creation, On day 6, God made man; on the 7th day God made a way for man to walk with God. This was His ultimate gift, His greatest creation- the possibility of man to walk with His maker.
The Sabbath was the creation of spiritual life.
Repeatedly, God pleads for His people to return to Him, to follow His ways, and to keep His Sabbath. It is as though God is in pain, yearning for His people to remember His Sabbath. Why did it matter so much to Him? Maybe because this was His greatest gift and it had been rejected or forgotten.. Breaking the Sabbath was a major reason for Israel being divorced by God and going into captivity.
13 “If you keep your feet 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,
Ezekiel 20:21 “‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths.
Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them
Amos 8:5 saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”— skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales,
The Sabbath was not to be a burden, but rather the heart of God, an expression of His deepest love for us. That is why the Sabbath means so much to Him. When Jesus returns to set up His kingdom, we will enter the millennial reign of 1000 years, the 7th day of creation. The Jewish leaders, by the addition of endless rules, made the Sabbath into a burden and obscured from our sight the original intent.
God cares about the Sabbath because it is part of His grand plan. A plan that lasts throughout time and into eternity. It was not just for a certain ancient people before the Messiah came to earth.
The people of Israel were the messengers of God’s plan to the world, the keepers of the information. But it did not start with them. If you receive a letter in the mail and it is crumpled and dirty, do you immediately throw it away? No, you first check who it is to and who it is from. And if it you are waiting for an acceptance letter from a university, the most important part is inside the envelope! The Israelites were God’s messenger to tell the world what God wanted everyone to know. The messenger is like an envelope, it is not the message.
The Jewish leaders missed the Messiah because they were expecting an earthly kingdom for the last 2 days (last 2000 years). The time of this world is divided into 4 sections: 2000 yrs before Torah, 2000 years with Torah, 2000 years of the Messiah; followed by the yet to happen 1000 years Millennial Kingdom of which Jesus talked so much. What confused the Jews of Jesus time was that Jesus died. They had expected the next 2000 years to be the time of the Messiah and they expected Him to be king during that time. But that is not what happened, because, as Jesus said, they were not ready to receive Him. Instead, the Messianic years became the time when the gentiles would come to the Messiah.
God cares about the Sabbath because it is part of His grand plan. God did not change it to Sunday. If you understand the week of creation, you realize He would never do that to His master plan. The fact that Jesus entered history at exactly the right time on the 4th day, tells me that God is keeping right on schedule with His plan.
When I first was considering all this, and came to the conclusion that the Sabbath is the 7th day, it really unnerved me. To think that the vast majority of those who profess Jesus worship on Sunday. I walked around slightly stunned. What else could be wrong with what I had simply accepted for so many years.
God has not changed His original 7 day plan!
Each day was a build up toward the greatest act of creation, and that greatest creation was not man, it was the Sabbath – the spiritual union of God with man. God did not simply take the 7th day off and do nothing. God did not create heaven and earth as a place for man to live; He created heaven and earth as a place for God to live with man.
The Sabbath is the culmination, the heart of the plan. If each day of creation was something of higher order than the day before, then the final day was His ultimate masterpiece. No wonder it is so important to Him.