June 25, 2017

“Remember the Sabbath day, to Keep it Holy.”

tc-fourA few weeks ago I was killing some time with my brothers before heading over to a friends church we often attend Sunday evenings when I got a text from my boss. He asked me if I was willing and able to come in and work for a couple of hours that day. I knew I didn’t have to and he certainly wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t; to be honest I love my job and wouldn’t have mind actually doing the work. We were already ready for church and out of the house, but I would still have been able to go to work if I was willing to. In that instance in just a small way I was tested and reaffirmed of my conviction that I cannot and should not work on the Lord’s Day.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the  Lord  your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days the  Lord  made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the  Lord  blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” -Exodus 20:8-11

I think that the shorter catechism has defined and captured what my thoughts are on the Lord’s Day very well. Here are questions from the catechism that are relevant to this topic.

Shorter Catechism Questions 58, 60-62

Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself.

Q. 60. How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.

Q. 62. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the sabbath day.

The strongest reasons why I don’t believe I should work on the Lord’s Day is because God has made the sabbath holy (set apart) and a day to worship him both publicly and privately.  I don’t believe I should be involved in my regular weekly duties -unless it is absolutely necessary and out of mercy- but be focused on the Lord.

When I told my Dad about my thoughts on this he said if I am going to believe something I need to always stand by my convictions. He shared a verse from Psalm 15 that he had read: “in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;” That means if a person says that are going to do something (or has a conviction about something) they will stand by it, even if it means they suffer misfortune for their decision. This is one things that I had thought about and was convicted of in the past, but has become something that I have been really thinking about the last few weeks. I am convicted that I should not work on the Lord’s Day and that is something I will stand by (by God’s grace), as the verse says, to my own hurt. I hope this is an encouragement to you and gives you something to think about! Please share your thoughts on working on the Sundays or any questions you may have.

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