“Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.” – Deuteronomy 5:12

Readings

Deuteronomy 5:1-12 · Matthew 12:1-13 · Psalm 147

Sermon

In determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be done on the sabbath, the purposes of this day should be kept in mind. Each one must make this decision for himself when he reaches adulthood. On one occasion Jesus reminded the Pharisees of their own practice. If a sheep fell into a pit on the sabbath, would they not pull him out? How much better is a man than a sheep?

In determining how the sabbath should be kept, we should not look to self-desires, temporary pleasures, or apparent financial gain, but to the Word of God which, when rightly understood, is the true light of life.

It is written that the Lord made the universe in six days and rested on the seventh; wherefore He sanctified it. So man should do his work in six days and rest upon the seventh. Yet the fact that the world was not made in six literal days is sufficient to suggest that there is a meaning involved within the letter. What does rest mean?

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“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” – Genesis 2:1-3

Readings

Genesis 2:1-17 · Matthew 12:1-13 · Psalm 92

Sermon

The creation story, with which our Bible begins, treats by correspondence of the spiritual development of the individual man and of the human race. In the “six days,” which represent states, is pictured the process of development from the first state of darkness and ignorance to that state in which man became a new creature, the image – in his finite measure – of his Creator.

But this did not complete the purpose of the Divine love, which was to make man not only into His image but after His likeness. This is the work of the seventh day. That the work was not completed in six days is evident from the words “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made.”

The work described as done during the six days goes on with everyone who is regenerating. The six days of labor are the days in which we fight against our evils, until we come into a state of peace and rest – not rest from the activities of a useful life, but rest from the internal warfare through which we have been passing.

And because it is God who fights for man and enables him to overcome, it is said that God rested from all his work, and blessed, hallowed, and sanctified the seventh day. The sabbath is the state of willing and loving obedience to the Divine will and providence, which the Lord creates and blesses.

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