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Sabbath Activities


Isaiah 58:13-14 "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shall thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

Buying on Sabbath

Nehemiah 10:31 "And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the Sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt."

Nehemiah 13:14-22 "In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy."

Cooking on Sabbath

Exodus 16:23  "And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remains over lay up for you to be kept until the morning."

Exodus 35:3 "Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day"

Sabbath Activities

“And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither” (Acts 16:13)

Principles of Sabbath Keeping

  • (1) The Sabbath is a day to cease from our labors, Genesis 2.
  • (2) Heavy food preparation is to be done on the day before (Friday) Sabbath, no baking or normal cooking on the Sabbath, Exodus 16:23.
  • (3) We are not to do any servile work on the Sabbath, this includes our family, servants, animals and strangers, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.
  • (4) The Sabbath is an holy convocation (gathering) with others in worship, Leviticus 23
  • (5) The Sabbath should be a day of delight and rejoicing, a day in which we forsake our normal weekly thoughts and think Godly thoughts, Isaiah 56, 58.
  • (6) We are not to do unnecessary work on the Sabbath, Jeremiah 17.
  • (7) We are not to buy or sell on the Sabbath, Nehemiah 13.
  • (8)  Singing is a part of Sabbath worship, Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16, Psalms 33:1-3, 92:1-4, 95:1-7, 96:1-3, and 98:1-9.
  • (9)  Go into the House of God with the voice of singing, and praise, as a multitude that keepeth a feast. Psalms 42.4. 

In deciding what are appropriate Sabbath activities just consider how Jesus kept the Sabbath:

  • He assembled with others in the synagogue.
  • He read from the scriptures.
  • He healed the sick.
  • He shared meals.
  • He took walks with friends.
  • He inspired hope in others.
  • He stayed in contact with the Father.

Here are a few things you might engage in on the Sabbath:

  • Take a short walk
  • Eat (Food prepared prior to Sabbath).
  • Fellowship with fellow believers.
  • Study the word. 
  • Pray.
  • Meditate.
  • Sing songs of praise.
  • Do family activities. (Sabbath activities should be God centered rather than self-centered. Take a Sabbath drive and/or walk, no buying or selling.)
  • Teach your children. (Play family Bible games, read the Bible, listen to family Bible Studies, answer and ask Bible questions)
  • Comfort the lonely. 

Further notes

In Exodus 16:29, God said, "abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." This was referring to going outside the camp to gather food and wood, it was not a prohibition against leaving one's home on the Sabbath.

The new testament states in Hebrews 4:9 that there is a sabbath day of rest for God's people.

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