The Lord loves all of mankind and one of the first principles that God established was a day of rest. The Lord has never asked us to do anything that He Himself has not done. He set an example for us from the very beginning in that He created six days to work and then a day of rest.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3
We know that the Lord did not need rest because He never becomes tired or weary.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. Isaiah 40:28
The day of rest was so important to the Lord that He made it one of the Ten Commandments. The Lord established it as a moral law.
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 of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the 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
The Lord has told us to remember the sabbath day and that we are to keep it holy. Holy means that it is to be set apart for the Lord. He makes it very clear that we are not to do any work, and not only are we not to work but we are not to allow anyone else to serve us through working.
The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake
To make the law great and glorious. Isaiah 42:21
The Lord’s ways are great and glorious. He designed for His people to be a great people and He gave them His laws that they might do them and learn His wisdom and His understanding and their lives would point others to the Lord . He wanted them to be an example to others through keeping His Word.
So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ Deuteronomy 6:4
Jesus did not come to abolish God’s Laws but He came to fulfill them.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17
The Lord says that if anyone annuls any of His commandments and teaches others then He shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. However, whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in His kingdom.
Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19
Not only will we be called least in the kingdom of God if we don’t keep His commandments but we will not be loving God.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15
The one who loves God should love His brother also.
And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. I John 4:21
When we keep God’s commandments then we are loving God and loving others.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. I John 5:2
When Jesus Christ rose on the first day of the week, the early Christians began honoring Sunday as their sabbath. It was mentioned as the Lord’s day by John, the apostle in the book of Revelation.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, Revelation 1:10
Whether someone honors the Lord on Sunday or on Saturday is not the question. The question is “do we keep His commandment and honor the Lord one day of the week and keep it holy?” If Sunday is the Lord’s day, then do you allow anyone to serve you? Do you go out to eat after church on Sunday? If you do, then someone is serving you and having to miss church to prepare for you. Most of the people who work on Sunday are the poor and often they have no choice. If they are a mother then their children most likely will also miss church. So, eating out on Sunday is not honoring the Lord or loving others.
For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? James 2:2-4
Spending money on Sunday and someone serving you could also be thought of as treating the poor differently. The poor who have to work on Sunday are not often able to go to church. At least in the first century the poor could stand in another place or sit down by someone’s footstool when they came together when the church was assembled. The Lord says that it is wrong to treat the poor differently.
“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 58:13,14
The Lord has amazing promises for the one who will honor Him and not do his own pleasure on the Lord’s day. The Lord says that if you will call it a delight and honorable, and honor it, not doing your own thing or seeking your own pleasure or even speaking your own words then you will take delight in the Lord. Not only will the Lord be your delight but you will ride on the heights of the earth, or in other words, you will live above circumstances and the happenings of what is going on in the world. And the Lord Himself will feed you His promises and His Word.
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:1-4
Do you struggle with envy or worry? Are you anxious? Are you frustrated because there are desires in your heart that have gone unfulfilled? The answer to all of these struggles and frustrations is to learn to delight ourselves in the Lord. The Lord says that there is a relationship between honoring the Lord on His holy day and learning to delight ourselves in the Lord. The Lord is good and He loves us. He established His laws and His ways so that we might be a great and glorious people who would bring glory to Him and His greatness. If we do not keep His commandments then we will be distressed and depressed and living as if we do not have a Shepherd.
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
Christians are the Lord’s workers and they are to live according to God’s Word, His commandments and His ways. What it means to make disciples is that Christians are to live out His Word and teach others how to do so also. In doing so, we will become more like our Lord and Savior and the world will be drawn to Jesus Christ as He is exalted in our lives. Others will come to Him and find rest, not only for the bodies as they learn to follow Him but rest for their souls.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28