Preparation For The Sabbath. 04/25/2014 (Evening thought)

Exodus 16:22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 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 remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field.

This passage of scripture teaches us that ample preparation should be made so that we can spend the Sabbath hours in the right frame of mind, not worrying about, nor attending to the temporal things of life. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth, meaning that our minds should not be distracted by the mundane things we are normally preoccupied with during the six working days, when we should be spending quality time with our Creator.

In other words all cooking, shopping, and the other activities which are normally associated with the preparation of food and clothing should be done on the preparation day as far as is possible, and not deliberately, or carelessly left to be accomplished over the Sabbath hours. The concept is similar to a husband and wife who go out to spend some quality, quiet time together to better their marriage. Neither of them will approve of the other spending their quiet time absorbed with work related issues or dwelling on topics such as the garbage, or washing the family car, for those concerns would be inappropriate and irrelevant to the deepening of their intimate relationship.

On a much grander scale is the time spent with God over the Sabbath hours. Anything that we can do on Friday, the day of preparation, that will enable us to spend the most amount of quality time with God during the Sabbath, should be done.

For instance in the new testament we have the followers of Christ heading into the sacred time, yet they had unfinished business to perform. Their attitude in this situation represents the correct way in which the Sabbath should be regarded and kept. Let's read:

Luke 23:52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

 What these women were doing was very important to them, for they were preparing to anoint the body of the Creator of the universe, yet they did not allow the urgency or the importance of their secular activity to encroach upon God's Holy time, thereby leading them to disobey the very God whom they were preparing to anoint. They rightly left their unfinished business for after the Sabbath hours, and in so doing the God of the Universe was greatly honored, and He in turn honored them with a stunning revelation. Let's read:

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 8 And they remembered his words.

In our day much more serious effort needs to be made by Sabbath keepers to rest according to the spirit and the letter of the fourth commandment. The grocery shopping, the eating at secular restaurants that include not only food, but also sights and sounds that would draw our attention away from God, the ironing of clothes, and the Sabbath morning rush out the door, with family members in a frenzy, shouting at each other to hurry up, takes away from the sacredness of the day to us, and should be resolutely put away, in favor of the much needed reforms.

Another area where great improvement needs to be made is the time that we lock off from work to enter into God's haven of rest. We should never work right up until the last minute before sunset and then rush into the hour of worship with our minds still buzzing with the cares and problems of the week. This practice violates the spirit of the law and thereby removes and cancels the blessings God has promised to those who keep the Sabbath the way it should be kept.

A young man had once made an arrangement to take his fiancee out on a cruise/date, and the time set for his arrival at her home was six o'clock in the afternoon, because the cruise was leaving at six thirty. However when he got to her home at the appointed time she was still ironing her clothes and doing her hair, rushing madly about to find her purse with all those numerous "Articles" women usually carry.

Finally she rushed out the door of her bedroom to find her fiancee nervously twiddling his thumbs, since they were now half an hour late. When they finally arrived at the the departure gate they found that the cruise had already left, and the blessings of what was supposed to be an intimate and pleasurable experience, turned out to be a sobering disappointment.

In a much bigger way do we destroy the pleasure, the peace, the serenity, the joy of the time spent with our Creator over the Sabbath hours, when we leave for the very last minute the necessary preparations which should have been done previously. We therefore end with a passage of scripture reminding us that the Sabbath is indeed a day of rest, and should be kept in harmony with the pleasure, the presence of God always brings . Let's read:

Exodus 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.  28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?  30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

May God help us to make the necessary changes and reforms so that we can worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. "Good night" and God bless!