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Friday, July 15, 2011

7/16/11 Sabbath Practices

15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day...21 But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:15,21)

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, (Luke 4:16)

(Jesus in the synagogue on the Sabbath- Greg Olson)

Thoughts: Jesus regularly kept the Sabbath (cf. Lk. 4:31; 6:6; 13:10; Mark 6:2). He sets us an example of faithful worship from the time he was a boy.  Jesus later expanded his idea of the Sabbath to include healing, gathering food when hungry, and deeds of mercy.  Nehemiah, in the revival that occurred when the exiles came back to the land, was strong about trying to please God by being pure.  Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel indicated that the breaking of the commandments led God to forsake their protection and allow them to be taken into exile.  Nehemiah had little sympathy for the merchants who were constantly trying to sneak in and sell goods on the Sabbath.  Nehemiah's vision was of a renewed people with renewed values- as well as a renewed Tenmple, renewed wall, and renewed covenant with God.  When we come to worship each week, onr our Sabbath, we are renewing our covenant with God.  We are leaving the world behind to do what is more important. Jesus example is worth following.

Prayer: May I follow your example, your relationship with the Father.  May I keep the covenant relationship by keeping the Sabbath.

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