Dr Elder MASIMBA MAVAZA
Memory Text: Leviticus 23:3
“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings”
We hear all sorts of arguments against keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, don’t we? We hear that Jesus changed the Sabbath to Sunday or that Jesus abolished the Sabbath or that Paul did or that the apostles replaced the seventh-day Sabbath with Sunday in honor of the Resurrection and so forth. In recent years, some of the arguments have become more sophisticated, claiming, for instance, that Jesus is our Sabbath rest, and therefore we don’t need to keep that day or any day holy.
And, of course, there will always be the argument, strange as it is, that by resting on the seventh day we are somehow seeking to work our way to heaven.
On the other hand, some Christians have become more interested in the idea of rest, of a day of rest, and though they argue that the day is Sunday or that it doesn’t matter, they have picked up on the biblical notion of rest and why it is important.
Of course, as Seventh-day Adventists we understand the perpetuity of God’s moral law and that obedience to the fourth commandment, as it reads, is no more working our way to heaven than would be obedience to the fifth, sixth, first, or any other commandment.
SABBATH: The Sabbath is often “forsaken & forgotten,
desecrated & profaned”. There are all sorts of arguments against keeping it today. But it’s “still valid & unchanged”. In recent years, some have argued that Jesus is the Sabbath rest itself & hence we don’t need to keep a day holy. Some says that Jesus did away with it or it was replaced with Sunday by the apostles. Yet, SDA’s know keeping the day is eternal.
SUNDAY: “Remember” which call the mind to a past event is placed at the very first of the 4th law, making it unique from the others. The 4th commandment (law) calls us to remember the Creation week. We get to know that God made us in His own image, unlike the other creatures. This tells us that we did not evolve from lower forms of life. “Here is no mystery.” We’re unique & stewards of creation (Gen. 2:15, 19).
MONDAY: Aside the Sabbath’s call to remember Creation, it is also a call to remember Freedom. The 2nd time the Decalogue is spelt out, Moses bid Israel to remember how God saved them from slavery in Egypt to keep the Sabbath holy (Deut. 5:12-15, Gen. 4:7, Heb. 12:1, & 2 Pet. 2:19). Many forms of slavery exists today (e.g. sin). The Sabbath is a celebration of freedom from all bondages (Rom. 6:1-7).
TUESDAY: Every great gift comes with a great responsibility. Israel was given special privileges & at the same time was given special responsibilities (1 Pet. 2:9). Israel was a small group chosen by God to bless other nations through her. The people of Israel was to enjoy God’s Sabbath & call others to enter into this rest. They were to see all as God’s images & be kind to them (Exod. 20:10, Deut. 5:14).
WEDNESDAY: “Saved to serve” is a phrase that clearly marks how the Sabbath should be kept. In serving others, we honor God. Jesus Christ Himself came to serve men. In His time, there were many add-ons to the law including the Sabbath. No untying, separating threads, putting out fire, traveling or transporting was allowed. Leaders found fault in Christ’s Sabbath good works (John 5:7-16, Mark 2:28, Isa. 58:12-14).
THURSDAY: Signpost/road signs were removed by UK to bamboozle the German army during World War II. In their anti-invasion tactic, UK also covered all markers on stones & buildings with cement to defend their home. Signs are essential. “In this pre-GPS era, we all had maps & watched for signs.” The Sabbath is a sign that we belong to God (our Creator, Redeemer, & Sanctifier, Exod. 31:13, 16, 17; Gal. 3:29, Heb. 12:2).
FRIDAY: “All heaven is keeping the Sabbath, but not in a listless, do-nothing way.” The day should be a delight & full of happiness for we meet with God & Christ our Savior. In this day, the demands upon God are greater than any other day. His people ask more favors & leave their work to commune with Him. Thus, “they demand His special attention.” God grants all requests in the hours of the Sabbath.
—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 353, 362 & The Desire of Ages, p. 207.
SDAs- Seventh-day Adventists
Decalogue/law- The Ten Commandments
SUNDAY- Sabbath And Creation
MONDAY- Celebrating Freedom
TUESDAY- The Stranger In Your Gates
WEDNESDAY- Serving Others Honors God’s Sabbath
THURSDAY- The Sign That We Belong To God
📌 Environmental care has become a highly charged political debate in many countries. How can we as Adventists be good stewards of nature without taking on political agendas?
📌 Service begins in the mind. How can we foster the mindset of serving those around us (in our families, churches, and communities) more passionately? How does the Sabbath offer us more opportunity to be able to do just that?
📌 Every Sabbath we are reminded that all humanity was created by God. It helps us see people through God’s eyes. How should the Sabbath help us remember that racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender differences are irrelevant when it comes to being made in God’s image and being the objects of His love?