The Lord's Sabbath People

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 58:1-14

. . . call the Sabbath a delight . . . take delight in the Lord. (vv. 13-14)

In so very many societies the Lord’s pattern of six days’ work and one day’s rest has
long been abandoned in favor of five days’ work and two days off. And even for some
professing Christians the “holy” component of Sunday is perfunctory—or, in some
cases, discharged by a Saturday night religious service!

Yet, Isaiah teaches, great blessings are forfeited by failing to keep the Lord’s
special days as he would desire, and great blessings gained by their observance. Three
times Isaiah uses the emphatic word “then” (vv. 8, 9, 14) to mark the way blessing follows
from the God-pleasing practice of honoring the Lord’s Day.

When the opportunities of such a day are used to relieve the needs of others (v. 6) and
to share what we have (our food and homes) with others (including our families), then we
are granted lives of influence as if even God in his glory was surrounding us (v. 8). Then
we enter a new experience of answered prayer (v. 9). When the Sabbath is treated as a real
“holy day,” a day honored because it is the Lord’s day, then we ourselves rejoice in God
and are granted a fresh uplifting by him (v. 14). Then our duty becomes our joy.

PRAYER

Jesus, help me to honor you as Lord of the Sabbath.