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The Sabbath Experience Under Quarantine

David Shin
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David Shin

Dr. David Shin is the President of Ouachita Hills College.



  • April 11, 2020
    11:15 AM
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I can remember my friends and I were gathered together at their house and just counting down the seconds to the moment that sundown would take place because our parents had told us that at sundown we could turn on the television so we did an actual countdown beginning at 198-765-4321 the moment that sundown hit all of us burst into an elation of joy and rejoicing because then we could turn the television on my Sabbath this experience was a day that I could not wait until the minutes ticked away because once sundown took place then the real celebration could begin now and your experience may be different than mine but it seems like in our community of faith that we go through this Pendle I'm swinging between a dreadful Sabbath experience on the other side to a Sabbath experience where it is a secular experience and a common day just like every other one and the question is what is the Sabbath experience really to be like is it to be full of dread and restriction on one side or on the other side is it to be a common day that is secular and like every other day of the week now here's an insightful quotation that I wanted to share with you from Richard Davidson 7th Day Adventists have devoted much careful research and evangelist Dick energy to substantiate the permanence and universe ality of the 7th day sabbath our mission with regard to the Sabbath largely has been to show which is the right day. The village idiot Saturday Sabbath instead of Sunday and its role as a testing truth in the last days little has been written dealing with the right way to keep the Sabbath and often even this material has highlighted the negative what is in appropriate Sabbath observance and not showcased the powerful positive spiritual values of Sabbath for a vibrant Christian life the joyous experience will significance of the Sabbath for Christian spirituality so what is to be the experience of the Sabbath and today in our reflection in our study I hope to delve a little bit into the principles of the experience of what the Sabbath can be by the grace of God But before we did that I wanted to touch on a couple verses as a review to remind us of the reason why we keep the Sabbath in the 1st place and the 1st one is a familiar one in sound in Genesis chapter 2 verses one through 3 thus they happens in the earth in all the hosts of them were finished and on the 7th day God ended his work which he had done and he rested on the 7th day from all his work which he had done then God bless the 7th day and sanctified it because in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made a few observations of Genesis chapter 22 and 3 there is an emphasis on the number 7 and on the 7th day God finished his work which he had done 7 words in the Hebrew any rested on the 7th day from all his work which he had done 7 words in the Hebrew so God bless the 7th day and hollowed it 7 words in the Hebrew and then there's the literary structure of the creation story you can see that all of the other days are mentioned just one time the 1st day the 2nd date 3rd day the 4th day the 5th day the 6th day and then when it comes to the 7th day it mentions a. 3 times in Genesis chapter $22.00 and $3.00 says on the 7th day on the 7th day the 7th day so God creates the earth in 6 days and afterwards he places his signature on it much like artists do today after they create a painting or a masterpiece or a sculpture they sign it and in this case God stepped back from his creation and he signed his creative work not in a place but in time the Bible indicates that he infused his holiness into that day and it's a signature in time that's to be a memorial of creation so every 7 days like a whole the wave Gonz holiness comes over us for a 24 hour period and we have the privilege the sap is experience now we come to Exodus Chapter $28.00 through 11 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy 6 days you shall labor and do all your work but the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God in it you should do no work for in 6 days the Lord made the heavens the earth the sea and all that is in them and arrested the 7th day therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hollowed it which literally means to make it holy So here you can see at the heart of the 10 Commandments gone begins with the word remember and then he reveals that even as God worked 6 days and rested on the 7th it was a model of what we are to do in our own experience of working 6 days and resting on the 7th and then Exodus indicates how we are to relate to a day that God has made holy notice that the Bible says that God made the day holy and we are to keep the day holy Exodus up to 20 resave through 11 makes it very clear that one of the ways that we engage a day that is holy and keep it holy is by not working. On that day by implication secular labor and we are to rest on that day following God's example and this is one way that we can keep God's day holy this is part of the Sabbath the experience of rest now we come to one of my favorite passages in regards to the Sabbath the experience and is found in Isaiah Chapter 58 Let me read beginning verse 12. Those from among you shall build the old waste places you shall raise up the foundations of many generations and you shall be called the repair of the breach the restorer of streets to dwell in notes that I say indicates that something has been established streets a city by implication and walls and over a period of time those walls have become destroyed and neglected and part of the role of God's people is to restore those streets and to repair the breach which now the question is how are we to be the restorers of the breach the next verses indicates how we are to be the repair of the breach and it's found in verse 13 if you turn away your foot from the Sabbath from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath a delight so by implication the way that we are to be a repair of the breach is to restore the Sabbath experience now I'd like to spend the majority of our time today in Isaiah Chapter 58 because I believe that there are things that we can glean from these verses that can be helpful in guiding our Sabbath experience the 1st phrase I want to highlight here is the phrase if you turn away your foot from the sabbath Now the other time in scripture that the term foot or feet has been made in reference to something that has been declared holy is Moses at the burning bush God said Take off your sandals for the place you are standing is holy ground the implications of this are evident that the thing that made that ground Holy was the presence of God and God instructed mosts to engage that ground in a different way. Then he did any other ground he was to take his shoes off of his feet for the ground that he was standing on was holy because of the presence of God Now this has some lessons for us the thing that makes the Sabbath holy is the presence of God and because of the presence of God and His Holiness which has been infused into this whole the time that we call the Sabbath we are to engage this time in a different way here's a quotation from prophets and kings page 48 true reverence for God is inspired by a sense of his infinite greatness and a realize ation of his presence so as in Chapter 58 begins with this concept of turning away your foot from the Sabbath which according to scholars really implies this notion of turning your foot away from certain activities and turning your foot towards the Sabbath in terms of other activities and then Isaiah Chapter 58 goes on if you turn away your foot from the Sabbath from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath they delight the holy of the Lord honorable and shall honor him not doing your own ways nor finding your own pleasure nor speaking your own words no to set the emphasis these verses is not doing your pleasure not doing your ways not finding your pleasure and not speaking your own words so on one end of the spectrum of the Sabbath the experience you have where the Sabbath becomes a burden like the fairest use of the New Testament and on the other side of 7 the experience you have where the Sabbath becomes secular where the emphasis is on me and mine means and my ways and my own pleasures and it becomes a man centered day and I want to share. Quote from Ellen White in 1st selected messages page 204 the enemy of Souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among us and that this reformation would consist in giving up of the doctrines which stand as a pillar of our face and engaging in a process of reorganization where this reformation to take place what would result the principles of truth that God in His wisdom had given to the remnant church would be discarded our religion would be changed the fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last 50 years would be accounted as an error a new organization would be established books of the new order would be written a system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced and the founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work now in the context of this is that Ellen White indicates that there was an alpha apostasy dealing with pantheism and Kellogg in the Battle Creek sanitarium in the issues that went on there with his book that was written called the living temple and then she indicates that there would be an Omega apostasy that would take place in the end of time and the all make up pos to see would be characterized by doing away with the fundamental pillars of the 7th they have in this church introducing a new enticed sing philosophy Furthermore she indicates that this movement would do a wonderful work in the city so it's not all bad then she goes on to describe the practice of Sabbath keeping among those that are part of this movement she goes on the founders of the system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work the Sabbath of course would be lightly regarded as also the God who created it she points out that the. This movement which would teach and Eroni us philosophy that would do away with the fundamental pillars of the 7th Day Adventist Church would also have a particular Sabbath experience the issue in regards to Sabbath keeping in the end of time and the Sabbath experience is where the Sabbath becomes secularized In other words the Sabbath becomes common and the question is Where is the experience of the 7th really to be and the answer is found in Isaiah Chapter 58 if you turn away your foot from the Sabbath from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath a delight the holy day of the Lord honorable and show honor him not doing your own ways nor finding your own pleasure nor speaking your own words then you shall delight yourself in the Lord and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father the mouth of the Lord has spoken it so when you look at the spectrum here again of the Sabbath experience on one hand you have the burden of the Sabbath the fairest cicle experience of the Sabbath where it's rule centered and on the other side of the pendulum you have the secular in the man centered Sabbath and in the Isaiah 58 experience is the God centered Sabbath where the Sabbath becomes a delight but a year ago we celebrated the birthday of our 2 year old boy he's about to turn 3 right now and it's hard to believe but I remember that 1st day distinctly I made a video just as a memory that we can look back on through the years and I remember that day when I got up I put my phone on airplane mode I chose not to check my e-mail I think I made a conscious decision to put all of those things away and the day was a celebration of my son. It was all about him what he was going to have for breakfast the whole day was all about my son his favorite activity going to the zoo and it was a day that was a celebration of my son existing on planet earth another year and the thing about that day it was an absolute joy and I look back on that day and it was the most experience really choice full and delightful days of my parenting experience and the irony was it was all centered around my son and this is the thing about joy and delight and experience chal in excess tensional happiness is that these things come when our selves are not the center and there it is in Isaiah Chapter $58.00 is that when we make God our delight God says that you will have the experience of the Sabbath The true for film it and peace and joy of the Sabbath can be yours so you have this spectrum between these 2 extremes the restrictive Sabbath and then on the other sat you have the secular Sabbath and there in the middle is where God really wants us to be in this experience of a God centered Sabbath that becomes our delight and our joy and we can have that experience today I want to read this from Child Guidance page 535 in 536 the Sabbath should be made so interesting to our families that its weekly return will be hailed with joy parents. Make the Sabbath a delight that your children may look forward to it and have a welcome in their hearts for it we can walk out with them in the open air we can sit with them in the groves and in the bright sunshine and give their restless mind something to feed upon by conversing with them upon the works of God and can inspire them with love and reverence by calling their attention to the beautiful objects in nature as a sun goes down let the voice of prayer and the hymn up praise mark the close of the sacred hours and invite God's presence to the cares of the week of labor thus parents can make the Sabbath as it should be the most joyful day of the week they can lead their children to regard it as a delight the day of days the holy of the Lord honorable now there is a relationship between the Sabbath experience and the sanctuary Here's a bird's eye view of the sanctuary you have the courtyard you have the holy place and then you have the most holy place in the courtyard you have 2 articles of furniture the altar burnt offering in the Laver in the holy place of the table of showbread the lamp stand and the altar of incense and in the most holy place of the Ark with the Mercy Seat Now Adam many before the fall they were located in the most holy place meaning that they were able to have a face to face encounter with God after the fall the entire human race was place outside of the gate and through Jesus Christ in his role as the Lamb and the high priest God has made a right a way back to that experience that at. Many have had before the fall so the same sure implies movement God brings us into the courtyard and we accept Jesus as our Savior as the Lamb of God we were baptized and then we go into the sanctification experience in the holy place between the table of showbread the altar of incense and the lamp stand and it is there that God sanctifies us and then he brings us into the most holy place experience which is calm unaided by the 2nd Coming and the experience of being able to see God face to face now the question is what is the criteria for being able to see God face to face and you can find one clue in what the High Priest wore Now the High Priest was the only one that was able to go into the most holy place on the day of atonement and you have this passage in Exodus Schefter 28 percent $36.00 you shall also make a plate of pure gold and engraved on it like an engraving of a signet Holiness to the Lord so on the forehead of the high priest he had a gold plate that hath the words Holiness to the Lord and he was the only one that was allowed into the most holy place and that alludes to the criteria of being able to see God face to face Here's another text that comes right out and indicates what the criteria is for seeing God face to face and is found in Hebrews Chapter 12 verse 14 without holiness no one will see the Lord this is similar to Matthew chapter 5 where he says the pure in heart will see God So the criteria for being able to see God face to face is holiness holiness is the condition for seeing God face to face now. How does that make you feel. If you're like me that fills me with a lot of anxiety and if the criteria for being ushered into the very presence of God and having the experience that Adam and Eve had prior to the fall if that condition is holiness I mean my experience is full of anxiety because I'm always in fear of not measuring up now here's where the Sabbath comes in and in is he killed Chapter 20 and verse 12 the Bible says Also I gave them my sabots as a sign between us so that they would know that I the Lord made them holy The Sabbath is to be a sign that it is God who makes us holy So again the criteria for being in the presence of God is holiness but also the experience of the Sabbath is to rest in the assurance that God is going to bring us to the finish line it is God who makes us holy even as God made a day holy every time we keep the Sabbath it's a sign a symbol that it is God who can do this and the irony is the closer become to Christ the more sinful and unworthy we feel it so will never come to that conscious place I believe where we feel holy but we can rest in God and the reality of righteousness by faith and it is by faith so the experience of the Sabbath when you hone it down to the reality of what it can be is that every Sabbath we not only celebrate creation but also our own. Vidual recreate Sion back to the image of God and that is holiness and the experience of the 7th is not work but it's rest so the experience of the Sabbath is an experience of rest it's an experience of delighting in the work that God has done for us and is doing in us right now and I think that the key to our family experience of the Sabbath being what God intends it to be really is grounded in the individual experience of us as parents us as leaders of the church that when we really experience that Sabbath rest the Sabbath freedom from anxiety of not measuring up of resting in what God has done and is doing in our lives that he discard who makes us holy and we have that assurance of salvation on days one through 6 that the 7th day can be the fulfillment of that reality enter a reminder of that reality of what God has done in us and is doing through us on a day to day basis and and as we bring our families together on the Sabbath day and remind them of where God wants to bring us into the courtyard into the hall the place into the most holy place to that face to face communion with God and that every 7th day it's a reminder that God started the work and is going to bring us to the finish line that he makes us holy it can be a day of joy of celebration of the work that God is doing in us and will continue to do from Sabbath to Sabbath we come to revel a. In chapter 22 in verse 4 they shall see his face and his name shall be on their foreheads you can see in Revelation chapter 22 that God has brought us all the way back and it says that we shall see his face in other words God has brought us to the finish line and the reason that he is able to do that is because his name is on our foreheads just like the priest wore Holiness to the Lord God will recreate in us the image of God and bring us to that reality when we stand together on the sea of glass to that reality where God will bring us to that face to face experience with him and every Sabbath is a reminder that God is the one that makes us holy In closing I wanted to share a quote from the book desire of ages page 331 those who take Christ at His word and surrender their souls to his keeping their lives to his ordering will find peace and quiet Tud nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by his presence in perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest the Lord says that will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on the because he trusted in the Isaiah 26 for us 3 our lives may seem a tangle but as we commit ourselves to the wise master worker he will bring out the pattern of life and character that will be to his own glory and that character which expresses the glory character of Christ will be received into the paradise of God a renovated race shall walk with him in white for they are worthy as through Jesus we enter into rest haven't begins here we can have this experience friends of the rest of this Experion. It's of deadline the experience of knowing and resting in the assurance that it is God who makes us. Less experience bad Sabbath rest.


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