THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TODAY

THOU SHALT KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY (Part One)

I had thought of beginning at the beginning, but I think if we really want to do something of worth for our country the following may be more urgent.

There was a time in the United States, not that long ago, when so-called “Blue Laws” were in effect in almost every State. Businesses were closed on the Sabbath, alcohol could not be served, church-bells rang out and called the faithful to commune in prayer. Why was such an “unconstitutional” thing ever allowed?

The people who settled America, contrary to popular revisionist history, were, by-and-large, a God believing and God fearing people, steeped in Holy Biblical Scripture and Judeo-Christian ethics. Central to worship of God was the belief that it was He who created the heavens and the earth in six periods of time (what those “periods” or “days” meant will be argued until we “know all things”), and that even the Great God Himself rested on the seventh day. And when He gave to man his reckoning, He commanded all men to also rest on the Sabbath Day, the first Holy Day.

There is a question here that is not fully answered by the biblical text. Were all people from the time of Adam under command to keep the Sabbath day holy? Were people like Noah and the Patriarchs under the Sabbath day law? When the Israelites left Egypt they were told not to gather manna on the Sabbath before the commandment was codified on the stone tablets. So it would seem that the law existed from the beginning.

Why would God be so concerned for His creatures that He would assign them a day of rest? What blessings would accrue to man from that law? Why did our forebears in America think that such a law was so important they codified it beyond the Scriptures and enjoined it upon their children? In short, why did we have those “Blue Laws” for so many decades?

These are not specious questions, but are as relevant today as they were in the beginning. God required not only Sabbath Day worship, but also established sabbaths upon the land when it was finally granted to the Children of Israel. Modern man knows that those Sabbath Years were important in caring for the land, to let it rest and again become fertile and productive. Also in those Sabbath Years the poor shared in what the land produced without aid. So two important functions were put into effect.

God blessed the land with His protection and divine grace, so long as the people loved and honored Him and kept His commandments.

What is so important in keeping the Sabbath Day holy? Should you and I even be concerned with such  question? How does breaking this commandment affect our homes, cities and states today?

More tomorrow.

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