1. WHAT is first commanded in the Sabbath commandment?
Sabbath day." Ex. 20:8.
2. Which day is the Sabbath?
"The seventh day is the Sabbath."
3. For what purpose are we to remember the Sabbath day?
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Verse 8.
the week the keeping holy of the Sabbath day
is to be remembered, or borne in mind. No business contracts or arrangements are to be made, no manner of living indulged in, which will
prevent or interfere with the proper or holy observance of the day when
it comes. The keeping of this commandment, therefore, is in the
interests of, and with a view to, holy living all the time. The
commandment itself enjoins a duty, and is to be kept, all through the
week; the Sabbath is to be kept when it comes. The Sabbath commandment,
therefore, like every other precept of the decalogue, but contrary to
the conception of many, is to be kept all the time, and not simply one
day in the week. In this matter we should distinguish between the
Sabbath and the Sabbath commandment.
4. Who made the Sabbath day holy?
"Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and
hallowed it." Verse 11.
NOTE.-God made the Sabbath day holy; we are to
keep it holy.
5. What is it that makes a thing holy?
God's presence in it. See Ex. 3:5; 29:43-46; Joshua.
6. Then in order to keep the Sabbath day holy, what must be recognized?
God's presence in the day; His blessing upon it; and His
7. When, according to the Bible, does the Sabbath begin?
evening and the morning were the first day."
"And the evening and the morning were the second day," etc. See Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31.
NOTE.-The evening begins "at the going down of the sun." See
Deut.16:6; Mark 1:32; Deut. 23:11; 1 Kings 22:35,36; 2 Chron.18:34.
8. Does the Bible recognize this as the proper time for beginning and
ending the Sabbath?
"From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." Lev. 23:32.
NOTE.-One great advantage of keeping the Sabbath according to the
Bible method of reckoning the day, that is, from sunset to sunset, over keeping it according to the Roman reckoning, or from midnight to midnight,
is that by the former one is awake to welcome and to bid adieu to
the day when it comes and goes, while by the latter he is asleep when
the day begins and ends. God's ways are always best. The setting of the
sun is a great natural sign for marking the division of time into days.
9. What kind of labor is to be done through the week?
"Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work." Ex. 20:9.
10. Is any
of this kind of work to be done on the Sabbath?
"In it thou shalt not do
any work." Verse 10.
NOTE.-If the Sabbath is to be kept "holy," mere physical rest one
day in seven cannot be the great object of the Sabbath institution.
11. How does the Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, indicate what is
"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing
thy pleasure on
My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord,
honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding
thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou
delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the
high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy
father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isa. 58:13,14.
Sabbath becomes a delight or a burden depends upon
the spirit with which a man meets it. Indeed, the spirit of the man
settles the question as to the benefits to come from any duty he may
perform. One man cannot understand why his neighbor should prefer the
park or the ball ground to the church, simply because his spirit is
different. He has cultivated the higher nature until he loves spiritual
things above all others, and to him the Sabbath is indeed a delight. It
comes to his weary soul as a reminder of God, and brings him nearer to
heaven in heart and mind than does any other day."-Sabbath Recorder,
12. What is the character of God, and how only can He be truly
"God is a Spirit: and they that. worship Him must worship Him
and in truth." John 4:24.
NOTE.-This is one reason why the attempt to produce Sabbath-keeping by human Sabbath laws is altogether out of place. Such laws can
never produce true Sabbath-keeping, for that is spiritual, and must be
of the mind and from the heart, and not perfunctory, mechanical, nor of
13. What is one thing for which God has given the Sabbath to be a sign?
That He sanctifies His people, or makes them holy. See Ex. 31:13; Eze.
20:12; and Chapter 92.
14. What does the "psalm for the Sabbath day" suggest as proper acts and
themes for thought and meditation on the Sabbath?
"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to
unto Thy name, O Most High: to show forth Thy loving-kindness in the
morning, and Thy faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten
strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For
Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in
works of Thy hands. O Lord, how great are Thy works! and Thy thoughts
are very deep." Ps. 92:1-5.
15. What do the works of God declare?
"The heavens declare the glory of
God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth
speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor
language, where their voice is not heard." Ps. 19:1-3. See margin.
NOTE.-God designed that the Sabbath should direct the minds of men to
His created works, and through these to Him, the Creator. Nature itself
speaks to our senses, telling us that there is a God, the Creator and
Supreme Ruler of the universe. The Sabbath, ever pointing to God through
nature, was designed to keep the Creator constantly in mind. The proper
keeping of it, therefore, must naturally tend to prevent idolatry,
atheism, agnosticism, infidelity, irreligion, and irreverence; and, being
promotive of the knowledge and fear of God, must of necessity be a deterrent to sin. In this may its value and importance be seen.
16. Was the Sabbath designed to be a day for public worship?
"Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of
rest, an holy convocation." Lev. 23:3.
NOTE.-The word convocation means "a calling together," and is
always used in the Bible with reference to meetings of a religious
17. What example did Christ set in Sabbath observance?
"And as His
custom was, He went into the synagogue on the
Sabbath day, and stood up for to read." Luke 4:16.
18. What else did Jesus do on the Sabbath?
"And it was the Sabbath day
when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes." John 9:14.
NOTE.-A large share of Christ's ministry
consisted of miracles and
acts of mercy performed for the relief of suffering humanity; and not a
few of these were done on the Sabbath. On this day, as on other days,
He "went about doing good." See next reading.
19. With what words did He justify acts of mercy on the
the Sabbath day?
"Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days." Matt. 12:12.
NOTE.-Not a little of Christ's earthly ministry was devoted to uplifting
the Sabbath, and showing the beneficent character of the Sabbath
institution. It was not meant to be a day of sorrow, austerity, or gloom.
Disinterested works of love and mercy toward man or beast are always in
place on the Sabbath. Lawful means "according to law."
20. What day is especially indicated as the day to
for the Sabbath?
"And that day [the sixth day] was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew
on." Luke 23:54. See also Ex. 16:22,23.
NOTE.-In order to keep the Sabbath day holy, it must be remembered all through the week; and on the sixth day, or the day just before
the Sabbath, special preparation should be made to be ready to welcome
and observe the day when it comes.
21. How did the Israelites in the wilderness on the sixth day prepare
for the Sabbath?
"And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much
bread, two omers for one man." Ex. 16:22.
should not be a day of either ordinary labor, idleness, or amusement,
but one of rest, reflection, holy joy, worship, and helpfulness. It
should be the happiest, the brightest, and the best of all the week.
Such it should be made for young and old. Very early the children can be
taught the stories of creation and redemption, and taken out amid the
handiworks of God and taught to see Him and to commune with Him through
nature. Preparation for the Sabbath, therefore, is an essential to its
proper observance. God's blessing is upon the first moments of the Sabbath as well as upon the last; and, as far as
possible, everything should be got in readiness so that the entire day
may be devoted to God and humanity in the manner indicated.
In making the Sabbath, God rested upon, blessed, and sanctified the day.
Ex. 20:11. Whoever, then, keeps the Sabbath aright, may expect that
there will be brought into his life God's rest, blessing, and
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