Sabbath Truth - Sunrise over Mountains
Audio Question Library

How do you know when the Sabbath starts and ends?

Caller: My question pertains to the seasons. When we are having summer here...

Pastor Doug: Yeah -

Caller: ...If you went to the South Pole and Antarctica, how would you observe the Sabbath?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know that's not only a problem with the Sabbath today, but that's always been a problem. In other words, people ask, 'Well what do you do in Alaska where the sun doesn't seem to go down six months a year and the other six months a year it never comes up, or barely comes up?'

For one thing, here's my personal opinion: when God first made the world, He never intended for humans to inhabit the Arctic regions. In these remote places that are without artificial environments, they're uninhabitable. Nothing grows up there. You might ask another question: how do people keep the Sabbath on the space shuttle where you circle the earth 20 times in one day? My answer to that would be Sabbath is God's idea.

The divisions of time, not just the Sabbath, but the other six days, are God's idea. He divided our time. For the vast majority of the planet, we experience sunrise and sunset and that's when you would start and end your Sabbath. I have friends who live up in Alaska and what they do is from 6:00 to 6:00. Six o'clock one day to six o'clock the other, and they don't go by the sun. They go by that 12-hour division of time that everyone else enjoys, or 24-hour division of time rather. So they just time it like that.

And, you know, I can muddy the water just a little bit more. I was in the South Pacific by the International Date Line working on some islands, and on one island, it was the Sabbath day and you could fly 50 miles to another island and it was a different day of the week, even though they're technically under the same sunny sky, and you could look across the water and see them. But the Date Line goes in between these two islands.

Well, some people try to use these arguments to say there is no Sabbath day, but the Sabbath is God's idea. It's like accusing God of having a bad idea. He's talking about those who live a normal life. Every 7th day, we need to rest. He has blessed the 7th day. And there's no question about what day that is. Ok?

Caller: Ok. Thank you Pastor Doug.

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