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The Sabbath Blog

It's Good for Me, But Not for You

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For thousands of years, Jews have kept the seventh-day Sabbath. Indeed, many people think that the seventh-day is the "Jewish Sabbath." Since the creation of the state of Israel, there has been an understanding that businesses remain closed from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown in recognition of the Sabbath. However, in recent years, more and more businesses have opted to remain open to meet the desires of secular Jews.

In an effort to promote Sabbath observance, laws requiring shops to close during Sabbath hours are being put into place. The biggest challenge has been enforcing the laws. Since Jews can't be required to work on Sabbath, the agencies charged with enforcement have finally come to an agreement that they will hire non-Jews to work on Sabbath as inspectors.

Bible students will recognize the irony of this situation and realize that it goes back thousands of years. At Creation, the Sabbath was set aside for man, as a day of rest and refreshment. As God's ambassadors, the Jewish people were to demonstrate the blessings of Sabbath-keeping for the world around them to see and emulate. Unfortunately, they often ignored or forgot the Sabbath. In fact, the prophets warned the Jews that they would go into captivity because they failed to keep the Sabbath holy (Jeremiah 17).

After the Babylonian captivity, the Jews took great pains to protect the Sabbath. But instead of sharing the blessings, they built walls around the Sabbath so that no one else could enjoy its benefits. By the time of Christ, there were so many rules about Sabbath-keeping that it was a burden to the people. At that time, it was permissible to hire Gentiles to do certain necessary jobs that the Jews felt they couldn't do during Sabbath hours. Finally, Jesus came to give a living example of the purpose and blessings of Sabbath. He addressed the inconsistencies of Jewish rules when He claimed the Sabbath for man and identified Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27, 28).

As you consider the blessing the Sabbath has been to you, click here for a wonderful FREE resource you can share with your friends about the practical benefits of the Sabbath and how it is to be a blessing for everyone!
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