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Thirsting for a Day of Rest

Thirsting for a Day of Rest

An insightful article in The University News, the student newspaper of the University of Dallas, “a Catholic institution welcoming students of all faiths,” talked about how hard it is to find the human quest for fulfillment. The author, Larisa Tuttle, quoted one Father Thomas Dubay, S.M., who wrote that “every single choice you make all day long is proof that you seek, you desire, you want, you lack. Nothing is ever enough.” 

Tuttle then expounded upon Satan’s taking advantage of this “thirst” for fulfillment, as Dubay described it, by leading people to “temporal goods” that ultimately cannot satisfy those deepest longings. This idea reflects what King Solomon expressed thousands of years ago: “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing” (Ecclesiastes 1:8). This was a verse written by a man who had everything the world could offer, yet he was still left unfulfilled. In fact, he called all his material possessions and achievements “vanity” (v. 2), from the Hebrew word hebel, which means a “vapor,” or “breath.”

Tuttle went on to lament that in our quest for fulfillment, we “forget that we are created for rest,” an act that college students are particularly prone to “rejecting.” She continued: “Although it is noble to thirst after excellence in academics and all the goodness that college offers, there is such a temptation to make our planners into altars. We sacrifice a balanced life that includes sleep, nutrition, and authentic leisure for the sake of packing in as many activities and perfect grades as possible.”

The solution, she concluded, is to keep the Sabbath, “a rehearsal for our eternal wedding feast.” That is, using the imagery of the church as the bride of Christ, a metaphor found all through the Bible (Isaiah 54:5; 62:5; Ephesians 5:25–27; Revelation 19:7–9), Tuttle brought up the idea of the Sabbath as a foretaste of heaven, the rest that we will have in the new heaven and earth (21:1).

Truth Mixed with Error

There is much truth in Tuttle’s piece. However, two big problems directly related to each other are also present.

First, Tuttle denoted the Sabbath rest as “the third commandment.” Isn’t the observance of the Sabbath, as given at Mount Sinai by God—and written with His own finger (Exodus 31:18)—the fourth commandment? It clearly states, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work” (20:9, 10). The third commandment is actually to “not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (v. 7).

Second, the Sabbath day, according to Tuttle, is this day of the week: “In this vale of tears, Jesus offers us fulfillment and rest every Sunday. Although Sunday Mass is the zenith of our entire week, the Lord desires that every moment of Sunday will draw us into restful communion with Him.”

The Sabbath commandment is quite specific: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God” (emphasis added). The seventh day is Saturday (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown), not Sunday. You can learn all about this fact from our free article “Which Day of the Week Is the Sabbath?

In other words, Tuttle got the day and the number of the commandment wrong. So what? The important thing is getting the meaning right; all those other details are just semantics—aren’t they?

Big Changes, Big Consequences

If they were just semantics, then why did God distinguish one day out of seven in His commandment in the first place? God must think the seventh day is important. And indeed, He does. The seventh day is the day that God finished creating our world: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11). The seventh day, the Sabbath, memorializes the Creation. It is the evidence of God’s creative power—and that includes His recreative power to give you eternal life and save you from eternal death. 

Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty important day.

And then there’s this short but powerful prophecy in the Old Testament: “And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law” (Daniel 7:25 ASV, emphasis added). According to Daniel, that power rising up “against the Most High,” God Himself, is a “beast” (v. 7), a symbol for a “kingdom on earth” (v. 23). So this enemy of God is an earthly, political power that will attempt to alter God’s “times” and His “law.” Another way of looking at this would be a change to God’s day, His “times,” and the number of His commandment, His “law.” In a stunning fulfillment of Bible prophecy, history shows this is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church did. The proof is available for anyone who desires to know the truth. Try starting with our free resource “Where’s the Evidence that the Sabbath Was Changed?

We’re talking about the Ten Commandments, the law of God—the divine standard for right and wrong, good and evil. In fact, this law defines what sin is: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). So if you change the law, you change the definition of sin—which has disastrous, eternal consequences (Romans 6:23).

Here’s the point: Make sure you know at which well you’re drinking—because there is one out there filled with quicksand. Make sure you’re quenching your thirst with the real Water of Life (John 4:14).

This article contributed by Clifford Goldstein
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