The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 58 Part 3

Isaiah

Our last reading for this week is from Isaiah 58:13-14

If we would like to experience G-d in a more powerful way, have His perspective (so that we can see things from His vantage point and not from our own), and be drawn into His presence in such a way that He is able to move in our lives to bring about the fulfilment of His purposes in our lives, He has supplied something for us so that these things are not just what we desire but can become a reality in our lives: the Sabbath – the seventh day [The Jewish people do not count days like we, in Western culture, do. A day goes from sundown of one day to just before sundown of the next day…”the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen 1:5). Shabbat is therefore celebrated on Friday evening and Saturday morning].  

In Exodus 10 we are given the 10 commandments. 9 of these commandments we have absolutely no problem with as New Testament believers. Just one of these commandments (the fourth one) seems to cause a little jarring in our circles – “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”. 

There is a false understanding that’s very prevalent among many believers. They believe that G-d wants us to set apart one day of rest a week, but they also believe that we can choose what day this is – which day is most convenient for us. This is not the case. The Bible says that G-d sanctified (set apart) the seventh day – not a day of our choosing (Gen 2:3). More than any other day of the week, this seventh day, in a unique way, is a day related to the purposes of G-d. Man was created on the sixth day. The very first day of man’s life (the seventh day) he got to experience Shabbat – the Sabbath rest – with the L-rd G-d Almighty. G-d did not need to rest after creating. He chose to rest. He chose to set aside and spend this day in fellowship with the man and woman that He had created. This was an example and a precedent that G-d set for mankind. The Sabbath day is not a day of reward. We should not think that because we have worked for six days we have earned the right to have a rest on the seventh day. Man, having been created on the sixth day, had not done any work before he experienced his first Sabbath. It was out of fellowship with G-d that man was given his work, his assignment, his calling (to work the garden, to name the animals etc). When we apply the relevance of Shabbat to our lives it is going to give us a clarity and perspective for what we are called to do. Shabbat is a day when restoration and a renewal takes places. 

It is important to remember that we are not under the law which means that we are not going to be judged by the law (we are not under the law’s condemnation, as Messiah took the punishment for all of our transgressions). We are living in a period of time where there is no temple and so, even if we wanted to, we could not keep the Sabbath according to its Biblical requirements – the oldness of the letter (sacrifices etc). Not a single person on earth can keep the Sabbath completely. As believers, we have the privilege of being able to fulfil the righteousness of the Shabbat law according to the newness of the Spirit (Roms 7:6). When we take a commandment of G-d and apply it to our lives, being led by the Spirit, we are going to fulfil the righteous requirement of that law. Fulfilling the righteousness of the law manifests the glory of G-d.

In Mark 2: 28 Yeshua identifies Himself as the L-rd of the Sabbath. This fact alone should cause us to conclude that the Sabbath has significance and relevance. Applying Sabbath truth to our lives is not us keeping the Sabbath. G-d did not create us so that we could be Sabbath keepers. The Sabbath was created in order to keep us (Mark 2:27). It is there for our benefit. The objective is not for the Sabbath to be kept, but when we apply Sabbath truth to our lives it keeps us in G-d’s will, it has a good outcome (a Kingdom outcome) in our lives. 

v13: Turn away your foot from the Sabbath: (see different interpretations of this in biblehub.com). This means that because it is the Sabbath day you have caused your foot to be brought away from doing its own desires. One of the things that we learn from the Sabbath is submission. Nothing good happens spiritually in our lives until we have learned how to submit to the instructions of the L-rd. 

  • Your pleasure: Those things that delight us. 
  • MY HOLY DAYThis is very important. The Sabbath is the L-rd’s holy day. It is the only day that He has sanctified. No where in the Scripture (Old or New Testament) are we told that this has been changed. Some people teach that the Sabbath has been changed to the first day of the week (Sunday) because Yeshua rose on Sunday – the first day of the week (Matt 28:1, Mark 16:1-2). There is no Biblical basis for this, it is an assumption and was changed based upon the writings of man – not based on Scripture.
  • Call the Sabbath a delight: The Sabbath day is not only a day for the Jewish people. It is a day that G-d sanctified for all of humanity. Adam, a Gentile, submitted to G-d’s instruction to rest on the seventh day. Yeshua, called Himself the L-rd of THE SABBATH (Mark 2:28) but Acts 10:36 tells us that Messiah Yeshua is L-rd of ALL – Jew and Gentile. 
  • (To mark as holy the honourable L-RD): When we acknowledge Shabbat and submit to Shabbat instructions, we are marking this day as G-d’s holy day. G-d is honoured when we do this. 
  • Not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words: All of this is to teach us about submissiveness. We do not go where we want to go, we don’t do the things we want to do, and nor do we speak about the things that we want to speak about. Everything that we do on this day is under the submissive will of G-d. This is for this purpose: to honour G-d by recognizing this as His holy day. 

v14: ThenIf we do the things mentioned in Isaiah 58:13 then…this is going to be the result, this is going to be G-d’s response to our obedience to His instructions. 

  • You shall delight yourself in the L-RD: We are going to experience the L-rd’s delight, when, through the help of the Holy Spirit, we have recognised and applied the principles of the Sabbath to our lives – a day set aside for not going where we want to go, not doing what we want to do, not speaking about what we want to speak about. In other words, we restrain ourselves. Shabbat changes the behaviour, thoughts and speech of an individual. In a unique way G-d is going to cause us to have great joy when we submit to His instruction regarding the Sabbath. 
  • Cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth: He will cause us to see things from a different (elevated) perspective (we will have discernment). When we are in an elevated place we can see more clearly, and we can see for a greater distance. This is helpful as it causes us to respond a lot more quickly to what we are seeing. 

Note: When we apply Sabbath truth to our lives, we are going to have a better understanding or discernment regarding the things relating to the Kingdom of G-d so that we can live a Kingdom-centred life. We are not under Shabbat. We are not judged because of Shabbat, but when we honour Shabbat, we are going to see a G-dly change in our lives. 

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