The Blessings of Observing the Lord’s Day As God Commanded

Mark 2:27; Isaiah 58:13,14
       The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.
       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, honourable; and shalt honour 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.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The Sabbath was made for man’s blessing.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): It is not only a day of honour to God, but a day of blessing to us.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): The sabbath was made for man―for his good, and not for his hurt; both for the good of his soul, that he might have an opportunity of attending divine worship, both in public and private; and for the good of his body, that he might have rest from his labour; and this was the end of the original institution and appointment of it.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): The Sabbath is God’s merciful appointment for the common benefit of all mankind…The Sabbath is good for man’s body. We need a day of rest. On this point, at any rate, all medical men are agreed. Curiously and wonderfully made as the human frame is, it will not stand incessant work without regular intervals of repose.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): God did design it to be an advantage to us―He made it for man. He had some regard to our bodies in the institution, that we might rest, and not be tired out with the constant business of this world; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest, Deuteronomy 5:14.

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): Remember that thou wast a servant―therefore art highly obliged not to grudge thy servants their rest upon that day.

J. C. RYLE: One plain rule about the Sabbath is that it must be kept as a day of rest. All work of every kind ought to cease as far as possible, both of body and mind…Works of necessity and mercy may be done. Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us this, Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 14:1-6.

THOMAS WATSON: Except in these two cases, of necessity and charity, all secular work is to be suspended and laid aside on the Lord’s-day. ‘In it thou shalt do no manner of work.’―To do servile work on the Sabbath shows an irreligious heart, and greatly offends God…God will not have His day entrenched upon, or defiled in the least thing. The man that gathered sticks on the Sabbath he commanded to be stoned. Numbers 15:35. It would seem a small thing to pick up a few sticks to make a fire; but God would not have this day violated in the smallest matters. Nay, the work which had reference to a religious use might not be done on the Sabbath, as the hewing of stones for the building of the sanctuary. Bezaleel, who was to cut the stones, and carve the timber out for the sanctuary, must forbear to do it on the Sabbath, Exodus 31:15. A temple is a place of God’s worship, but it was a sin to build a temple on the Lord’s-day.

J. C. RYLE: Many are raising a cry in the present day, as if we were inflicting a positive injury on them in calling on them to keep the Sabbath holy. They talk as if the observance of the day were a heavy yoke…When I speak of public desecration of the Sabbath, I mean those many open, unblushing practices, which meet the eye on Sundays in the neighbourhood of large towns. I refer to the practice of keeping shops open, and buying and selling on Sundays.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The Sabbath was made for man, that he might be a man in the highest sense of the word―something nobler than a beast of burden; something more than a cash register. The Sabbath was made for man because he needed it: his body needs it, his soul needs it.

J. C. RYLE: The other great rule about the Sabbath is, that it must be kept holy. It is not to be a carnal, sensual rest, like that of the worshippers of the golden calf, who “sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play,” Exodus 32:6. It is to be emphatically a holy rest. It is to be a rest in which, as far as possible, the affairs of the soul may be attended to, business of another world minded, and communion with God and Christ kept up. In short, it ought never to be forgotten that it is “the Sabbath of the Lord our God,” Exodus 20:10.

MATTHEW POOLE: God made it a day of blessing; as well of receiving blessings and praises from men, as of conferring His blessings and favours upon those that religiously observe it.

MATTHEW HENRY: Those that honour God and His Sabbath, He will thus honour. If God by his grace enable us to live above the world, and so to manage it as not only not to be hindered by it, but to be furthered and carried on by it in our journey towards heaven, then He makes us to ride on the high places of the earth…In order that we may depend upon it, it is added, The mouth of the Lord has spoken it; you may take God’s word for it, for He cannot lie nor deceive; what His mouth has spoken His hand will give, His hand will do, and not one iota or tittle of his good promise shall fall to the ground.

THOMAS BOSTON (1676-1732): The Lord will make it even a spring of temporal blessings. He will not let the day of blessing be a curse to people in their temporal affairs. They shall be at no loss in their worldly things by the Sabbath rest, Leviticus 25:20-22. Conscientious keepers of the Sabbath will be found to thrive as well in other ways as those who are not.

J. C. RYLE: The sabbath is good for nations. It has an enormous effect both on the character and temporal prosperity of a people. I firmly believe that a people which regularly rests one day in seven will do more work, and better work, in a year, than a people which never rest at all. Their hands will be stronger; their minds clearer; their powers of attention, application, and steady perseverance will be far greater.

THOMAS ADAM (1701-1784): Sunday—in our rest from bodily labour and employment, in the thoughts it suggests, the prospect it opens, the hope it confirms—is a day taken from time, and made a portion of eternity.

ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER (1772-1851): The best preparation for the week’s work is the communion of the Sabbath.

A. W. PINK: A Sabbath well spent, brings a week of content,
                                       And strength for the toils of the morrow.
                                But a Sabbath profaned, what e’er may be gained,
                                          Is a certain forerunner of sorrow.


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