September 23 - LD 38, Day 7: Calling the Sabbath a Delight
Sunday the 23rd of September
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Isaiah 58:13-14: “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.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life on the cross of Calvary to enter God’s rest on our behalf. He now says, "Come unto me and rest." That is our need.
If we recognize that need, some of us may have to re-evaluate our lives with respect to the Sabbath. This day isn't made for our earthly pleasure. This day isn't given us for earthly labour. For the sake of devoting our entire focus to our spiritual labour of entering into the Sabbath rest, we are to set aside our normal daily labours. We are to be too busy in spiritual things to have time for the earthly. Yes, we recognize that there are some laboursnecessary on the Lord's Day — but not as a normal practice which robs us of our necessary fellowship with God. We don't take jobs that regularly rob us of fellowship with our Redeemer. So important is the continual nourishment of our spiritual life and our fellowship with God that we would allow nothing to rob us of that fellowship! We long for the rest which only He can provide through His appointed means of grace.
So we begin already in this life the eternal Sabbath. "He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul" (Prov 19:16a). He keeps His soul in fellowship with His Redeemer, and therefore in the rest which shall finally find its culmination in everlasting glory. In that comfort we live in hope. We are Christ's! To Him we come in repentance. In Him we find forgiveness. Through Him we enjoy rest in the fellowship of God's covenant. May God give us grace, so that in our celebration of our Sabbath today, we receive a foretaste of the everlasting Sabbath that awaits us.