Sabbath and Justice: An Introduction

Great insight. According to our doctrine, the sabbath begins and ends along the same dateline as the first sabbath, but our pioneers unwittingly (witlessly ?) observed the man-made IDL, (which didn’t even exist when sabbath-keeping was established.). So we continue to break the sabbath by incorporating a non-Biblical starting time. Ouch.

When someone asked EGW for a solution, her answer was to ignore the problem because Satan invented it. The InternationaI Dateline was invented by the Satan?! One wonders why EGW didn’t just draw on her inspiration for a useful answer.


Probably couldn’t find any material to “borrow” from to answer the question. :slightly_smiling_face:


According to Genesis 1 we are living in the 7th “day” of God creation" week " I am interpreting “day” according to the context of the chapter. A careful reading of the text demonstrates that the description of creation “week” is like a formula to teach that it was an orderly series of events. What is obvious is that each "era " (day ) of the "weeK’ is bracketed by the phrase “and there was evening and there was morning -the X day” This formula is repeated for days 1 thru 6. Did you notice it is absent for the 7th “day” ? Therefore I think it is reasonable to conclude we are living in God’s 7th “day” now . His creative activity of crafting the universe ended with the Adam and Eve. Everything prior to their creation was designed to make life possible as we now know it . It wasn’t that God needed a rest but it signifies His satisfaction with what He had done and His completion of work Nothing more needed to be done and so He declares “it was very good” for His purposes.
With the entrance of sin, paradise was lost and hard physical labor became a necessity. In His compassion for humans I think the introduction of a rest day was mandated to protect the health of humanity especially for the early inhabitants . It was a piece of “labor legislation” for the benefit of mankind. If sin had not happened I would like to think there would be no need to have a sabbath To think it was instituted for some spiritual lesson is unwarranted Of course you can try to make it spiritual but “why”. Observation of a particular "rest " day has no real saving value. And then to try and tie it to human justice is to misunderstand God’s justice
If you look at the 10 commandments as eternal values rather than a set of regulation to follow it seems clear that they are designed to optimize communities to function as He planned. Unless you internalize the “laws” to develop your divine values to match the mind of God then obeying the commandments is like obeying your parents to avoid punishment Very juvenile.


That makes a lot of sense David. The essential key I think is that Gen 2:1-3 ( the seventh-day ) has no ‘evening and morning’ closure as you mention. Augustine indicated that the seven days of Gen 1 stood for great epochs of time and God’s creation before there was ‘need’ to reconcile geology with theology.

The reason why there is no ‘evening and morning’ refrain for the seventh-day is because the seventh-day epoch hasn’t ended. God began resting and has continued ever since. Nature is now superintended by the digital programs of Epigenetics and God rarely intervenes.

We keep every seventh day, weekly ‘24 hour day’ in commemoration of this seventh epoch of God’s finished Creation. We as believers are to cease from our works, and rest spiritually as God did in Creation, Hebrews Four.

In John 5:16-18 Jesus used the day/age view to defend His healing on the Sabbath by saying that His Father is always at work to this very day, and I too , am working” (verse 17) The key here is "to this very day.’ Translation: in spite of this being the Epoch of Sabbath Rest God still works, therefore do not criticize me for working on the Weekly memorial of The Epochal Sabbath Rest.

Jesus is saying that he is honoring the Sabbath just as his Father does. “To this very day” God has worked EVEN during this Sabbath Period of history (“up to this very day”). God has stopped creating during our time but not stopped working. Thus each day of the week may also commemorate the actually time periods of the actual creation “week.” ‘Yom’ in many texts of the Hebrew Bible can mean periods of time. Gen. 2:4. This is why I believe in the Hebrew, days 1-5 have no definite article (ha), while days 6 and 7 do have the definite article because they are our time period.

1 Like

You are an “anti-Caesar” rebel :smile: I can relate to the broader perspective, the bridge to Judaism (for not losing contact) and the idea that Sabbath is not a duty that Christians have to keep, but it can have personal meaning.

I see (social) justice everywhere in the Bible, also as one aspect of the Sabbath idea. In OT times, one aspect seemed to be that ancient Israel practiced a day of resting for all, a kind of anti-hierarchy tool and anti-oppression tool (also for the land and animals) because God is the creator and redeemer of all, not just of a class. Social justice didn’t evolve out of this because humans have a deeply ingrained problem that could not be cured by a tool, no matter how good the tool was. The NT emphasizes Jesus as justice bringer for all humans: right relationship with God (righteousness) and as a result justice towards fellow humans; only through Jesus, not through any tools.

Just personally speaking, I have a relationship day (Sabbath) every week on which I re-focus on what’s really important in life. No strings attached. I also do this during the week, but on Sabbath I have more time to receptively connect to the heart of God and also connect this re-focus to worship in my faith community. I spread love and peace flowing out of this to the people around me afterwards and during the week. Is that part of exercising justice?

I don’t think other Christians are obligated to do this my way (I agree with Paul on that), but I, like you, found meaning in this blessed practice or blessed tool for me. I am on a journey with questions, sometimes more than answers.


This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.