Friday, December 15, 2017

God’s Pleasure Or Yours? – The Fourth Commandment

Friday, November 7, 2008, 11:16
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God’s Pleasure, or Yours?

The fourth commandment

Exodus 20.8; Deuteronomy 5.12

“Remember, observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Isaiah 58.13, 14

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

It comes down to whom we choose to please.

The Lord’s Day matters because, in a very real sense, it collapses our entire week into a single day and dramatizes what the other six days of our lives are like. On the Lord’s Day we have a clear and unequivocal choice to make: God’s pleasure or ours? A day devoted to resting in Him, meditating on and honoring Him as Creator and Redeemer, or a day doing whatever we want without much in the way of regard for what God thinks about it? But isn’t this the way every day is? Every day we’re faced with precisely the same choice: serve God or serve self. Obey God or obey the lusts of my flesh. So the Lord’s Day provides a kind of bivouac for the rest of our week. It gives us a whole day to work on disciplining our consciences to choose God’s will and to obey God’s Law, come what may, to value His plan for our lives above anything else. If we could devote all our waking moments on the Lord’s Day to honoring Him and resisting every temptation simply to indulge our every whim, how might that serve to strengthen our souls for the rest of the week and the many choices and challenges we’ll face then?

The Lord’s Day is two days away, and already you are making plans for how you will spend it. In the light of all we’ve discussed thus far this week, how are your plans going? Are they preparing you to keep the Sabbath or to waste it on yourself?

“In the Gates” is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001,2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Editor’s note: The use of a translation other than the Authorised Version in an article does not constitute an endorsement in whole or in part by The Christian Observer.

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