As we begin another Sabbath I am freshly reminded of God’s attitude toward this day. I have been reading the prophet Ezekiel lately and following the dreadful prophecies God delivered to the rebellious house of Judah through him. The 22nd chapter, from which I have excerpted seven verses, lists some horrible abominations. Some of these unspeakable acts we see in our culture today, and perhaps the rest will be seen before long.
Included in the awful list is failure to properly regard the Sabbath. We instinctively know that these many sexual and financial and religious perversions are wrong. We may know instinctively that desecrating the Sabbath is wrong. Or—we may have been informed that this is no longer something that matters to God, supplanted by “The Lord’s Day.”
I am thankful that He has given us the ability to discern evil and stay away from it. I am also thankful that He has given us the desire to please Him whenever we can turn away from the lesser and choose the greater. And He has indicated that right up there in importance with avoiding abomination is “keeping” the Sabbath.
One of my favorite things to do on a Sabbath morning is to curl up in a comfortable chair with a hot drink and my current Bible. Comparing versions and looking for good in footnotes can bring a lot of enjoyment if you are willing to put some effort into it. I heartily recommend it. Feast on the Book. It will enable you to see more clearly what God expects of us and what He hates.
Ezekiel 22:7 They’ve treated mothers and fathers among you with contempt. They’ve oppressed the foreigner among you. They’ve maltreated the orphan and the widow among you.
8 “You have despised my sacred things and profaned my Sabbaths.
9 Slanderous men live among you, intent on shedding blood. They’ve eaten at the top of mountain shrines. They’ve crafted plans to do evil things among you.
26 Her priests have violated my Law and profaned my sacred things. They didn’t differentiate between what’s sacred and what’s common. They didn’t instruct others to discern clean from unclean things. They refused to keep my Sabbaths. I’m constantly being profaned among them.
27 Her princes within her are like wolves tearing their prey apart. They shed blood, destroying souls, and make unjust gain.
28 “‘Her prophets whitewashed all of these things through false visions and lying divinations. They kept on saying, “This is what the Lord GOD says…” when the LORD has not spoken.
29 The people of the land were vigorously oppressive and took possession of plunder by violence. They’ve afflicted the poor and the needy and unjustly treated the foreigner.
–From the International Standard Version