What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the Sabbath? The word that comes to me is “Joy.” Isaiah 58:13 tells us, “If you 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 honorable … then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.”
The Sabbath is more than a day of rest, more than a day when we don’t have to keep working. The Sabbath is a day when we can have peace, but even more than that, it’s a day that can be full of joy. Many people of this world are on a quest to find happiness often exhausting themselves in this pursuit. But as we seek God and keep His day, we often are overtaken by His joy.
The Sabbath has been called a foretaste of the Millennium. At the beginning of Isaiah 35, we are given a description of that time: “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing, the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellently of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God.” The last part of verse 9 and verse 10 adds, “But the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” That’s what the Sabbath can bring, too.
Psalm 92 is called, “A Psalm for the Sabbath day.” Verse 4 says, “For you, Lord, have made me glad through your work.” The Sabbath is a good time to forget about our work and consider God’s work. Verse 5 adds, “O Lord, how great are your works.” What better time than the Sabbath to consider God’s works! While we consider His works we gain a perspective about our own life and the issues we face.
Someone once said, “The Sabbath is a golden clasp that unites God and His people,” a saying similar to what the Bible says in Exodus 31: that the Sabbath is a “sign” between God and His people.
Each Sabbath is a good time to share these joys. This could be done by praying for someone, by calling or writing, or even by making a visit.
The Sabbath is a very special time in our home. We stop other things before sundown on Friday. There is joy and peace and something special in the air. My wife, Choral, usually plays six or eight songs of worship from memory on her organ. God is near and very real. Sabbath joy is with us. We worship our God, and then we pray for others.
We share the joy.