Monday, 31 March 2008

The Israelites and the sabbath

I have many friends who fellowship and minister in many denominations. Some firmly believe that Saturday is the day of the Sabbath while other firmly believe that Sunday is. Others are more flexible and believe that one day in seven is OK for the Sabbath while I tongue in check say that the sabbath should be every 7th day from the day you were born again.

Tonight while going through our nightly devotions with my son, we read Joshua 6. This is the story where they conquer the city of Jericho. The interesting thing I found was that God ordered them to walk around the city quietly once a day for 6 days while the priests blew a trumpet and then on the 7th day ordered them to walk around it 7 times and after the 7th time give a mighty shout and the walls would collapse.

The Scriptures don't make it clear, but I suspect that the 7th day would have normally been their sabbath day. The reason I think this is the fact that they had to walk around the city 7 days instead of the once which they had to do the previous 6 days. The sabbath was normally a day of rest, a day of no work where they would normally gather to worship the Lord. I doubt if their sabbath was one of the days where they walked the once - rather that it was the day where they did something more unusual then the norm.

That day the Lord caused the walls to come tumbling down and the Israelites took over the city of Jericho and after looting it burnt it to the ground.

I found this interesting after considering the way the pharisees who gave Jesus a hard time for healing and doing good on the sabbath did not consider this story - who should have known it well - and whether or not the sabbath did fall on the 7th day in this story or was one of the other 6 days - the fact is that God ordered his people to work on that day.

How true it is that true obedience to God in heart, mind and strength is the greatest worship of all.

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