How To Cultivate Sabbath Keeping (Beeke)

Joel Beeke on Isaiah 58:13-14:

How to Cultivate Sabbath Keeping

My notes:

  • Keeping the Sabbath = great way to cultivate holiness
  • Once a major part of Western culture but no longer
  • Sabbath = a foretaste of heaven

Four things:

  1. Doctrine
    • Day is not ours; it is the Lord’s
    • Must call it a delight to honor Him
    • Whole day is sacred time devoted to worship
    • If go own way, God says will come under His curse and disfavor
    • Not honoring will desensitize the conscience to all of God’s commandments
    • Isaiah 58 and Genesis 2 are not ceremonial law; Exodus 20 commands to remember it
    • Commandment 4 never taken away
  2. Discipline
    • Self-control needed to not do own pleasure
    • North American Christianity is primarily antinomian – people just want to go to church and be made to feel good and then do what they want the rest of the day
    • Discipline ought to be our delight
    • Don’t indulge your pleasure or preference apart from God’s will
    • We must turn our feet toward God and engage in careful, thoughtful, God-honoring, God-worshiping living
    • Must be disciplined before the day – do work on Saturday so free on Sunday
    • On Sunday, resist the temptation to do other things
    • Ryan McGraw: “Worldy recreations on the Sabbath are no more appropriate than if a groom paused in the middle of his wedding ceremony to check the scores of a football game.”
    • Repent of sinful desires and practices (cf. Amos 8:5)
    • A day to examine ourselves and the direction of our life
  3. Delight
    • Use to glorify and enjoy God
    • A day of exquisite delight, sweet joy
    • A day of blessing to us; a day when God gives us grace as we give Him worship
    • A day free of worldly responsibilities
    • A day to:
      1. Examine ourselves, confess sins, give thanks for our graces
      2. Pray for ourselves and others
      3. Read Scriptures and other sound books
      4. Meditate on God’s truth
      5. Engage in holy conversation with others
      6. Meditate and converse about God’s works in creation and Providence
      7. Sing psalms
      8. Serve people in mercy and love – poor, sick, widows, fatherless, foreigner; make peace with those with whom we have a quarrel, speak gospel
    • Not a day to be idle, but take a nap if necessary
    • Time to feed soul
    • Blessings – spiritual riches, inheritance in eternal kingdom of God
  4. Desire
    • Hopeful anticipation of the eternal Sabbath to come



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