Sabbath Meditation #22 – Protection Against Self-Slavery
by Kelly McDonald, Jr.
“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, and the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, 14 then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13-14).
Consider Western culture for a moment.
In Western culture, we have a life full of stuff/things. There’s a gadget for almost every need. They appear to make life more convenient and easier; in many cases they do.
We also have an endless number of events that we could attend. There are concerts, sporting events, shopping events, political events, festivals, parades, marches, special classes, and the list goes on and on. There is an event or cause for nearly every interest a person could have.
In addition to events, there are also many avenues for personal pursuits and achievements. There are college degrees that can be earned, positions available within civic organizations, job promotions, and so forth.
These are all a part of the “world” or kosmos in which we live. If allowed to continue unchecked, they will create an almost continuous state of motion and unending busy-ness. They will make us slaves to self.
In Genesis 1:27-28, God gave mankind dominion over creation. Since then, we have exercised that authority to establish structures and civilizations. We have created things to serve us. Unfortunately, the world created by humans has slowly taken dominion over us. The things made by humans rule over the creators. It has devolved to the point that our modern world has diminished the importance of the Creator God.
In the beginning, mankind only had the things which God made; this was the sole delight of Adam and Eve. As time has passed, we have created things to which we take delight. In Isaiah 58:13-14, we learn that we should find our joy in the LORD on the Sabbath. We are asked not to seek our own purposes, delight or way. Even our words are supposed to be directed away from personal pursuits and towards His work in our lives. When we do so, we will reap rewards from Him. In Isaiah 58:14, God shares special blessings we receive from honoring the Sabbath.
There must be a point at which the busy-ness of our modern world stops so that we can focus on the higher purpose for which we were created. The Sabbath gives us this opportunity on a weekly basis. Spending the time to honor God in this way will refocus us from the temporary world created by people to the Creator of the Universe. It allows us to stop and reflect on God’s direction for our lives while separated from our own pursuits. We can then pursue Him without the distractions of the human-created world.
A life guided only by self-centered pursuits will lead to endless activity with little thought of God’s plan. Don’t be enslaved; allow the author of freedom to liberate you from this kosmos and even free you from yourself.
We will continue this thought even deeper in a future Sabbath meditation.
Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President www.biblesabbath.org