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A Day of Joy

Great blessings are enfolded in the observance of the Sabbath, and God desires that the Sabbath shall he to us a day of joy. There was joy in the institution of the Sabbath. God looked with satisfaction upon the work of His hands. All things that He had made He pronounced "very good." Genesis 1:31. Heaven and earth were filled with rejoicing. "The morning stars sang together. and all the sons of God shouted for joy:' Job 38:7. Though sin has entered the vvorld to mar His perfect work, God still gives to us the Sabbath as a witness that One, omnipotent. infinite in goodness and mercy, created all things. Our heavenly Father desires through the observance of the Sabbath to preserve among men a knowledge of Himself. He desires that the Sabbath shall direct our minds to Him as the true and living God, and that through knowing Him we may have life and peace.

The Lord says, "If thou 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." Isaiah 58:12. To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ's creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it they delight themselves in Him.

God blessed and sanctified the seventh day because He rested upon it from all His wondrous work of creation. The Sabbath was made for man, and God would have him put by [aside] his labor for that day, as He Himself rested after His six days' work of creation.

At the very beginning of the fourth precept, God said, "Remember." He claims one day, which He has set apart and sanctified. He gives it to man as a day in which he may rest from labor and devote himself to worship and the improvement of his spiritual condition.


After man sinned, the promise of a Saviour was given and the sacrificial offerings pointed forward to the death of Christ. God raised up a special people whom He organized into the nation of Israel. He nurtured, loved and led His people because He had something great in mind for them. The ordinance of circumcision became a sign of their pledge to be true, obedient followers of God. Their lives were to be guided by the principles of grace to show the world the benefits of obedient faith. So God made a covenant with them -- an agreement or contract.


God's Part:

· He promised to bless His people.
· He would give them possession of the land of Canaan.
· He would make known His will to them.
· He would send them the Messiah.
· He would use them to make Christ known to the world.
(Deut. 11.22-27; 4:13; Gen: 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5, 6.)

Israel's Part:

The people were to yield obedience and to cooperate with all of God's requirements. This was to be done by bringing God's grace and power into their lives. (Ex. 19:4-6; Deut. 4.13, 36-40.)

When was it made? It was first with Abraham and his posterity that it became fully and wholly effective. (Gen. 12:1-3.)

How was it sealed? By blood sacrifices. (Ex. 24:5-8.)

How was it broken? In rejecting and crucifying Christ, the Jewish people renounced the covenant and were rejected as the chosen people.(Matt. 21:43.)

If Israel had been faithful to the Old covenant what would have happened? The Old Covenant was designed to enable those bound by its provisions to enter into the privileges and responsibilities of the New or Everlasting covenant. They could have been given the joy of salvation through Jesus. But the tragedy is that they are still looking for the Messiah and did not see and accept the atoning sacrifice of God's own Son.


God's Part:

· He promised to bless His people.
· He would write His laws in their minds and hearts.
· He would be their God.
· We would be His people. (Heb. 8:8-1O.)

Our Part:

To be obedient to all of God's requirements. This will be done through Christ and our close relationship with Him -- not in our own strength, but upon our reliance on Christ and His strength. (Romans 9:31-33; Phil. 4:13; 3:9; Rev. 12:14.)

When was it made? When Jesus was crucified God transferred the privileges and responsibilities of the covenant relationship to His new chosen people, the Christian church.(GaL 3:27-29.)

How was it sealed? By the blood of Jesus when He died on the cross. (Luke 22:20; Heb. 9:14, 15.)

What are the differences? The chief difference is that the "Old Covenant" was made with Israel as a nation, but the "New Covenant" is made with individual believers in Christ.

-- Adapted from a preacher's notes

The Sabbath is a sign of creative and redeeming power; it points to God as the source of life and knowledge; it recalls man's primeval glory, and thus witnesses to God's purpose to re-create us in His own image.

The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God's purpose they are indissolubly linked together. On this day, more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden.

Over the Sabbath He places His merciful hand. In His own day He preserves for the family opportunity for communion with Him, with nature, and with one another.

Since the Sabbath is the memorial of creative power, it is the day above all others when we should acquaint ourselves with God through His works. Happy is the family that can go to the place of worship on the Sabbath as Jesus and His disciples went to the synagogue -- across the fields, along the shores of the lake, or through the groves. Happy the father and mother who can teach their children God's written word with illstrations from the open pages of the book of nature; who can gather under the green trees, in the fresh, pure air to study the word and to sing the praise of the Father above.

By such associations parents may bind their children to their hearts, and thus to God by ties that can never be broken.

The Sabbath is a golden clasp that unites God and His people.

To us as to Israel the Sabbath is given "for a perpetual covenant." To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognizes them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfill to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God's government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise. The past history of the cause of God, needs to be brought often before the people of God, young and old. We need often to recount God's goodness and to praise Him for His wonderful works.

The church of God below is one with the church of God above. Believers on the earth and the beings in heaven who have never fallen constitute one church. Every heavenly intelligence is interested in the assemblies of the saints who on earth meet to worship God.

As you meet from Sabbath to Sabbath, sing praises to Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

The Sabbath and the family
were alike instituted in Eden,
and in God's purpose they are
indissolubly linked together.
On this day, more than on
any other, it is possible for us
to live the life of Eden.

The temple of God is opened in heaven, and the threshold is flushed with the glory which is for every church that will love God and keep His commandments. We need to study to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne. As we apply the golden eye salve we shall see the glories beyond. Faith will cut through the heavy shadow of Satan, and we shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf. When we see this as it is, as the Lord desires us to see it, we shall be filled with a sense of the immensity and diversity of the love of God.

God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, to unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.

This is the last page in this magazine.