Monthly Archives: October 2018

Keeping the LORD’S Day Holy

Upon the completion of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem in fifty-two days under the leadership of Nehemiah, the former cupbearer of the King of Persia, Nehemiah became burdened concerning the activities taking place within the city on the Sabbath days. The city gates were open and people were coming and going all day long selling their wares, with customers buying what was made available for purchase. In celebration of the wall being completed, the people had gathered in the street before the water gate to hear Ezra, the priest, read the Book of the Law of Moses which included the command of GOD, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” (Exodus 20:8; Nehemiah 1:11-2:6; 6:15; 8:1-6).

Nehemiah was very specific in his writings of the activities taking place on the Sabbath days: some were treading the wine presses, others were bringing in sheaves, donkeys were laden with wine, grapes, and figs, with all manner of burdens to be sold in the city. Included were men of Tyre bringing fish into the city, along with merchandise from the Mediterranean coast to be available for sale on the Sabbath Day. Nehemiah testified against the people of such activities taking place on a day that was to be considered holy.

Nehemiah also contended with the nobles of Judah, saying, “What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our GOD bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” It was because of the disobedience of God’s people and His commands they spent seventy years in Babylonian captivity before King Cyrus permitted those who desired to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the Temple (Ezra 1:1-3).

Nehemiah with deep conviction caused the gates of the city to be closed at sundown before the Sabbath and not to be reopened until after the Sabbath had ended. Nothing was permitted to come into the city on the Sabbath days. Nehemiah recorded, “So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them… if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath.” Nehemiah then commanded the Levites, those who were tasked with the maintenance of the Temple, to “come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day,” (Nehemiah 13:15-22).

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The True Source of JOY

Everyone longs for peace and contentment, a life full of joy and happiness. But many are looking in the wrong places for such joy: a bottle, a drug, a relationship, a career. The answer for finding true genuine Joy is only found in the pages of Scripture, for it is there one finds fullness of Joy everlasting (John 15:11).

“Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for Joy.” (Psalm 5:11a)

“Let them also that love Thy name be Joyful in Thee.” (Psalm 5:11b)

“Be glad in the LORD… shout for Joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:11)

“My soul shall be Joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in His Salvation.” (Psalm 35:9)

“My soul shall be satisfied… my mouth shall praise Thee with Joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:5)

“To the counsellors of peace is Joy.” (Proverbs 12:20)

“A man hath Joy by the answer of his mouth.” (Proverbs 15:23)

“It is Joy to the just to do judgment.” (Proverbs 21:15)

“For God giveth to a man that is good in His sight wisdom, and knowledge, and Joy.” (Ecclesiastes 2:26)

“Ask, and ye shall receive, that your Joy may be full.” (John 16:24)

“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My Joy fulfilled in themselves.” (John 17:13)

“We also Joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:11)

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17)

“Now the God of hope fill you with all Joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with Joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:8)

“And these things write we unto you, that your Joy may be full.” (1 John 1:4)