Ezekiel 46.1-4 and Micah 2.6 – Purpose of the Sabbath Day.
Posted: 3 August 2013 in Ezekiel

Thus saith the Lord God; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord in the sabbaths and in the new moons. And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the Lord in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. (Ezekiel)

Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. (Micah)

Sometimes it is said, presumably on the basis of the fourth commandment, that the Bible does not say that we must go to church on the Sabbath Day, but only that it is to be a day of rest. I suppose this is an example of why we are exhorted to take seriously the whole counsel of scripture, and not simply to fix upon the bits we like, and ignore the rest. It is also why we need to immerse ourselves in the scriptures, so that we know what the whole counsel of scripture, in fact, is. In the above passage from Ezekiel, the Lord makes it explicitly clear to the prophet that the seventh day is to be used for the worship of God, and that it is not a day God has set aside merely so that we can indulge ourselves, or do the weekly shopping. To disobey God in this, or any other way, is by definition a sin.

As for the verse from Micah, “Prophesy ye not,” is precisely what somebody is likely to hear, if they do something so unfashionable as to suggest the Sabbath Day be used for its stated purpose. At least, it is very unfashionable in the UK.

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