Rev. Joy Ireland – “The Results of Holy Day Observance for a Holy People”
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day,…then you will find your joy in the Lord…” Isaiah 58:13a, 14a
Joy…heights…feast…inheritance. Great promises of God, right? Yet not without a price. At what price? Obedience! Obedience to what or to Whom? According to Isaiah 58:13-14, it is all contingent upon one’s choice to honor the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does it mean to keep something holy? Definitions of holiness abound. Most succinctly defined in this context, to keep the Sabbath day holy is to set it apart from the rest for holy purposes.
The passage does not specifically prescribe a minute-by-minute script for this holy observance. However, it does spell out a few essential characteristics regarding the holy people who obey:
- Willingness to not do what one pleases
- Consideration of the day as an honorable delight
- Restraint from idle talk
One who honors this holy lifestyle choice in such a way will receive the following:
- Joy in the Lord
- Ride on the heights of the land
- Feasting on the inheritance of Jacob
That’s quite an exchange! Our obedience honored with the gift of joy. Why should we get the better end of the bargain here…a day of rest AND such lavish promises of God?
- Rev. Joy Ireland, former Assistant Chaplain