The Claims of the Sabbath
Isaiah 58:13, 14
If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight…

I. THE HOLINESS OF THE SABBATH. "The prophet regards the fast-days as forms without authority and significance. All the more strict is his view of the claims of the sabbath" (Cheyne). It is emphatically a consecrated day, and the foot is to be turned aside from it as if it were holy ground, like that where Moses put the shoes from his feet (Exodus 3:5). The foot, as instrument of travel, is to be "removed from evil" (Proverbs 4:27), and its "path is to be pondered" (Proverbs 4:29). Selfish, merely human business, is not to be done on that day, which may be viewed as a part of that great duty of sacrifice which runs through the Law. The day was to be peculiarly Jehovah's own. A particular temperance and modesty of the tongue was suitable to its observance. Falsehood (Hosea 10:4; Job 15:13) would especially desecrate it. Scripture is especially strong on the significance of words. For they express the soul, and reflect in their expression influences of good or evil on the soul again. There should be reserve and economy of speech (a lesson disregarded too much in modern times), for an element of sin is certain to find its way into excessive loquacity (Proverbs 10:19; Ecclesiastes 5:3). A "tonguey man" almost means the same as a malicious talker (Psalm 140:11). The regulation of the tongue may, therefore, in great part, be taken as the measure of spiritual self-control and sobriety, as the expression of the living sacrifice of the heart.

II. THE BLESSING ATTACHED - SPIRITUAL DELIGHT. Joy in Jehovah, the Eternal, is manifested to men in grace, in proportion as they approach him in obedience. "You shall no longer be left to barren ordinances and to unanswered prayers. No one has ever properly observed the sabbath who did not find as a consequence that he had increased pleasure in the existence, character, and service of Jehovah" (cf. Job 22:21-26; Psalm 37:4, for the illustration of the principle involved). Triumphant possession of the land of promise. (For the phrase, see Deuteronomy 32:13; cf. Habakkuk 3:19; Psalm 18:83; Amos 4:13. For the idea, see Isaiah 65:9; Ezekiel 34:13, 14; Ezekiel 36:1-12.) The hills and fortresses of Palestine, so greatly beloved by the patriot-hearts of the prophets, shall be recovered by the people, once following the righteous moral lead of Jehovah. - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

WEB: "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, [and] the holy of Yahweh honorable; and shall honor it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking [your own] words:

The Brightest of Days
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