If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight…
Call the sabbath a delight. It cannot be a holy day unless it is a happy day. For only souls that joy in God are really devout. Unless religious exercises have a charm for the soul, they are only routine; they are not religious.
I. A SEEMING CONTRADICTION. "Turn away thy foot... from doing thy pleasure." And again, "Not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure." But there is no real contradiction. Many things are rightly enough pleasant to us in daily occupation and association; but things right in themselves may be wrong if indulged in under improper conditions; and the sabbath is to be holy unto the Lord - and in the Christian dispensation it is called "the Lord's day." This is to dominate everything. Those who seek worldly pleasure upon this day hinder others from fellowship with God, and keep from that constancy of vision on heavenly things by which alone they can be indelibly impressed on the mind and the heart.
II. A SOLEMN OBLIGATION. It is a day that should be made pleasant, not merry nor mirthful, but full of all the highest and best enjoyments. Praise is pleasant - it awakens a remembrance of mercy. Fellowship is pleasant - it nerves the fainting soldier's heart to look at his companions in arms, and it cheers the weary to hear of "the rest that remaineth." Christian parents should take heed to this. Dulness and moroseness are not religion. Literature is none the less Christian that is well illustrated, and written with all the charm of an attractive style; and the church of God is none the less the house of the Lord and the gate of heaven, that the service is in itself cheerful and bright. There is no memory more potent for good than the remembrance of the happy sabbaths of our childhood. And service for others helps our joy; to call the sabbath a delight, we must be, if possible, givers as well as receivers - like Nehemiah, "cup-bearer of the King," handing the living water to others. - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: