If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight…
Not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. The peculiarity of the day, the essential thing about the day, is that it is God's day, not ours. We only keep it aright when we keep it for God. We misuse it when we fill it with any ends of our own. The one sabbath-work is a special effort to honour and obey God, and we shall surely find that the one-day effort helps us in establishing and confirming the everyday habit. Do only God's pleasure on the sabbaths, and it will be easy to put God's will and pleasure first every day. Importance attached to keeping the sabbath in Babylon, because it was the most prominent thing in which the people publicly witnessed to their separation from idolatry, and allegiance to Jehovah. Faithful observance of it was the test by which the faithful ones were known. Equal importance attaches to the keeping of the sabbath in our day. It is, as much as ever it was, the searching test that reveals all the humble and faithful followers of God. Still a Christian is known by the Sunday test, "Does he seek his own pleasure on God's day?" Henderson well says, "The observance of the sabbath has, in all ages, been found essential to the maintenance and prosperity of spiritual religion." Blackstone says, "A corruption of morals usually follows a profanation of the sabbath." It should be carefully noticed that this prophet, who is so stern against forms and ceremonies in religion, is thus severe in demanding loyalty to the day which is not ours, but God's. So familiar a subject needs no more than an outline of thought; illustrative material will readily be suggested.
I. WE MUST KEEP THE DAY. As a separate day. Showing its distinctness from other days in the change made in our life-habits and associations. Some illustrations may be taken from our keeping wedding-days or birthdays. At such times our minds are full of some particular persons - the days are kept in their honour. So we should separate Sundays for God.
II. WE SHOULD ENJOY THE DAY. Here is a paradox. We are not to do our own pleasure on the day, but we are to find our pleasure in the day. Sunday should be the brightest day of the week.
III. WE OUGHT TO HONOUR GOD ALL THE DAY. What precisely, in an age, a town, a community, a family, or a life, the best honouring of God is, the preacher must think out and present in his own way. - R.T.
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: