Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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Monday, 19 March 2012

National decline tied to Sabbath desecration

It has been reported here and here that Chancellor George Osborne is proposing to suspend the Sunday Trading laws for eight weeks over the duration of the Olympics. As quite a number of Olympic events are taking place on a Sunday he does not want to give the impression that Britain is closed for business.

It is also suggested here and here that this is more than just a temporary measure during the time of the Olympics but an attempt to use the situation to argue for a repeal of the Sunday Trading laws altogether.

Sabbath desecration is closely tied to national decline. The mistaken idea that more opening hours means more money spent and more prosperity for business, which means more jobs for citizens and more money to spent in shops etc is a deeply flawed argument. This reasoning is based solely on economics.

However, this flawed argument forgets to take on board that there is another law, a moral law, that also operates in this world, whether governments or citizens acknowledge it or not. That moral law states that instead of advancing the prosperity of a nation Sunday Trading brings national decline.

Nehemiah forthrightly told the 'Sunday Traders' this in Nehemiah13:18:
Did not your fathers thus, 
[buy and sell, see vv15-21] and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

These 'Sunday Traders' in Nehemiah's day had not learned the lesson from previous times. Both in Jeremiah's and in Ezekiel's days this same truth was pressed upon the people of Israel.

Jeremiah 17:21-27 reads:
Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.
But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.
And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein;
Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.
And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.
But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

Ezekiel 20:16-24 reads:
Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:
I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.

The lesson is all three passages is exactly the same. Observance of the sabbath will bring with it a myriad of general blessings upon society. Failure to observe the sabbath will bring a harvest all of its own. A nation flourishes when it observes the sabbath!

Our politicians might be of the opinion that to follow the teaching and practice of the Word of God is an outdated and antiquarian idea and it is time to move on and become 'modern'. In doing so they may well reflect the increasing opinion in wider society that to forget God and His Word and ways is the progressive thing to do. Nevertheless, the same outcome will be experienced by us as Israel had. God does not bless a nation that forgets Him and specifically desecrates His day. 

Comments are often made about the moral and social decline in modern day Britain. Sadly, very few ever trace this decline back to departure from God. The words of Jeremiah 18:11 are applicable to our times: 
Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.


Gerry Leddy said...

was wandering what the free presbyterian church felt about 'staircase Sunday' at the Tinanic centre

Desecration of the Sabbath or not?

Gerry Leddy said...

well besides the obvious that all traders were Sunday traders in Nehemiah's day I am very curious about The Moral Law. I found this http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_morallaw.html and found it interesting, however if the Moral Law law-giver to the Christian is their GOD,

Where is the morality in trying to deny to the non-christian their right to do as they please within the confines of the law (the law of the land)

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry Leddy

I have to plead my ignorance and say that I don't know what you are referring to when mentioning 'staircase Sunday'. I will have to read up on it and come back to you

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry Leddy

No one has the 'right' to live contrary to the God's moral law. Whether they recognise that law or not does not matter. God's law stands on its own merit and for it to be binding doesn't depend upon the creature's affirmation.

Let me illustrate it this way - there are those in our society who evade paying their taxes in one form or another. They may have their reasons for evasion. When they are caught and are brought before the court, the authority of the court isn't dependent upon their recognition of the court or the particular law they have broken or the Judge. Whether they recognise the court or not they are required to live according to the law of the land and will be judged as a law breaker. So it is with God's law.

Whether people recognise God's law or not is immaterial. They are still bound to keep it and will be judge according to that Law in the final analysis.

Brian McClung

Gerry Leddy said...

but which God?

Vishnu ?

Jehovah ?

Money ?

or yours?

ps staircase Sunday is the Sunday opening of the Titanic staircase to the lower classes to view. When of course i assume they should be in their own places worshipping God, Is this staircase Sunday seen as Desecration of the Sabbath. Will ye be protesting outside it??

Rev Brian McClung said...


The one only, true and living God, Jehovah, who has revealed Himself unto mankind in His Holy Word and who sent His own dear Son to live among men and reveal/'declare' the Father to mankind, John 1:18.

We therefore have the Inspired Word and the Incarnate Word.

Yes it is very disappointing that the Titanic centre should open in this way on the Lord's day. Sadly, just one of many examples of Sabbath desecration.

I am sure as a denomination we will make our views known on the issue!

Brian McClung