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COOKING ON THE SABBATH [message #2880] Fri, 24 January 2020 23:50
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"What Shall We Have for Sabbath Dinner?" is the heading of an article in a recent Review. The question is asked, "What shall we have for our Sabbath dinner? Good housewives, can't you tell us?" We refer all who read this article to the law of God, spoken in awful grandeur from Mount Sinai: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." This is the precept of Jehovah.

The Sabbath bears the sanctity of Jehovah. Through Isaiah the Lord has spoken: "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, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." "They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

It is far more essential for all who claim to believe on Jesus Christ to understand by experience what this scripture means, than to be in such perplexity as to what shall be cooked on the Sabbath to be placed on our tables. It is of far greater consequence for us to know what is our spiritual nourishment. "Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever."

"My flesh," says Christ, "I will give for the life of the world." He tells us that we have no life unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood. He could not possibly mean temporal eating and drinking. Christ made this statement over and over again, because the spiritual life of the world depended upon their understanding his words and doing them. He took no apparent notice because those who heard him were offended, but repeated his lesson over and over again.

All who will consult their Bibles will know, "What saith the Lord?" "And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning." "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings." "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed."

There is a way of quoting Scripture--the words that Christ considered of so much consequence that death was the penalty of transgression--so as to pervert it. Should we not handle the words of Christ with sacredness? It was said, in the article mentioned, "There are numerous victims, too, of such a regimen who can say, as did certain murmurers of old, and with far more reason, 'Our soul loatheth this.'" This is mixing up the restrictions of the plain, "Thus saith thy Redeemer," with the murmuring of the children of Israel in loathing the light bread which was angels' food. "Persons inclined to doubt the universal application of those ancient laws, still scruple to cook food on Sabbath, but merely rewarm what has been previously cooked; though one might question why there is more offense in baking or boiling what has been prepared beforehand than in rebaking, reboiling, or restewing what has been already cooked." Did the writer take the word of God just as it reads? The Lord has said: "Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord; bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning."

That manna was given by a miracle of God. Please read this entire chapter. Who was the leader of the children of Israel?--Jesus Christ enshrouded in the pillar of cloud. Chapters thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen of the book of Exodus give the history of the children of Israel. Chapter thirteen tells of the wonderful works of God in causing the Red Sea to stand up as a wall on one side, so that the waters should not overflow, and how a passage was made through the waters. Thus the whole of the vast army of more than a million people went safely over. The cloud that went before them rose high above them, and settled down as a wall of fire between them and the Egyptians; and not one of them perished. "And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left."

Their Leader was a mighty general of armies. His angels, that do his bidding, walked on either side of the vast armies of Israel, and no harm could come to them. Israel was safe. Who would have supposed that Israel could ever murmur again? Then came the sacred song of triumph, led by Miriam. Moses did not hesitate to join in the sacred song with timbrels. But when the armies of Israel came to Marah, they found that they could not drink of the waters; for they were bitter. Then the people had an opportunity to express their belief in the Lord, their invisible leader, and in Moses his servant, their visible leader. Did they wait patiently, and see what the Lord would do with and for them as they called upon him for relief? "And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?" Why did they not consider the wondrous work of God, and say, The Lord hath shown himself mighty to deliver, and he will not let us die of thirst? But they murmured against God. Moses cried unto the Lord, and again the Lord heard him. He showed Moses a tree which, when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet. "There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, and said, If thou wilt diligently harken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm-trees: and they encamped there by the water."

Thus a loving, gracious, heavenly Leader was guiding the travels of the children of Israel. "And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: and the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger."

O why were the children of Israel so faithless? How wondrously the Lord had worked for them, that they should not die! He had called his armies from heaven to fight in their behalf, and gained for them a glorious victory, and yet how little faith and confidence they had under the proving of God! He gave them his ordinance, a statute which he would never fail to keep, yet at the first trial, they complained and murmured against their leaders. Their store of corn was nearly exhausted, and there was no apparent prospect of procuring more. The Lord knew what he would do, but he would try their faith to see if they would take the words of assurance that he had given them of his merciful protection and care. He was educating his people to have faith in him. Their complaints against the servants of God, who were bearing responsibilities and heavy burdens in the work, were against God in their work.

After all the experiences of Israel and the pledges of God to his people, we marvel at their hardness and their unbelief. But the expression of the feelings of one is contagious, and Satan stands by to inspire other hearts with the very same spirit. Their present inconvenience, their thoughts of what might be, the hopeless, discouraging picture of the desolate wilderness, they were inspired by Satan to charge upon Moses and Aaron. They accused their leaders of bringing them from the slavery of Egypt to kill them and their children with hunger. All their lives they had been accustomed to walk by sight. Here they had every evidence that they had an unseen Leader. He had just given them a statute, assuring them how much he would do for them if they would keep his commandments. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." Please read this whole chapter.

"And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning." The Lord had graciously promised to relieve all their grievances. He desired to give them a religious training under the eye of God, "that I may prove them," he said, "whether they will walk in my law, or no." The first lesson taught them was that their constant dependence for daily nourishment was upon God, and that by him their wants would be abundantly supplied.

Speak not lightly of the restrictions placed upon Israel in Sinai regarding the cooking of manna. The Lord has placed barriers around his Sabbath, that it may not be regarded with the least carelessness or irreverence. When the Lord said, "Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe," he meant that Friday should be our preparation day, in which we are to do all our cooking. The Sabbath is not to be a day when titbits shall be prepared or cooked. If it is really essential to have beans on the Sabbath, let them be cooked on Friday, and kept warm in the oven. They need not be eaten cold unless preferred. But let no remarks be made as though it were a very light thing whether or not we regard the special requirements of God in regard to the Sabbath. It is not left for any man or woman to venture to disregard one requirement of God.

I see no question in this matter as to what we shall have on the Sabbath day. The food which we have provided on the preparation day can be placed on the table warm, especially in cold weather. In traveling, persons eat cold lunches for days together, and realize no inconvenience or harm. We want palatable, healthful food every day of the week; but upon the Sabbath, let your cook have her day of rest, in the place of cooking for a family. Let every provision be made on Friday. But do not let the Sabbath be regarded as a day in which to get something especially gratifying to eat. Educate your children and every member of the family to enjoy plain, simple food, and to be ready to receive the blessing which the Lord of the Sabbath is waiting to bestow upon all who are in an attitude to receive it. He has this for every one who shows his love for God in keeping holy the Sabbath day, God's great memorial of creation. Speak softly, walk softly. Let not a word of lightness or trifling come from your lips. This is God's day. He has blessed the seventh day, as his Sabbath, to be sacredly observed.

The Sabbath is not to be a gloomy day, a day of unrest and uneasiness. Parents may take their children outdoors, in the groves, in the flower garden, and teach them that the Lord has given them these beautiful things as an expression of his love. Christ has said: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Let the mind be directed to the lessons of the book of nature, and to nature's God, who made the world in six days, and rested on the seventh; "wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Do not make light of the Sabbath requirements; and when it comes to eating on the Sabbath, those who would feed on Christ, who would have the rich blessing of God, will partake of a very simple diet on that day.

The thoughts are not to be educated to be full of what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed. We need to prepare for the Sabbath. The clothing that we shall wear on that day is to be put in order. The boots should not be left unblacked or unpolished until the Sabbath. You dishonor God by doing this work on that day. How easy it is to allow reckless neglect of the preparation for the Sabbath!

Teach the children that God means just what he says. The very same Jesus who has given us the Sabbath, and has directed us how to keep it holy, is the Alpha of Genesis, and carries us step by step through the ages, through the incarnation, through his offering of himself as a living sacrifice for the redemption of a fallen world. He was tried, but was not condemned, because there was nothing to condemn. After the trial Pilate said, "I find no fault in him." Yet he gave himself up to be murdered because his own nation was jealous of him, and hated him. Christ died as a malefactor on the cross of Calvary. He was laid in the grave. The third day he rose from the dead, and proclaimed, over the rent sepulcher of Joseph: "I am the resurrection, and the life." He ascended to his Father, and today he is our advocate in the courts of heaven.

We trace Christ all through the Old Testament and the New. "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Here we have the Alpha of Genesis and the Omega of Revelation. The blessing is promised to all those who keep the commandments of God, and who co-operate with him in the proclamation of the third angel's message. "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." That which Christ has spoken in the Old Testament is for all the world. What he has said in reference to his commandments is not yea and nay, but yea and amen.

In this perilous period, when we see universal contempt placed upon the law of God, when the world is choosing between the holy Sabbath of the fourth commandment and the spurious sabbath, shall we say one word that will detract from the words of the Lord of the Sabbath? The Lord God of heaven knew what a deadening influence the abounding iniquity would have upon the chosen believers, what a paralyzing power it would be against piety and true loyalty to God. In giving us the statement of the occurrences which would mark the approach of the second advent of our Lord and Saviour, Christ says, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." We see this fulfilled to the letter. The experience of many is becoming dwarfed and sickly and wonderfully deformed. Everything that surrounds us creates an atmosphere that is saturated with unrighteousness. Even under the most faithful surroundings, it is difficult to hold fast the Christian profession of faith unto the end, to stand decidedly and earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. But it is most difficult to keep true and loyal to God's holy commandments, when there are few in number to help and encourage one another, and when many of these are sickly and ready to die because they do not honor God by keeping his commandments truly and loyally.

Much so-called Christianity passes for genuine, faithful soundness, but it is because those who profess it have no persecution to endure for the truth's sake. When the day comes when the law of God is made void, and the church is sifted by the fiery trials that are to try all that live upon the earth, a great proportion of those who are supposed to be genuine will give heed to seducing spirits, and will turn traitors and betray sacred trusts. They will prove our very worst persecutors. "Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them;" and many will give heed to seducing spirits.

Those who have lived on the flesh and blood of the Son of God--his holy word--will be strengthened, rooted, and grounded in the faith. They will see increased evidence why they should prize and obey the word of God. With David, they will say, "They have made void thy law. Therefore love I thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." While others count them dross, they will arise to defend the faith. All who study their convenience, their pleasure, their enjoyment, will not stand in their trial. "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Precious words! "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is to be read, studied, and practised. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drouth, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 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, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Let no one yield to temptation and become less fervent in his attachment to God's law because of the contempt placed upon it; for that is the very thing that should make us pray with all our heart, and soul, and voice, "It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law." Therefore, because of the universal contempt, I will not turn traitor when God will be most glorified and most honored by my loyalty.

What! shall Seventh day Adventists relax their devotedness when all their capabilities and powers should be placed on the Lord's side; when an unflinching testimony, noble and uplifting, should come from their lips? "Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." When the law of God is most derided and brought into the most contempt, then it is time for every true follower of Christ, for those whose hearts have been given to God, and who are fixed to obey God, to stand unflinchingly for the faith once delivered to the saints. "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." It is time to fight when champions are most needed.

Those who make light of the third angel's message do so because they know little of Daniel or the Revelation. They have not read these prophecies with a determination to find out the meaning by prayer, by study, and by fasting. If they had had the experience of Daniel or of John, they would know that the third angel's message will go forth unto perfect victory. Those who proclaim that message because they see and believe it, will understand that very much is comprehended by it. The third angel is represented as flying through the heavens with a banner on which is inscribed, "The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." All who will gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their defections, and loyalty from their treason, will triumph with the third angel's message.


RH The Review and Herald
June 1, 1897 Cooking on the Sabbath.
By Mrs. E. G. White.

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