Bulletin for June 2, 2024

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Is the Sabbath on Saturday?

Something I don’t have time to mention in the sermon this week on Exodus 16 is the timing of the Sabbath. We will talk about Sabbath principles, but another important question is “When is the Sabbath? Saturday or Sunday?”

In Exodus 16:23, we get the first appearance of the word “Sabbath” in Scripture:

[Moses] said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’”

Often, we think of “Sabbath” as referring to the seventh day of the week. The reason is that, over time, the seventh day of the week came to be associated with the word Sabbath. But Sabbath simply means something like “holiday.” A Sabbath is a period of time where work ceases.

Notice that in Exodus 16, God makes the seventh day a Sabbath, a holiday. It’s not unlike how the President can say the last Monday in May is a federal holiday. There’s nothing special about that Monday, but the President makes it special by designating it as Memorial Day. However, there’s nothing stopping him from moving Memorial Day to the fourth Tuesday in May. It’s not the date itself that is special; it is the President’s decree.

The same is true of the Sabbath day. There’s nothing special about the seventh day in itself. Seven is just a number. But when God made a law concerning the seventh day, then it became special. In fact, God applies the name of Sabbath to other days in the Old Covenant as well (see for example, the feasts listedin Lev. 23). And just as the President can move Memorial Day, God, as the lawgiver, can move of the Sabbath. In fact, he did just that. After the resurrection of Christ, God moved the Sabbath day to the first day of the week through the authority of the apostles (more on that another time).

If you want to read more about the Saturday to Sunday change, check out this article.


  1. Wednesday Night Adult Bible Study will be taking the month of June off. In addition to being out a couple of weeks, I’ll be working on several extra things this month. We’ll pick back up in July.

  2. Remember, we’ve got the new prayer request cards if you want to add someone to the bulletin. And thank you to those of you who filled one out Sunday. This is just to help keep me organized and to make sure no one falls through the cracks!

Your friend in Christ,