Keep From Doing As You Please

As I was studying out the Day of Atonement in Scripture, I came across a familiar passage, Isaiah 58:13-14:

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

I always thought this was referring to the weekly Sabbath, but when I read the whole chapter, it appeared to me, this is specifically speaking of the Day of Atonement. This is what I found. Leviticus 23:27-28 says,

“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. “

I decided to do a word study on the Hebrew word translated as “afflict” in this passage. The word is “Ahnah”. According to the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon it means:

Afflict: To oppress another causing depression. (A furrow depression is formed between the eyes when watching intensely. The furrow may also be formed by concentration or depression.)

When searching the Scripture to find every place this word appears I came across Isaiah 58, specifically verses 3, 5 and 10. I went ahead and read the whole chapter and that is when I came across the familiar passage cited above. I thought, “Aha, this passage is not speaking of just any Sabbath, but this specific Sabbath, the holy day of atonement.”

So I looked a little more intently. In reading the first few verses of this chapter I noticed a a key phrase. Verses 3-4 say:

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves [afflicted our souls], and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.”

In looking at the familiar passage again, I noticed how this underlined phrase is specifically addressed here:

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

So, could the command to not do as we please on the LORD’s holy day, the Sabbath, specifically pertain to the holy day, Day of Atonement?

Is the LORD telling us here that we should be calling the Day of Atonement a “delight” and “honorable”?

About Messyanic

Homesteading Wife, Homeschooling Mom and perpetual Bible student, continually taking the road less traveled. (@messyanic)
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7 Responses to Keep From Doing As You Please

  1. Isha says:

    I’ve often heard folks claim that we are not “to do as we please” on the weekly Sabbath citing this passage in Isaiah as proof. However, I find *studying Scripture* to be pleasing to me. Surely, this does not mean I can’t spend time studying Scripture on the weekly Sabbath. Also, where else in Scripture does it speak of “not doing as we please” on the [weekly] Sabbath day? I can’t find anything.

  2. Serennah says:

    My son finds it long & tedious to sit around waiting for Sabbath to end or reading Scripture for hours on the Sabbath. He obviously finds it more restdul lying on the couch playing a computer game or watching a DVD. (We live in town so there’s very little else to do outside). I’ve always quoted the above Scripture for the weekly Sabbath, making him feel guilty. Mmm … Your comment pls?

    • Isha says:

      I believe the Sabbath was made for man…it was a gift for us to enjoy. All too often we put restrictions on this day “to make it holy”, when our mere refraining from the *work* we do every other day *sets it apart*. I don’t believe it’s about “resting” in the sense of *no physical activity*, but rather that it is about “ceasing” from our work. I encourage a study on the word “melekah” translated as “work” in the the 4th commandment. It might shed a little more light as to what the command is speaking of. 🙂

      • Serennah says:

        Thank u! This makes absolute sense. Will be doing a study on “melekah” as u suggested!

  3. Serennah says:

    And referring to the Day of Atonement …
    It says I must find it a delight. Well, I simply don’t find it a delight to fast & sit around in sackcloth & ashes, doing nothing except repenting all day …
    This simply is not a delight. So … Am I ‘doing it all wrong’ or is it my attitude or …
    Coz I gotta tell ya, I’m dreading our next Day of Atonement!
    (Perhaps this is too much confession here! 😉 )

    • Isha says:

      Each year I have struggled as to what I was supposed to be doing on the Day of Atonement, but recently I’m realizing the instruction given in Leviticus 16 is all about what was to be done in the tabernacle, when atonement would be made for Israel. But this is simply not happening now. There is no priestly order in place carrying out this service on earth. The whole reason for the instruction to afflict our beings on that day is because of what was taking place on that day.

      So for me, it seems that if I seek to remain low in my being all throughout the year, performing the kinds of things that Isaiah 58 speaks about: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, setting the captive free, etc., I’m doing the will of my Father and that is pleasing to Him. Beyond that, I don’t know what more we can do to “keep” that Day. (Except to read about it in Torah and remember why atonement needs to even happen for Israel.)

      This is presently where I’m at in my understanding regarding this; I encourage others to pray about it for themselves, meditating on His word and asking what it is our Father wants from us.

      • Serennah says:

        Thank u for your response! Yes, we as a family will continue to seek YAH’s guidance about this. Thanks for the advice & encouragement!

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