We Honor What We Enjoy


“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth.” (Isaiah 58:13–14)

It is possible to pursue God without glorifying God. If we want our quest to honor God, we must pursue him for the joy of fellowship with him.

Consider the Sabbath as an illustration of this. The Lord rebukes his people for seeking their own pleasure on his holy day. “Turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day.” But what does he mean? Does he mean that we should not seek our joy on the Lord’s Day? No, because the next thing he says is, “Call the Sabbath a delight.” And in verse 14, “You shall take delight in the Lord.” So what he is criticizing is that they are delighting in their own business on the Sabbath rather than delighting in the beauty of their God and the rest and holiness that this day stands for.

He’s not rebuking their hedonism. He’s rebuking the weakness of it. As C. S. Lewis said, “We are far too easily pleased.” They have settled for secular interests and thus honor them above the Lord.

Notice that calling the Sabbath “a delight” is parallel to calling the holy day of the Lord “honorable.” “If you . . . call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable . . .” This simply means you honor what you delight in. Or you glorify what you enjoy.

The enjoyment of God and the glorification of God are one. His eternal purpose and our eternal pleasure unite in one experience of worship. This is what the Lord’s Day is for. Indeed, this is what all of life is for.