Isaiah 58:13, is it lawful to have intimacy on the Sabbath?

Isaiah 58:13, is it lawful to have intimacy on the Sabbath?

Scripture: Isaiah 58:13
Isaiah 58:13 says we are not to pursue our own pleasures on the Sabbath. So, is it wrong to have intimacy with your wife on the Sabbath? The best translation of the word "pleasure" is "pursuits." There are obviously things that are appropriate to do on Sabbath, like eating, that is pleasurable. And since God created Adam and Eve on Friday, their "honeymoon" would have been on Sabbath.

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Caller:  I have a question, in Isaiah 58:13, about God saying turn your foot away from My Sabbath and doing your own pleasure on My holy day.  My question is: Is it lawful to have intimacy with your wife on the Sabbath?

Pastor Doug:  That’s actually a question we get frequently.  Some people take Isaiah 13 where it says you’re not supposed to find your own pleasure on the Sabbath daythe word ‘pleasure’ there means ‘pursuits’.  Obviously, it’s okay to eat on the Sabbath.  The Lord told Moses to tell the people to get twice as much manna on Friday so they could.  And if you have pleasure in your food, would that be a sin?  Of course not.  On what day of the week did God make Adam and Eve?

Caller:  Friday?

Pastor Doug:  It was what we would call the sixth day of the week.  So God makes Adam.  First, Adam names the animals and he realizes there is no mate for him and before the sun goes down God puts Adam to sleep and He creates a woman.  If Adam and Eve are finally complete and everything is finished at sundown after six days, what would have been their honeymoon? 

Caller:  On the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug:  Right .  Some people believe that there is something sinful about intimacy and marriage, but Paul says that the marriage bed is blessed.  Paul also says that in the same way people may fast food is a blessing that God gave us, but we may choose to fast and pray over something, and abstain.  Paul also said married couples may choose or agree to fast or abstain from intimacy for a time while they’re praying over an issue, and then he says you’d better come back together again, don’t wait too long or you will be tempted.  He’s very specific about that.  So, if a person’s conscience tells them otherwise…. 

There were times when they were to humble themselves before the Lord before the Lord gave the Ten Commandments, it says they were to wash their clothes and “do not come near your wives”.  But that wasn’t for the Sabbath, it was for a three day period.  They were to really prepare to meet with God in a special way.  And it was a fast at that time.  If someone has different convictions I have no desire to change their mind, but that’s the way I understand it.  Does that help?

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