My final book of 2016 for the reading challenge was Call the Sabbath a Delight by Walter Chantry, which I put in the category of “a book published by the Banner of Truth.” Ben gave this to me for Christmas on the recommendation of a friend.
In Call the Sabbath a Delight, Chantry discusses the fourth commandment as given in Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15. Using other Biblical texts, he walks through the meaning of the commandment, our need of a day of rest, whether the command applies to the church today, and how we can discern how best to observe the Sabbath. Chantry points out our modern culture’s failure to appropriately observe the Sabbath and how, by ignoring such an important commandment to set aside a day for the worship of God, we are forgoing a great blessing that the Lord has created for us. “Because so many never give a day to the contemplation of heavenly and spiritual realities, their shoulders are bent over and their eyes are riveted upon the clay of this earth.” But when we set ourselves aside and give the day God has claimed to Him, our souls find satisfaction and joy that we can find nowhere else. Chantry does not give a list of “dos” and “don’ts,” but points out that the application of the fourth commandment is about where our heart is focused – on ourselves or on God – and we must train and discipline ourselves to discern what is most pleasing to Him on that day. “The thing which matters is whether the heart is crying, ‘Thy face will I seek, O Lord.'” A quick read, this little book of about a hundred pages is a wonderfully encouraging, convicting, and challenging book that anyone seeking to better understand and obey the fourth commandment should read.