Sabbath and Restaurants

A common question is whether it's okay to go to a restaurant on the sabbath.


Let's see what the Ten Commandments say.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)

So we need to keep the sabbath holy, and not work on it, and the same for our manservants, and our maidservants.

In the old days people lived on farms, and so did the servants. In that scenario you wouldn't ask a servant to do anything for you on the sabbath.

Things have changed a bit today, because most of us don't live on farms anymore, but the principle is the same. If I need to get anything done I pay someone for it. That someone then becomes your servant for a short period.

You wouldn't pay someone $1000 for doing a 10 hour job in your garden on the sabbath, nor should you pay $20 for a lunch in a restaurant somewhere. It's the same principle.

The whole idea of the sabbath is that everybody keeps it at the same time.

Also, if you "employ" someone on the sabbath (like a waiter for example), you are essentially preventing that person from keeping the sabbath. In fact you are "encouraging" that person to keep working on the sabbath.

For example. Maybe one day you ask the waiter to come to church with you, but then he says "I can't. I have to work today so I can wait on you". That would be pretty bad.

Some say this is all "legalistic".

Maybe, but God is pretty serious about his day with you.

Maybe so should we...