Question – Is it right to go out to eat in restaurants on the Sabbath?

Question – Is it right for Seventh-day Adventists to go out to eat in restaurants on the Sabbath?

This question has come up through the years. One thing we do know is that we are to keep the Sabbath holy. It is a day to learn how to enjoy fellowship with the Lord, and it is well for God’s people to eat together and enjoy one another’s friendship with brotherly love.

We know that the Lord does not expect us to fast every Sabbath; however, there is advice given about the preparation of food for the Sabbath both in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, so we will look at the subject of food on Sabbath a little bit.

When the children of Israel were traveling through the wilderness, the Lord gave them special instructions about preparing their food for the Sabbath. This is what happened, and the response: “And it came to pass, [that] on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one [man]: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This [is that] which the Lord hath said, To morrow [is] the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake [that] which ye will bake [to day], and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” Exodus 16:22, 23.

Here is a paragraph from the pen of inspiration in our day: “Then search the Scriptures, parents. Be not only hearers, but doers of the Word. Meet God’s standard in the education of your children. Let them see that you are preparing for the Sabbath on the working days of the week. All preparation should be made, every stitch taken, on the six working days; all cooking for the Sabbath should be done on the preparation day. It is possible to do this, and if you make it a rule, you can do it. The commandment is, ‘Bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe [boil] that ye will seethe, for tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath.’ That day is not to be given to the cooking of food, or pleasure seeking, or worldly employment. Explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them help themselves and their parents in their preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment. Lead your children to consider the Sabbath a delight, the day of days, the holy of the Lord, honorable. Do not allow yourself to spend the precious hours of the Sabbath in your bed. The heads of the house should be astir early.” Lake Union Herald, April 14, 1909.

This is another quotation from the pen of Ellen White: “We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God.

“While cooking upon the Sabbath should be avoided, it is not necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather let the food prepared the day before be heated. And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family does not have every day.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 357.

When you eat out at a restaurant, the food is most likely not prepared for the Sabbath a day ahead of time, and besides that, you are really doing business on the Sabbath day. You are buying your food on Sabbath, and it should be purchased on one of the six working days.

May God bless you, and we can eat our Sabbath meal in heaven soon!

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