Should we plant our crops by the signs of the zodiac?
The zodiacal signs come from pagan superstition and astrology. Astrology is a form of idolatry, be cause it put man's ideas before God. God prophesies that He will burn up astrologers (Isa. 47:13-14). The severity of this penalty is proof that astrology is a frightfully evil practice. In Matthew 13:3-8 Christ defined the natural factors that govern crop prediction as soil types, weather, and weeds. He said nothing of planting crops on specific days because of "influences" of stars and the moon. If crops are planted in their proper season and carefully cultivated they will grow normally. There is also a spiritual aspect to successful production of crops. Those who obey God are promised success in every aspect of life — in crops, livestock, business, and family health (Deut. 28:1-13). God also promises that if we are diligent in our work and pay His tithes to Him, He will rebuke the devourer for our sake and open up the windows of heaven to pour out upon us a blessing we will not be able to contain (Mal. 3:8-11). No astrology here!
Is it all right to watch a TV ball game on the Sabbath?
Many pleasure programs shown on TV are a waste of time — whether on Sabbath or on weekdays. Why sit for hours all wrapped up in something that was designed for the sole purpose of stultifying the mind and gratifying the senses? Such a pleasure spree adds nothing to the development of character. This, of course, does not mean that all weekday pleasures are detrimental to the development of character. But the common habit of seeking pleasure for pleasure's sake — instead of using pleasure as a minor tool in a carefully planned life — is wasteful. But the Sabbath is different. It is a special day. Even our conversation on the Sabbath should be centered upon spiritual matters, and not pleasure, livelihood, business, or sports on TV or radio. This does not mean that it would be wrong to take a short walk on the Sabbath to relax and enjoy the beauty of God's creation. Such a diversion is sometimes needed as a means of relaxation between sessions of study or prayer. The important thing to remember is that the Sabbath is a special day, to be used in resting, in serving God, not in serving oneself by seeking pleasure on TV.
Is it permissible on the Sabbath to help those who are ill or having trouble?
The Sabbath is a day for spiritual rejuvenation. On God's holy time we are allowed only that genuine emergency work that could not have been done the previous day and must be done to save life (Luke 14:5). If you have a sick neighbor, it might be good to visit him on the Sabbath. But you should not do his chores for him while on a Sabbath visit. Offer your help if someone asks you only if it is a genuine emergency — in the case of an ox in a pit, a house on fire, or a similar situation. But do not search for people in trouble.