Ten Commandments, Fourth Command

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8 NIV

The Sabbath was a big deal to the Jewish people. It meant no work, absolutely none. It involved everyone. Rest was demanded; you had no choice. It was a statement of faith. If you loved God, you observed and honored the Sabbath.

What’s changed? Has the word of God gone dull? Absolutely not! The word of God is active, living, never changing! So where do we fit into this fourth commandment today? We are to keep the Sabbath Holy!

Sabbath means to rest. First of all, this means we are to rest. We have somehow determined in this society that it is wrong to rest. We need to join a committee, plan an activity, sign the kids up for ball (soccer, basketball and baseball– all at the same time), be reading the latest novel at all times, fix gourmet meals, compete for the yard-of-the-month club, advance a career, and be lean, trim men or women of God. Whew, that made me tired just typing it!

In all the madness is God able to get your attention? Take some time off, my friend! You deserve a break. Give yourself a rest. Take a Sabbath for yourself. Slow down! Take time to enjoy life! Take a long walk on a long pier! Watch the world go by for a while! Be still and know that He is God!

Remember that every day is God’s. If you are one of His children, your life is in His hands. He is taking you to where there is no more time, but for now your time is His. If you want to fully follow His will (and why would you not?), you will need to take time to rest. God’s creation example to us is to rest. God didn’t need the rest, but it was an opportunity for Him to, by example, reflect on all He had made. We need that time to renew ourselves, as well as our relationship to Him.

And keep the Sabbath (your time of rest) Holy. God is Holy, so be Holy in all you do! What is wrong to do on Sunday is wrong the rest of the week. Don’t have two standards. Be the same on Monday that you are on the Sabbath. Keep your time of rest holy! Whatever you do to unwind, do it to the glory of God. Let others see the reflection on your face and know that you have spent time with the Father. Your time of rest will renew your strength and keep your heart pure.

Finally, look forward to the Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4). One day Jesus is returning to redeem God’s people from this world of sin and disappointment. He will wipe away our tears and clothe us with eternal joy. We will enter our Sabbath rest.  It means the final rest, the one for which we have waited, the one where we share our inheritance with Jesus!

Now that is what I call rest! Are you ready

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Ten Commandments, Fourth Command

  1. Ron, I'm not sure what you mean by saying we are free from the legal requirements of the law. The law is pure, holy and life. David loved the law. Psalms 1 tells us to meditate on the law day and night. The only scripture the people had in the N.T. was the O.T. Jesus came to fulfill the law not end the law. Jesus and Paul never say the law has ended. (Not preaching at you :) we are brothers working out our salvation together). I'm just hungry for the truth!

    Teri, I also have been feeling like we should honor the Sabbath. I mean we do the other nine. NOT out of condemnation but because it's a day that God has blessed and made Holy. He also created the Sabbath so we can reflect on His beautiful creation. By following the Sabbath we can be testimony to the world. Study up on Constantine- he is a huge reason for all of this junk we follow today…he hated Jews..and it seems as though he is the reason we have sunday as this new day of worship. The Sabbath never change to Sunday. The Sabbath is not everyday. The scripture clearly states that God rested on the 7th Day and called it the Sabbath-which is actually a sun down on friday night to saturday sun down.
    I believe God's law which means instruction is not a burden to follow as most suspect. The N.T. is FULL of commandments. All of the disciples followed God's instruction (law) and had no problem with it. Remember, we were grafted in not the other way around. I love the truth and today it's hard to come by because most people just listen to what they hear a pastor preach, instead of seeking out the scriptures for themselves and listening to the holy spirit.
    So, Teri, I would encourage you to study the scriptures and allow the holy spirit to speak truth NOT tradition. The truth is not the popular way sometimes and makes you seem like an odd ball, but it's worth it. Due to the hatred of Jews, we have lost the sweet Jewishness of our Bible.

  2. Teri, you always have great questions. I think the concept of all the commandments changes somewhat in the New Testament. Like I spoke about Sunday, we are freed from the legal requirements of the Law, since Jesus fulfilled it. Now we the law becomes a witness for us and principles for holy living to help guide us, not to “Lord” over us. That doesn’t, however, give us freedom to sin, just as the dilemma over grace and truth that Paul continually dealt with, it does, however, add a new perspective on holy living. Now its not a matter of keeping the letter of the law, it’s becoming like Christ, which is even holier than the law. Not only can we not murder, but now, according to the Jesus standard, we can’t even hate in our heart. The same applies to the OT law to tithe. Now we aren’t just responsible for 10%, but 100% of all we are given.

  3. Along with the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy, there is a whole long laundry list of what is or is not "work" for the Jewish people. One is not striking a fire… which is why there is no cooking on the Sabbath, no using autos (spark plugs…) and so on.

    So where do Gentiles fit in on this? How do we observe the Sabbath? WHY don't we observe it as the Jews… being we hold the commandment as holy?

    Is the Sabbath supposed to be just for "resting"? Where does the "keep it holy" fit in?

    • The Sabbath was made for man, meaning mankind. Not one nation, one religious group, one creed. We read in "Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:". All mankind was to follow God's commandments since the world was created. It was wrong to commit murder, lie, steal, commit adultery, or disobey any of the other commandments since the creation earth. God punished Cain for murdering his brother Abel. God had to have let Cain know it was wrong before the act of murder was committed. The commandments have always and will always be in force, for all mankind alike.