Ten Commandments #4

September 1, 2008 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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The fourth commandment is what we will be looking at this week. It can be a point of contention at times, but it doesn’t have to be.


Exo 20:8  “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exo 20:9  “Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Exo 20:10  but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

Exo 20:11  “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.


From the time that God instituted the Sabbath (Gen. 2:2), it was meant as a time of rest. For God, it was a time to stop creating. For man, it is a time spent in devotion to the Lord. It is also a sign of the covenant between God and Israel (Ex. 31:13-17). It was also a time of rest for the animals and servants to rest. Interestingly enough, our day is measured by the time it takes for the earth to make one rotation. Our month is based on the relationship of the earth and the moon. The measure for our year is based on the time it takes for the earth to go around the sun. The 7-day week has its basis in scripture and nowhere else.


The Sabbath was so important to God that disobedience meant death. It was something that God instituted for His people and it was to last for all generations. It was to affect everything including animals and even the land. The land was to have its Sabbaths. Israel neglected this fact for 490 years and found themselves in bondage for 70 years because of it. Sadly, by the time of Jesus, the Sabbath had become a burden to the people of Israel.


It had become more about the letter of the law than the spirit of the law. The original law said that no work could be done on the Sabbath. The religious leaders had expanded the rules of the law to the point that a person couldn’t carry their mat on the Sabbath (John 5:10). You also couldn’t pick grain (Matt. 12:2). This is because the Sabbath had been distorted from its original purpose. Jesus had a right understanding of the Sabbath and healed many on the Sabbath (Luke 13:13-14, 14:1-3//Matt. 12:10-13//John 7:23, 9:16).


The New Testament makes it clear that believers in Christ do not have to keep the Sabbath as it was laid out in the Old Testament.


Col 2:16  Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day–

Col 2:17  things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.



But the writer of Hebrews says that there remains a Sabbath rest for God’s people (Heb. 4:9). They also say that we should be diligent to enter that rest. The important reason for us to be diligent is so that no one falls through watching us and copying our examples. While, as Christians, we are not required to keep the Sabbath as in the Old Testament we do need to take a day to devote our time to God. We need to set aside all of the worries in our lives and completely focus on the Lord. By doing this, we can return to the things that we face with a biblical and Christian view. We can go back in knowing that God is aware of what is going on and has given us what we need through His Word. If we neglect to do this, we will only be hurting ourselves. We will also be slowly separated from God.


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