But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
“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)
SABBATH AND CREATION
The word Sabbath (Shabbat in Hebrew) carries the idea of “desist”, “cease” or “rest.” God created the heaven and earth in six days. He rested the seventh day. He blessed the Sabbath Day and hallowed it.
Therefore He commands us to REMEMBER the Sabbath Day. Man needed such a Day of Rest in the Garden of Eden. How much more does he need it now in his fallen, sinful, dying condition?
Without a Day of Rest, won't man wear out sooner or later? “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
We remember the Sabbath day by keeping it HOLY. Holy means “set apart” for God. The Sabbath Day is to be “set apart” from the other six days of the week. We are commanded to do no work in it -- except for works of necessity or mercy (Matthew 12:1-13).
While resting, we are to REMEMBER GOD AND HIS WONDERFUL CREATION OF ALL THINGS. As we contemplate His Infinite Wisdom, Goodness and Power in all His Works, we become filled with a sense of awe, worship and praise. This is exactly what Psalm 92 says:
“A Psalm or Song for the SABBATH DAY. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To show forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.” (Psalm 92:1-4) (Emphasis mine)
Thus, to really obey the Fourth Commandment, we must be CREATIONISTS, not theistic evolutionists. We must take God at His Word in Genesis, Chapter One. The days of Creation are literal, twenty four (24) hour days. This can be seen by the following two facts:
The phrase “the evening and the morning” used with each day of Creation in Genesis One. Evening and morning imply a 24-hour day -- not eons of time (not an “age” of evolution).
The seven-day week in Exodus 20:11 corresponds to the seven-day week of Creation. Thus the seventh day is the same 24-hour day in both passages -- the Creation Account (Genesis) and the Fourth Commandment (Exodus).
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
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 20:11)
Furthermore, as CREATIONISTS, we believe in a “fiat” or “ex nihilo” (out of nothing) Creation. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)
SABBATH AND GENTILES
The almost universal observance of a seven-day week is another testimony that the Creation Account of Genesis is TRUE. The seven-day week was not adopted in the Western world because of the Scriptures.
English days of the week all have pagan, pre-Christian names. The Sabbath is not just Jewish. God ordained the seventh day as a day of rest long before the formation of the nation of Israel.
It was a universal decree given at the time of Creation (Genesis 2:1-3). And many pagan nations have followed the seven day week ever since.
SABBATH AND REDEMPTION
The Ten Commandments were given TWICE in Israel's history. The first giving of the Law is recorded in Exodus 20. This occurred shortly after they left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea.
About 40 years later, a whole generation of rebellious Hebrew males had died off. Only Moses, Joshua and Caleb remained alive. Moses again gave the LAW to the new generation, as recorded in Deuteronomy 5.
Here the Fourth Commandment reads a little different from Exodus 20. The reason for the Hebrew Sabbath is Redemption from Egypt.
“Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee...
And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.” (Deuteronomy 5:12,15)
The difference between Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15 is twofold. First, the command in Exodus is “REMEMBER the Sabbath Day.” In Deuteronomy it is “KEEP the Sabbath Day.” Second, different reasons are given for REMEMBER and KEEP.
Exodus 20:11 points to the CREATION as the reason to REMEMBER the Sabbath Day. Deuteronomy 5:15 points to REDEMPTION out of Egypt as the reason to KEEP the Sabbath Day.
Here, then, are two good reasons for believers to remember and keep the Sabbath Day. We should take time to REMEMBER our CREATOR. We should KEEP the Sabbath Day because our Creator is also our REDEEMER.
Israel was redeemed from the bondage of Egypt by the blood of an innocent Passover Lamb. Believers (both Jews and Gentiles) are redeemed from the bondage of sin by the blood of the Lamb of God.
The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ). “... Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7)
Believers in Christ, like the Hebrews of old, need to KEEP one day in seven to REMEMBER their CREATOR who is also their REDEEMER.
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss