With all the renewed interest in the ten
commandments these days, one can only hope that we as a nation will see the
extreme value in them. The very future of our people may rest on if we allow
God's rules for life guide us or not.
In reading the various essays presented by
churches on this subject, it is interesting how they handle the Sabbath
command. For the sake of their tradition they will usually say the Sabbath was
transferred from Saturday to Sunday. For some reason keeping Saturday is
bondage, and Sunday is a blessing. Anyway, that is a point for a study all
But let's say they are right and look at the
fourth commandment from that standpoint. Most all articles I have seen quotes
Exodus 20 for the listing of the ten commandments. "Remember the Sabbath day,
to keep it Holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh
day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: nor your
son, daughter, nor manservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within
your gate. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, earth, the sea and all
that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the
Sabbath day and hallowed it." It seems that the one command that is viewed as
optional- is also the longest, and the most forgotten starts out with
Many of us remember when the "blue laws"
virtually shut down towns and forced a day of rest on the residents. As we read
the commandment, that is exactly what God proscribed, where even "strangers"
and animals in town were to rest. I suppose pressure from merchants, those of
different faiths and nonreligious folks caused the blue laws to fall into
disuse over the years. Many felt it was quite a burden to rest the whole day. I
am sure Israel of old enjoyed it after being in slavery for generations with NO
rest. Notice how the Sabbath is observed now in these present days. It seems
that the handful that still do keep the Sabbath holy have reduced it to just
one hour in services then go about their business. It was a national ordinance
in Israel- with a rather strict penalty for transgressing it. ....Surely My
Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your
generations... Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death... whoever does
any work on that day shall be cut off from among his people... it is a
perpetual covenant... then He gave Moses the two tablets of stone written with
the finger of God. [Ex 31].
Even though it is legal to work on the Sabbath
today, is it possible for a Spirit led believer to transgress it? Does one
searching after God need a civil law to keep it? Oddly enough, the Sabbath
command is the ONLY command we can keep! More often than not it was used by God
as a test command to see if those called by His name will obey. How are you
doing in your test?
Almost lost in the obedience argument are the
words of Isaiah: "IF you turn your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your
business on My holyday, and call the Sabbath a delight and honorable... then
you shall delight yourself in the Lord... and He shall cause you to ride on the
high hills of the earth and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father...
the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
In these incredibly busy times, the Sabbath
command may be the MOST important commandment- if for nothing else- for our
mental and physical health. Why not start this week to draw near to your
Heavenly Father. Turn off the cell phone, TV, and other toys that consume your
life. Mark your planner ahead of time that you and your family will be busy
that day seeking your Creator. Establish a kinship with a Father who loves you-
and misses the quality time with His children.
By: Wayne Schatzle