Summary: In The Fourth Commandment God Gave Instructions About The Observance Of One Day In Our Week That Is More Than A Weekend. ''Remember The Sabbath Day.''

4th commandment

So Far In The Series:Review 1st 3 commandments

Exodus 20 (NKJV)The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words, saying:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [a]bondage.3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor [b]serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting[c] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Then The Fourth Commandment Is Probably The Most Difficult Of The Ten Because The Issue Of The Sabbath.

Exodus 20:8-11 (NKJV)

8 “Remember [ don’t forget this one] the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Definition of hallowed

1. made holy; consecrated.

synonyms:holy · sacred · consecrated · sanctified

The Way People Observed Sunday Has Changed Over Several Generations:

''Our Great-Grandfathers Called It The Holy Sabbath; Our Grandfathers, The Sabbath; Our Fathers, Sunday; But Today We Call It The Weekend.

In The Fourth Commandment God Gave Instructions About The Observance Of One Day In Our Week That Is More Than A Weekend. ''Remember The Sabbath Day.''

Some people say We Don’t Have To Observe The Sabbath, Because We Are Not Hebrew. The Bible Says,

Exodus 31:16 (NKJV)

16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.

Because of this , It’s Tempting To Ignore This Commandment Altogether.It’s Tempting To Say, "Well, Since I’m Not An Israelite, I’m Not Bound By This Commandment. It Really Has No Relevance In My Culture Or My Life." Does This Commandment Have Significance? Is It Relevant For Us Today?Our Culture Says No. It Doesn’t Have Any Relevance Today. Every Day Is The Same As The Next. There’s Nothing Special About A Day, Except That The Weekends Are "Mine." "Sunday Is My Only Day Off. I Should Be Able To Spend It The Way I Want."

This Commandment Is Relevant.Yes, It Is Significant.

Why? Because We Are Still God’s People.

You Might Remember In Ex 20:Verse 2 That God Said, Exodus 20 (NKJV)20 And God spoke all these words, saying:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [a]bondage.

The Letter Of The Law Might Not Apply, But The Principle Of The Law Is Just As Valid And Relevant. Today As It Was When God Gave It To Moses and the Is. We Observe Sunday, The First Day Of The Week As The Day We Set Apart For God Because That’s When , Jesus Christ, Rose From The Dead.

There Are Two Extremes Governing The Work Ethic In Our Culture Today. The First Extreme Is To Work 12 To 16 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week.That’s Not Good.

The Other Extreme Is: That God Did His Work In "6 Long Periods Of Time"

Rather Than 6 - 24 Hour Periods. You Might Buy Into What Some People Call "The Gap Theory" Where God Worked For A While, Then Waited For The Dust To Settle, Then Did Some More Work.

You Might Believe The Earth Is Millions Upon Millions Of Years Old.I Do Not. I Believe That When God Says In Genesis That He Did It In 6 Days, And He Continually Confirms Those 6 Days Throughout The Bible,

He Did It In 6 Literal Days. God Set An Example For Us. Work 6 Days, Then Rest. Work 6 More Days, Then Rest. And So On, And So On...

Why Did He Do That?

Two Reasons:

1. He Understands Better Than All Of Us How The Human Body Works. After All, He Built It From The Ground Up! The Body Needs Rest.

A Human Body Just Cannot Tolerate Repeated Abuse. At Some Point It Will Crash. Look At How Most People Act When They’re Tired:

Grumpier .Less Alert .More Dangerous .

Have You Ever Taken A Long Trip In Your Car? Ever Drive For Hours And Hours Without A Break? What Happens? Your Body Begins To get Sluggish, Less Alert And You Lose Your Focus.Without Rest, The Body Will Break Down And Make You Give It Some Rest. You Wouldn’t Think Of Running Your Car 24/7, Why Would You Do That To Your Body?

There’s The Issue Of Whether Or Not Christians Need To Keep The Sabbath , Since It Was Associated With Israel And Not The Church. And Then There’s Also The Whole Matter Of The Lord’s Day In The New Testament And Whether Or Not It Was To Be Observed As A Christian Sabbath.

We Try To Read Things Into This Commandment. For Example, We Use That Part That Says "...He Rested On The Seventh Day" To Justify Our Sports Events, Our Family Reunions, Our Laziness, Our Lack Of Church Attendance. We Assume That God Is Telling Us To Take Sunday Off As Our Day Of Rest And Relaxation . And We Should Be Able To Spend It Any Way We Want. That’s Not What The Passage Says.

It Tells Us To Remember The Sabbath, To Keep It Holy, And To Do All Our Work In Six Days . So That We Are Able To Devote That One Day Each Week To God. To Give Ourselves One Day To Keep Focused On The Really Important Things Of Life.

God Says, "Give Me A Day. " One Day Out Of Your Busy Schedule.

That’s Really All God Asks For.

The Commandment To Observe Sabbath Is A Call To Quit The "Rat Race" Of Life For One Day and To Try And Gain Some Eternal Perspective On Our Lives.

When We Study The Creation Account In Genesis It Says God Created For Six Days And Then He Rested Or He Stopped Creating On The Seventh. God Didn’t Need To Take A Rest But He Gave Himself As An Example For Us To Follow Because He Knows That We All Need A Break, Once A Week.

In Exodus 16 When God Provided Israel With The Manna; They Were Told To Gather Enough On The Sixth Day ;

So They Wouldn’t Have To Go Out And Gather Any On The Sabbath.

So, God Created Us With A Need To Take A Break From Our Routine. The Sabbath Was A Time For Everyone To Get Their Eyes Off The Physical World And To Get Themselves Focused On The Eternal. The Sabbath Was A Covenant Symbol For The Jewish People. They Were To Be Different From The World Around Them And Keeping The Sabbath Was The Evidence That They Were. And Basically, By Doing This; They Were Saying, Their Devotion To God Was More Important Than Their Business Or Anything Else Because This Day Was Set Aside For Him.

Do You Want God’s Blessing On Your Harried Life?

Then The Answer Is Quite Simple – Take One Day Off In Seven.

Stop Working One Full Day Every Week. Put A Day Of Rest In Your Weekly Schedule.

In The Old Testament Context, That Day Was Saturday, The 7th Day Of The Week. In The New Testament, That Day Became Sunday,

The 1st Day Of The Week, In Celebration Of The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ. It Is Very Clear From The Scriptures That Jesus Arose From The Dead On The First Day Of The Week.

Matthew 28:1-6 (NKJV)

28 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone [a]from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.

Literally, It Was “After The Week At Dawn On The First Of The Week.” Now, When The Believers In The First Century Began Meeting Together, They Met Every Day In The Temple Courts And From House To House.

Acts 2:46 (NKJV)46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

But By The End Of The Book Of Acts, We See Them Coming Together To “Break Bread” On The First Day Of The Week ,

Acts 20:7 (NKJV)7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,

During That Time, There Was A Controversy In The Early Church About The Day Of Worship. Some Jewish Believers In Jesus Wanted To Keep It On Saturday. Some Gentile Believers In Jesus Were Worshipping On Sunday. The Jewish Believers Were Judging The Gentile Believers, Accusing Them Of Violating God’s Law And Not Being True Believers. Paul, Makes It Very Clear When He Writes To A Gentile Church,

Colossians 2:16 New Living Translation (NLT)16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.

In Other Words, The Specific Day Of Worship And Rest Is NOT The Important Thing To God. The Important Thing Is That We DO Set Aside Regular Times Of Worship And Rest.

So, Does The Idea Of A Sabbath Sound Good? Well, There Were Plenty Of Benefits But There Were Also A Few Verses, In The OT That Told The Israelites What They Couldn’t Do On The Sabbath.

Everyone Was To Stay Home! Exodus 16:29 NKJV

See! For The LORD Has Given You The Sabbath; Therefore He Gives You On The Sixth Day Bread For Two Days. Let Every Man Remain In His Place; Let No Man Go Out Of His Place On The Seventh Day.”

No Cooking Exodus 16:23 NKJV

Then He Said To Them, “This Is What The LORD Has Said: ‘Tomorrow Is A Sabbath Rest, A Holy Sabbath To The LORD. Bake What You Will Bake Today, And Boil What You Will Boil; And Lay Up For Yourselves All That Remains, To Be Kept Until

No Working Exodus 20:10 NKJV

But The Seventh Day Is The Sabbath Of The LORD Your God. In It You Shall Do No Work: You, Nor Your Son, Nor Your Daughter, Nor Your Male Servant, Nor Your Female Servant, Nor Your Cattle, Nor Your Stranger Who Is Within Your Gates.

No Making Fire Exodus 35:1–3 NKJV

Then Moses Gathered All The Congregation Of The Children Of Israel Together, And Said To Them, “These Are The Words Which The LORD Has Commanded You To Do: Work Shall Be Done For Six Days, But The Seventh Day Shall Be A Holy Day For You, A Sabbath Of Rest To The LORD. Whoever Does Any Work On It Shall Be Put To Death. You Shall Kindle No Fire Throughout Your Dwellings On The Sabbath Day.”

No Carrying Jeremiah 17:27 NKJV

“But If You Will Not Heed Me To Hallow The Sabbath Day, Such As Not Carrying A Burden When Entering The Gates Of Jerusalem On The Sabbath Day, Then I Will Kindle A Fire In Its Gates, And It Shall Devour The Palaces Of Jerusalem, And It Shall Not Be Quenched.” ’ ”

No Business Of Any Kind To Be Done On The Sabbath.Nehemiah 10:31 NKJV

If The Peoples Of The Land Brought Wares Or Any Grain To Sell On The Sabbath Day, We Would Not Buy It From Them On The Sabbath, Or On A Holy Day; And We Would Forego The Seventh Year’s Produce And The Exacting Of Every Debt.

So You Couldn’t Leave The House,

Cook Anything,

Do Any Work,

Build A Fire,

Carry Anything Anywhere,

You Couldn’t Buy Or Sell Anything

And You Couldn’t Go Out To Eat Because If You Did, You’d Be Making Someone Else Work.

The Penalty For Breaking Sabbath Was DEATH!

The Jews Carried It To Extremes: During The Time Jesus Walked On Earth ..There Were Approximately 1,521 Things That Were Not Permissible On The Sabbath.

For Example: You Could Not Rescue A Drowning Person On The Sabbath.

Untying Knots That Needed Only One Hand Was Permissible, But If Two Hands Were Required, It Was Forbidden. If A Man's Ox Fell Into The Ditch, He Could Pull It Out, But If The Man Fell In, He Had To Stay There.

Through The Years, There Have Been Those Who Observed The Sabbath (Or Sunday) In A Very Strict Manner. Some People Would Not Sweep Or Dust The House, Make The Beds, Or Allow Any Food To Be Cooked On The Lord's Day.

Don’t Be So Pre-Occupied With The Concept Of The Sabbath That You Forget To Do The One Thing The Day Was Set Aside For; To Worship God. The Sabbath Wasn’t Just The Absence Of Work But There Had To Be The Presence Of Worship. It Was A Holy Day, A Day Set Apart From The Rest Of The Days .

So, The Purpose Of The Lord’s Day Is To Worship. If We Spend Our Time In Worship There Are Certain Things We Won’t Have Time To Do . But We Also Have To Remember This Doesn’t Give Us The Right To Draw Up A List Of Rules Or Impose Our Standards On Everyone Else.

God Doesn’t Tell Us What We Can Or Can’t Do ,But We Do Have Some Indication From The Examples Of The Early Church Of What We Ought To Do. And As They Gathered Together, We See Them Repeatedly Doing A Few Things:

1. To Study The Scriptures.

2nd They Got Together To Pray.

3rd They Came Together For Fellowship.

God Made The Sabbath For Us! He Intended It To Be A Blessing, Not A Burden, So We Don’t Want To Get Legalistic With It All. We Don’t Need To Be Adding All Kinds Of Rules And Regulations To It. All God Wants Us To Do Is Take A Break From Our Regular Work Each Week And Do What Refreshes And Re-Creates Us. It Is A Re-Freshing Of Our Bodies And Our Souls After They Have Been Broken Down By Six Days Of Hard Labor.

It’s Absolutely Necessary If We’re Going To Accomplish All That God Has Called Us To Do.

There Is An Old Story About Two Men Who Were Hired To Clear A Field Of Trees. Each One Was Going To Be Paid According To The Number Of Trees He Cut Down. Bill Wanted The Day To Be Profitable, So He Grunted And Sweated, Swinging His Axe Relentlessly. Ed, On The Other Hand, Seemed To Be Working About Half As Fast. He Even Took A Rest And Sat Off To The Side For A Few Minutes.

Bill Kept Chopping Away Until Every Muscle And Tendon In His Body Was Screaming. At The End Of The Day, Bill Was Terribly Sore, But Ed Was Smiling And Telling Jokes. Amazingly, Ed Had Cut Down More Trees! Bill Said, “I Noticed You Sitting While I Worked Without A Break. How’d You Outwork Me?” Ed Smiled. “Did You Notice I Was Sharpening My Axe While I Was Sitting?” (Stand Firm, June 2000, P.13)

We All Need A Day Each Week To “Sharpen The Ax.”

We All Need Some Time Off So We Can Strengthen Ourselves For The Task Ahead. It Actually Makes Us More Productive, Not Less. But If We Don’t Take Regular Time Off, Then We Only End Up Doing More Harm Than Good. It Was Important For The Early Church To Meet Together On Sunday. And It’s Just As Important For Us Today. Sunday Is The Lord’s Day And By Claiming One Day Out Of Seven .God Is Telling Us That All Of Our Time Belongs To Him.

And How We Use This One Day Tells The Rest Of The World Who We Are And What We’re All About.