The Sabbath is for Worship and Rest

Bible Book: Exodus  20 : 8-11
Subject: Sunday; Sabbath; Ten Commandments
Series: Ten Commandments

Probably the most misunderstood commandment in all the bible is the 4th commandment Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. I’ve been asked as a hard line, conservative, who believes the entire bible to be true, “If you believe the entire bible why don’t you do the 4th commandment?” Well, I do and I’m sorry that so many people do not understand anything more from the bible than what some person’s silly notion has taught them to believe. This is the longest of the 10 commandments. The fourth command is four verses which is almost a third of the fifteen verses that cover the Ten Commandments. There are some very interesting truths in this command. Notice with me:

I. It requires a personal choice, vs. 8.

A. An explanation of the duty, vs. 8.

Remember the Sabbath day… vs. 8. This is probably the most operative word in all of the command. Notice we are admonished to remember. This was not the first time God had shared with them about rest on the Sabbath. Notice Genesis 2:2 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. God didn’t rest because He was tired; He rested because He wanted to establish a day of rest after six days of work. There is a strong imperative here. The word remember is “zakar” in the Hebrew. We’re to remember what? Remember that God requires a day of worship.

We would do well to ask ourselves, when should this day be?

B. An explanation of the day, vs. 8.

…the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. vs. 8. Two things explain the day; when it is and what we do on it. First notice the word Sabbath; we must look at this word carefully. It’s the Hebrew word “shab-bawth” and it means an intermission. It has nothing to do with the days of the week; it has all to do with numbers and rest. It is an intermission. Six days, work but on the seventh day, rest. Which six days? Who cares! The bible doesn’t even imply that God started creation on Sunday morning and rested on Saturday. We are to give ourselves an intermission to our week for the purpose of worshipping God.

Notice not only that it requires a personal choice, but also:

II. It results in personal comfort, vs. 9-11.

A. We have a day to rest from work, vs. 9-10.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath… 9-10a. God is very plain in telling us to work six days. It’s not a curse, it’s a command. But He is also very clear in telling us that the seventh day is the Sabbath… 9-10a. So does the Sabbath come on the seventh day or is the seventh day the Sabbath? God makes it amazingly clear. That’s why we have Wednesday night service; for those of you who have to work on Sunday make Wednesday your Sabbath. It’s ok. That’s your intermission to give to God. Many people have to work on Sunday; even Jesus Himself worked on the Sabbath sometimes. Notice Luke 6:1; 9-10 And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands…Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Don’t think because you missed church on Sunday that you cannot remember the Sabbath day…

Not only are we to rest from our work but also:

B. We have a day to rest in worship, vs. 11.

…wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it., vs. 11. He hallowed your day of rest. What does that mean? It’s the Hebrew word “kaw-dash”. It means to pronounce clean; to be kept holy; to sanctify oneself. It’s a day to sanctify yourself; get right with God and worship Him! Listen closely now! God did it expecting you to observe it. Let me list some things we do to Christ if we do not obey the command to worship and sanctify ourselves on the Sabbath day. We displease God and will face His judgment. We profane, desecrate and ignore what God has called holy. We lose out on the blessing of worshipping with other believers. We give occasion for others to judge and criticize Him. But there’s another list for those who keep the Sabbath. They will find both spiritual and physical rest. They will live a sanctified life. They will be given an everlasting name. Isaiah 56:4-5 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. They will inherit God’s holy mountain. They will do acts of mercy and good. They will be filled with joy and victory. They will rest in His salvation. They will rest in His security. They will rest in His provisions. They will rest in the promise of eternal life.