“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and 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.” – Exodus 20:8-11
Q: What is the fourth commandment?
A: You shall make the Sabbath day holy.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we should love and respect the preaching of his word, and gladly listen and learn from it.
When this command was given to God’s people in the Old Testament, they were used to working seven days a week, all day long. They were slaves and slaves in Egypt didn’t get a break. They also didn’t have the freedom to worship Yahweh either, so the Sabbath command was a form of blessing for them. They were free to work, worship, and rest.
Our culture today is a bit different. Many of us today don’t work with our hands like the slaves of ancient Israel did. Rather, we primarily work with our minds. We are thinking, strategizing, and problem solving all day long. On top of this, we live in the information age when many of us are constantly glued to electronic gadgets.
In addition to a Sabbath from manual labor (like the Israelites), our minds need a Sabbath too. We should “shut off” our mental fixation with work and technology and focus on remembering that God is our treasure and the one who sustains us. Since Jesus did the ultimate work that we could never do for ourselves, we are free to rest in Him. So feel free to turn off the iPhone and take a nap. It will be good for you.
Read Matthew 11:28–29:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
- Does God care about our resting?
- Where is true rest found?
- Are there ways that you need to do a better job of truly resting in Jesus?
Our Father, help us to rest in you. Help us remember to focus our minds away from our work and to place our hope, trust, and life in you through our meditation on your word. Thank you that you welcome us to come to you for rest. We need it. May we find our greatest rest in the peace you bring through your life, death, and resurrection for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.