Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, December 31, 2007

The Fourth Commandment

The Fourth Commandment

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:12-15 NIV)

The key to this command is its purpose: “…so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.” Everybody rests!

Jesus confirmed this purpose when he answered criticism of violating the Sabbath by picking heads of grain (harvesting, working). “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” This command was given for man’s benefit: to rest. It was not given for the Sabbath’s benefit, nor for God’s. It was given so that man would rest. Jesus then added, “So the Son of Man [Jesus] is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8).

The Sabbath was not made for gathering together to worship. It was made to rest. At the time the command was given, there was no place to gather. Even if there were, the place would not accommodate two million people.

You can contact me by calling (208) 883-0997 or by sending an email to ccm@moscow.com. Our web address is http://ccmbooks.org.

(Taken from Good News/Bad News)

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