The Ten: A Day Off

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-11)

Of the Ten Commandments, this one about the Sabbath is the only one, more or less, not explicitly restated in some way for New Testament Christians. If it were, the church would not have moved its primary day of group worship to Sunday and none of us would do any work on Saturdays.

theten_350Does that mean the commandment doesn’t matter? Of course not. Each of God’s Top Ten in Exodus 20 were important to him and, therefore, important for Israel. God cares about the Sabbath. In fact, Jesus said that the Sabbath was created for us. It is a gift. Like all of the commands, God meant this one for Israel’s good.

The word Sabbath means “rest,” and we all need rest. God chose to rest after his work of creation. In that creation, he designed us to function best with a day of rest each week, as well. We’re not meant to go 24/7 without a break. We’re built to follow his pattern of 6 + 1 – and for that one to involve focused worship of the Creator.

Ever since Jesus showed up, people have been debating about what, exactly, are the rules of the Sabbath. But our Christian freedom from the law of Moses doesn’t mean we have to give up the benefits of the Sabbath command in some form or another. We can still enjoy a day off each week for God’s glory and our own good.

Think: Do you or your family intentionally find a way to enjoy a day of rest each week? If not, what would it take for you to do so? What would it cost you? How would it benefit you and/or God?

Pray: Ask God to help you know how you should practice keeping a “day of rest and worship” each week.

Do: Ask some of the Christians you know and respect if, how, and why they practice a day of “Sabbath rest” each week.