Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy

“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.” (Exodus 20: 8-10a NLT)


God created the world in six days but rested on the seventh day (Exodus 20:11). Can we outwork God?


Should we keep the Sixth Commandment (thou shall not kill) and not the Fourth Commandment (keep the Sabbath)? Do some carry greater weight than others? Granted, we are not saved by keeping the law, yet Jesus said He came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Some of you probably think I might be a Sabbath keeper. We are to reject the legalistic righteousness of the Pharisees; nevertheless, the Ten Commandments are and will always be God’s reasonable standards for righteous living.


Jesus did say, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27 NASB), but that does not mean we don’t make it a day of rest dedicated to the Lord. The Pharisees thought that man was made for the Sabbath; therefore, they did not condone Jesus healing on the Sabbath. They saw the Sabbath as a legal requirement, not a blessing to restore, refresh, and reconnect with God.


Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that they would pull their ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath but did not allow a person to be healed on that day. Legalism always leads to hypocrisy. On the other hand, if you find your ox falling into the ditch four out of five Sundays a month, you have a problem with your ox or the owner. You are not managing your life in a biblical matter. You are missing the blessing of spiritual and physical restoration. Of course, there are police officers, nurses, etc., who must do work on their day of worship. Take another day as a Sabbath rest, no matter what day of the week. The principle is rest and spiritual renewal one day in seven. 


If you try to outwork God and do not keep a Sabbath day holy, your upkeep will be your downfall, both physically and spiritually.

The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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