Fourth Commandment

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Ex 20:8-11

The Sabbath is not a new institution but was established at the time of creation. It is a day to be remembered and observed as a memorial of God’s work as the Creator. By pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from false gods. Those who observe the seventh-day Sabbath declare their faithfulness to Jehovah. Therefore, the Sabbath serves as a sign of man’s devotion to God as long as there are people on earth to worship Him. Among the Ten Commandments, the fourth commandment is unique as it includes both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It reveals the authority by which the law is given and bears the seal of God, verifying its authenticity and binding force.

God has allocated six days for labour, and during those days, individuals are to attend to their work. Acts of necessity and mercy, such as caring for the sick and suffering, are permissible on the Sabbath. However, unnecessary labour should be strictly avoided. The prophet Isaiah exhorts us to refrain from finding our own pleasures on God’s holy day and instead delight in honouring Him. The Sabbath is meant to be a time of rest and devotion, and even our words should reflect this reverence. Engaging in business discussions or making plans on the Sabbath is seen by God as if we were actively conducting business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should also guard our thoughts, avoiding worldly matters. The commandment extends to everyone within our households. The residents of our homes should set aside their worldly concerns during these sacred hours. Together, we should unite in honouring God through willing service on His holy day.


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