Daily Devotions


Day 155

"All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies." Psalm 25:10

Text: Exodus 20 : 8-10


If the children of Israel truly knew and loved God, then the fourth commandment would not be a difficult one to obey at all. The challenge of this commandment was to set aside time weekly for the purpose of worshipping God!

“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.”
EXODUS 20:8-10

This seemingly straightforward commandment has been variously interpreted over the centuries! How may we best understand this text? Let us take time to ponder each phrase carefully.

1. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”

Some focus on the words “the Sabbath day”. When the emphasis is on this phrase, then the day itself becomes the main idea! Yet, a careful reading of the text calls us to focus on the idea of why and how the Sabbath is to be observed. The focus is not on the physical 24 hour day, but on the manner in which this special is to be kept. The observer of the Sabbath must appreciate that the challenge is to make sure it is kept “holy” or “sanctified”.

2. “In it you shall do no work”

One would imagine that having a rest after a week of hard work would be a welcome idea! Yet, there would always be some who refuse to obey what the Lord commands! Why do some disdain God’s command?

a) Failure to understand the importance of obeying God
The command to keep the Sabbath is extended to all in the family and more!
i) Parents (“you”)
ii) Children (“son”, “daughter”)
iii) Servants in the household
iv) Animals
v) Even “strangers” (Gentiles) are not allowed to do work for the Jewish family
b) Failure to comprehend the significance of a “holy day”
God planned the idea of the Sabbath so that people may have necessary “Rest”. But this was only part of the equation! Another vital part of the equation is to understand what it means to see the Sabbath as a “holy day”.