Daily Devotions


Day 196

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" Exodus 20:8

Text: Exodus 23 : 12


There are many ways to look at the commandment of keeping the Sabbath. A quick listing may help in comprehending the fourth commandment:-

1. It is listed as the fourth commandment of the Decalogue (Exodus 20:8)

a) It is meant to regulate the religious life of the nation.
b) It is meant to cultivate consciousness of God individually and as a nation.

2. It is listed as a day to commemorate the fact that God rested from His work of Creation (Exodus 20:11)

a) God blessed and sanctified it as a day of rest
God’s rest was not physical. His rest was spent in enjoying all that He had created!
b) God meant Israel to keep the day for holy activities
Israel was meant to take time to worship God, pondering over all that he had done!


The concept of the Sabbath was enriched further through the following word that God gave to Moses.

“Six days you shall do your work,
and on the seventh day you shall rest,
that your ox and your donkey may rest,
and the son of your female servant
and the stranger may be refreshed.”
EXODUS 23:12

1. The principle of “fallow ground”

The principle of the Sabbath rest is linked to the idea of allowing the field to rest up (lying fallow). As much as the principle of “fallow ground” would benefit the soil, the weekly Sabbath rest would do a world of good for the body and the soul!

2. The law of kindness

Behind the Sabbath is “the law of kindness”. God’s laws were never just meant to benefit Israel. His laws were meant to benefit all who were in the land of Israel!

a) The children of Israel would, of course, enjoy the break from work!
b) However, the respite must also be extended to the beasts of burden, to slaves and to strangers!