“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep 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, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-11)
This commandment is NOT about what you do on Sunday. In fact, as you know, for the Jews, Sabbath is Saturday. The word “sabbath” actually means “seventh day,” and the first day of the week was considered Sunday – so the Sabbath was on Saturday (the seventh day). Christians began to worship on Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, which happened on the first day of the week – Sunday. (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1)
This command is about ordering the rhythm of our lives around God’s priorities, and not our own. Notice that God expects us to order the rhythm of our lives around the rhythm of creation. God has the right to reign over every area of our lives – including our use of time. I think it is very significant that God includes the importance of rest in this Top 10 list of commands that is going to include murder, adultery, and stealing. God is saying that we need to take a day every week to break from our routine and spend extended time reflecting on the Lord and aligning our priorities with his. The questions that you and I should ask ourselves are these:
- Does God have the right to reign over every area of my life, including my use of time?
- Is the rhythm of my life (not just on Sundays, but all week long) ordered around God’s priorities or my own?
- Is there a day of the week in which I spend extended time reflecting on the Lord and re-aligning my priorities with His?
In today’s world especially, with all the distractions at our disposal, everyone that seriously wants to follow the Lord has to fight for time with Him. It is a fight worth fighting. I think that is why God put this command in the Ten Commandments.