Updated: Jan 21
AT THE HEART OF GOD'S
Ten commandment law is the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day - the seventh day of the week. The importance of the Sabbath is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God - because He is our Creator, and we are His creatures. The Sabbath therefore can never be forgotten, and can never be done away.
“REMEMBER the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11
After resting upon the seventh day at the end of Creation week, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest and blessing for man. The Sabbath was needed even in Paradise to help the parents of all mankind think about the goodness of God in giving them life and providing for their every need. It was given before sin, it was wholly commemorative, it contained nothing shadowy; and neither was it restricted to any particular people. The Sabbath directs us to God’s created works which declare that there is a Creator. In the wonders of nature we see tokens of God’s love wisdom and power (even though it is now blighted by sin). The Sabbath also shows God’s love for animals which are also given rest (Exodus 20:8-11).
The Sabbath is the only commandment that reveals by whose authority the Ten Commandment Law was given - by the Creator God. It contains the name, title, and territory of the law-Giver and is therefore the ‘seal’ of God’s law. The Sabbath identifies those who worship the Creator God. (Ezekiel 20:12). It was kept by Adam in his innocence; by Adam fallen in sin yet repentant; by patriarchs, from Abel to righteous Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob.
As we rest on the Sabbath we remember that salvation is the Creator’s work in us, He creates in us a clean heart (Exodus 20:8-11; Ezekiel 20:12; Psalm 51:10). The Sabbath is therefore doubly blessed. It reminds us of creation and salvation and will be observed by all the saved throughout eternity (Isaiah 66:23). The commandment begins with the word, “remember,” showing that the Sabbath existed before it was written on stone. Exodus 16 shows that the Sabbath was sacred before the law was written on stone at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20). God asked those who were breaking His Sabbath, “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments?” (Exodus16:28). It was a test (Exodus 16:4).
Of Christ we read, “all things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3) “For by him were all things created...” (Colossians 1:16). Because all created things were created by Christ, He is the Lord of the Sabbath, the Sabbath is the Lord’s day (Matthew 12:8). As Christ sanctified the Sabbath, so He sanctifies all who come to Him and gives them His Sabbath as a token of His love and power.
Satan hates the Sabbath because it is a sign of Christ’s power and His right to specify our moral duties. Satan led men to burden the Sabbath down with unbiblical restrictions, but Christ, our example, cleared away these errors, and kept the Sabbath according to the law of God. Those who do not trample on the Sabbath find the Sabbath a delight (Isaiah 58:13) because they see Christ in it - His mighty power to create, and to save. “Come unto me” He says, “and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 As long as the heavens and the earth continue, the Sabbath will continue as a memorial of creation and salvation, and in the New Earth all will worship before God on the Sabbath, the day of our Creator and Saviour Jesus Christ.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11
"And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." Mark 2:27,28