(Exodus 20:8-11), “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.”
In the first commandment God says, “thou shalt have no other gods before me.” In this commandment we learned that God wants us to worship the right God. The second commandment is, “thou shalt not make any graven images.” In this commandment we learned that God wants us to worship the right God in the right way. In this lesson we come to the third commandment, “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” In this commandment we learned that we are to worship God sincerely. In our lesson today we are going to take a look at the fourth commandment, “The Sabbath Day”, which teaches us to worship God regularly.
The Sabbath Day question is perhaps one of the most misunderstood today, because there is much confusion regarding the fourth commandment. To the mind of unbelievers, the Sabbath is just another day for them and they have no regard whatsoever for the Sabbath. For some believers, they seem to have forgotten or never knew that this day is a special day set apart for God. The some believers, they are determined to find a loophole so that they may disregard the Sabbath. But may I say that the fourth commandment of God is just as important as the first three. Just as there are specific commands in the first three that we are to obey with question, so is this fourth commandment.
- WHEN THE SABBATH COMMENCED
Sabbath means cessation or rest and God set the example of resting when He rested on the seventh day after completing the creation of the world and man in six days. God did not rest because He was tired but God finished His creation, so the work ceased, and God reflected to take pleasure in the work He had done. God does not get tired but God in His infinite wisdom new man and creation would, therefore He took one day of the week, sanctified it and set it apart for rest. God knew man would need a day of rest for the preservation of his health and strength. But not only does man need a day of rest but working animals also need a day of rest. But not only did God set apart one day a week for man to rest, He also set apart this day for man to worship. There is a time for work and there is a time for worship. Man spends six days a week looking after the material and secular things in life but he is to take one day and look after the spiritual man. God set aside one day a week for worship because worship keeps man’s life in perspective and allows him to see beyond the materialistic world.
- WHEN THE SABBATH CHANGED
In the Old Testament, God set aside Saturday, the seventh day of the week for the nation of Israel to worship on. When we come to the New Testament, we do not worship on Saturday but on Sunday, the first day of the week. Why do we worship on Sunday? Because the Lord was resurrected on Sunday. (Matthew 28:1-6), “ n the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” In this passage we are told that Jesus was raised from the dead on Sunday morning. When we go to church on Sunday we go to worship a risen Savior. Sunday is victory day for the children of God because our Lord took the sting out of death and because of that there is going to be another resurrection day when the rapture takes place and all of God’s people are going to get up with their new glorified bodies. We need to remember the Lord’s Day and keep it holy by always attending church and worshipping Him.
Pastor Allen Jackson