God recorded the Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20:8-11:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor 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. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
God made the Sabbath at the end of the creation week, and it reminds us of our Creator: “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:1-3).
We follow God’s example and command by remembering and resting on this day each week. Unless God told us, how would we know how He wants to be worshipped? How would mortal man know what is holy time—unless God revealed it? Thankfully He has revealed it, though so few today “remember” the seventh-day Sabbath.
The Sabbath command is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:12-15, but this time God highlighted the theme of freedom. The Israelites were given freedom from slavery under Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt. This pictured, in type, the freedom we can have from Satan and sin. As the One who became Jesus Christ delivered Israel from Egypt with a mighty hand (1 Corinthians 10:4), Jesus is our Deliverer and Savior today.
“The seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:10). It belongs to God. Jesus said He is “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28). But Jesus tells us His purpose for the Sabbath is for our benefit: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).
The Sabbath is not a selfish day. We are to let our servants (employees) rest as well (Deuteronomy 5:14). And Christ clarified that it is not wrong to do good on the Sabbath, giving examples of emergencies and setting the example of caring for the sick and injured (Matthew 12:10-13).
Why did the Pharisees and religious leaders accuse Christ and the disciples of “doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:2)? Because they and their ancestors had learned the wrong lessons from Israel’s punishment for Sabbath breaking and other sins. They had added many human-devised rules and laws as a hedge around the Sabbath. God’s commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3), but the rules of Judaism had become a burden (Matthew 23:4).
Chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Hebrews weave together the interrelated themes of the Sabbath, entering the Promised Land and entering the Kingdom of God. Each is a type of rest, with the Promised Land an imperfect picture of the future peaceful Kingdom.
The Sabbath, the day God rested, is both the forerunner and the weekly reminder of the wonderful future rest, free from the bondage of sin (Hebrews 4:4, 9). “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9, New International Version).
In that future Kingdom, all people will worship before God on the Sabbath (Isaiah 66:23).
We are still required to work diligently for six days to meet our needs and prepare well for the Sabbath each week. This teaches us diligence, planning and priorities. God mandates a day of rest not to promote idleness, but because we need it.
But more than sleep and doing nothing, the Sabbath is a day for doing something different: refocusing on God, worshipping and fellowshipping with Christians of like mind (Hebrews 10:24-25), praying, studying the Bible and meditating.
The Sabbath is a day to bond with family, appreciate the creation and do good, perhaps visiting the widows and orphans (James 1:27). The Sabbath should be a delight, not by doing our own hobbies, interests and pleasures, but by honoring God and seeking to please Him and do His will (Isaiah 58:13-14).
Could it be that even we break this commandment in various ways? If we examine how we keep this day, are there any things that we can improve or remove that would please God by seeing that we really do love this day and want to keep it as He wants?
Reasoning, as an aside, the Roman Catholic Church had no problem with the change and are now worshipping on the Sunday as given by the Civil government's change of the dateline.
"Could it be that even we break this commandment in various ways? If we examine how we keep this day, are there any things that we can improve or remove that would please God by seeing that we really do love this day and want to keep it as He wants?"
I guess the main point in the question is God starts the 4th Commandment with: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy". To me, that would be the main reason Also God gave the Commandments. Why? God starts the Commandments with this short preamble. "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
So the reason we keep any Commandment is That He is our Lord and God. To me, if you are rejecting any Commandment you are Rejecting God your Creator and Saviour. And placing your allegiance with Satan.
The most important word in the 4th Commandment is the first word, "Remember".
Why is this the only commandment that God begins with this word? Is there an implication that out of all the commandments this is the one commandment that people would constantly forget?
I regularly have Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door and I always challenge them as to whether they are people who "keep the Commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus". To which they always assure me that that do. When I go through the commandments of God one by one they tell me that they keep each one. I deliberately skip over the 4th commandment, leaving that until last, and when I mention that one I am told that "oh that one was 'nailed to the cross' and it is no longer binding". When I point out that means that they are only keeping 9 of the 10 commandments I get a series of excuses, one of which is always, "I worship every day of the week, not just one."
It puzzles me as to what they think the commandment really means. Do they think that God was telling them not to worship Him on the other 6 days of the week - is that why He said "Remember"?
Do they think that despite God Himself setting aside one of the seven days as a holy day of worship they are free to ignore it - perhaps that is why He said "Remember"?
Do they think that Jesus, despite His clear words to the contrary, set aside the 10 Commandments - and so it is of no consequence that God said "Remember"?
Or perhaps when God set aside one of the days of the week as a special day He knew that satan would attempt to distort and destroy this special sign of the relationship between God and His people and so, to help His people He ensured that we would always be reminded of this special day by making this the only Commandment that begins with the word, "Remember". Perhaps He knew that man would try and forget?
Indeed John an interesting story there, although my experience with the JW is not extensive. One elder from there explained it like it was a Shadow given to the Jews and now is fulfilled in Christ. I was a New SDA at the time and did not understand all the issues around the Sabbath Sunday question.
God started the Commandment with Remember for a reason, Satan has made a lot of effort to separate us from God in many ways. There were only two institutions of God that came out of Eden one was the Sabbath and the other was Marriage both under constant attack from Satan, where he seems to be having great success is in having the Sabbath obliterated from human memory. The Catholic church carries all or at least most of the responsibility for how this came about. No wonder she is pointed out as the great harlot in Revelation.
When the Reformation came about Martin Luther did not think the Sabbath question was of any great importance. Well maybe not for him but all the denominations coming from the Reformation just followed suit until Captain Joseph Bates and Pastor Frederick Wheeler, came to the understanding that Christians should keep the Sabbath. They, in turn, convinced EGW and her Husband James that we should keep the Sabbath.
So we see the Remember word was largely forgotten for about 1800 years with the exclusion for a few pockets of Christians who insisted that they should keep Sabbath. And some Christians was put to the stake for insisting on keeping the Sabbath.
And this day we see someone who thinks himself a super Bible student thinking the Sabbath was for the Jews and do not apply to him. Producing a few flimsy excuses as to why he does not need to keep it. He even believes that the mark of the Beast is a computer chip, so much for his Bible studies.
Here goes the prodding again,.....after all the fighting...we know who you are talking about......poking and prodding.......strife stirring...why can't you just ignore then...and no i am not telling you to turn the other cheek as you said i wanted you to do. You ruin every conversation with things like this. Your hatred just spews through everything...you cannot have a conversation without some way or some how throwing a dig or 2.....All of this is really offensive....
PART OF THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT IS TO WORK 6 DAYS WEEKLY. THERE ARE LOTS OF LAZY FOLK MOOCHING OFF OF OTHERS WHO KEEP SATURDAY AND YET ARE "BREAKING" THE SABBATH.