The Word from the Top (2)
The fourth commandment says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.’
This commandment wasn’t meant to be interpreted in: a) A legalistic way. In Jesus’ day there were over fifteen hundred things the Law of Moses said you couldn’t do on the Sabbath, such as bathing, walking too far, or scratching an insect bite.
b) A loose way. The flip side of legalism is licence. We go everywhere on Sunday except to church, then excuse ourselves by saying, ‘I’ll be there in spirit,’ or ‘I feel closer to God in the mountains or on the beach.’ Is that a familiar excuse?
c) A limited way. You can’t attend church on Sunday and ignore God the rest of the week. He’s not just Lord of the Sabbath, He’s Lord of your life.
Here’s what the Sabbath was designed to be:
1) A day of rest. Restoration begins with rest. Somebody said, ‘When you love what you do, it’s not work.’ That may be true, but that philosophy can lead to burnout and breakdown. David said, ‘He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul’ (Psalms 23:2-3 NKJV). Note the word ‘still’. Every seventh day God calls ‘time out’.
2) A day of restoration. Toward the end of his life, Bible commentator William Barclay said, ‘I’m old, and I’ve learned that there are very few things in life that really matter—but those few things matter intensely.’ Worshiping with other believers matters because it highlights those things which are important to God, like His Word, His will, His worship, His call, His grace and His family.
‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.’ Exodus 20:8 NIV