In the Fourth Commandment, God says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). What does He mean by “remember?” When I think about remembering, I think about something very important, something I am not to forget; purposely recalling something from memory or bringing something to mind.
A road sign for life
In Mark 2:27, Christ said that we weren’t made for the Sabbath, but that the Sabbath was made for us. But why did God make the Sabbath for us? He made it so that we come together to worship Him, and so that He can guide and direct our lives, teaching us His ways.
Exodus 31:16-17 reads, “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.” Notice that Israel was to “observe,” meaning to celebrate, keep, or adhere to in practice. It is to be “a perpetual covenant,” an agreement or contract between God and man.
Furthermore, it is to be a sign. People need signs to show them where to go or give them helpful information. There are many signs in our society that direct us where we should go, and God has given us signs in the Bible for the same purpose. The Sabbath is one of those signs. Just like a road sign helping you while driving, the Sabbath points you in the right direction in life.
When God first opened my mind to His truth, the Sabbath was a point that stuck hard in my thoughts. I knew the Sabbath was important, and I was afraid I wouldn’t keep it. I had thought Saturday was my day to do what I wanted – to work, go shopping, do recreational things – but now God was showing me it was a day to be close to Him.
Importance of fellowship
I’ve learned through the years what a pleasure it is to keep the Sabbath together. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” The idea is that people grow from interaction with one another.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Love and good works need to be stirred up – they do not just occur! We have a tremendous impact on each other. This is why we need to exhort one another to gather together.
Blessed for keeping the Sabbath
Isaiah 58:13-14 says, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking you own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
So then, this is what the Sabbath means to me: it is a day to rest and be renewed; it is a day to be with God and with family and brethren, knowing His presence is there. As I go through the week, I can meditate, study, and pray on things I have learned and look forward to the Sabbath, when I can learn more and delight in all the things God has given me.
To learn more about this important time each week, request our free booklet Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest.