The Fourth Commandment

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word meaning rest. We ask people, “what is your name and what do you do?” So much of our identity is wrapped up in what we do but work should not be an idol. When 7 days all look alike you are breaking the Sabbath. The fourth commandment teaches us:

How to be Responsible

Exodus 20:9 “You are to labor six days and do all your work…” The fourth commandment teaches us responsibility and a work ethic. The law of sowing and reaping. Choices have consequences.Children need to be taught responsibility. Don’t give them everything. Let them earn it. Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Most employees show up on time, work hard, are team players, and have a good work ethic. There are always a few who do not. Proverbs 14:23 “In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.” Have you ever met that person who is all talk and no action? Christians should be the best employees with a strong work ethic, dependable, positive attitude, and self-motivated.  Ben Franklin said, “I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.” God worked six days and rested one.  Some need to focus on the word “work”!  Jesus was a carpenter.  The disciples were commercial fishermen.  Paul was a tentmaker. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.” The last thing people want is more drama in the workplace. 2 Thessalonians 3:11“For we hear that there are some among you who are idle. They are not busy but busybodies.”  Work hard.  Do your best.  Learn to rest.

How to Rest 

Exodus 20:10-11 “…but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day.”  In sports, there are time outs and half-time. It is a time of recovery and renewal.  You have lunch breaks at work. You need a day off to rest, refresh and refuel.For Jews it was the Sabbath to commemorate the work of Creation. For Christians, it is Sunday to commemorate the work of salvation because that is the day Jesus rose from the dead.  It is more aboutWho you worship than When you worship. There is a rhythm to life.Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap. Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.” In music, you have a rest. You need margin on the pages of your life.Sabbath is when you cease from normal work. The Sabbath principle is an opportunity to see God work. If you rest, God will take care of the rest! If you take care of God’s business, He will take care of your business. Do you trust God or not?

How to Receive

Exodus 20:11 “…Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy. Blessed. There was this running battle between the Pharisees and Jesus over the Sabbath. They took 39 Hebrew words in this command multiplied them by 39 and got 1521 things you could not do on the Sabbath. What God intended to be a blessing man turn into a burden. Jesus came to bring back the blessing. (Mark 2:27, Mark 3:2, Mark 16:2,Rev 1:10, John 20:19, 26,1 Cor. 16:1, Acts 20:7, Romans 14:5,Col 2:16, Heb. 3:7, Heb. 4:4) You don’t work to be saved, you work because you are saved (Eph. 2:8-10). Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Ultimately, the law shows us our need for Jesus. In the OT they worked then they rested.  In the NT we rest in the finished work of Jesus and then we work. Jesus is our Sabbath!

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