[CF Devotionals] 2010-03-20 - The Establishment of the Sabbath

The Ten Commandments, Part 20

The Fourth Commandment

As you can see, the Lord established Sabbath worship as a specific, and perpetual, sign between Himself and the nation Israel. It was to be unique to the nation. In fact, disobedience to this commandment was one of the capital crimes in Israel, therefore carrying the death sentence. It is clear that the principle of a day of rest was established in creation, and that the Hebrew already knew of the importance of the Sabbath, prior to its being given as a commandment.

“He (Moses) said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left, and keep it until morning’” (Exodus 16: 23). 1

So, we see here a general principle, a day of rest. Here it is specifically identified as the Sabbath, a unique sign between the Hebrew people and their God. The concept of the day of rest was for the benefit of mankind, but the Sabbath, a sign between God and Israel, was more specific - which explains the severity of punishment for its abuse.

To be continued.

  1. The American Heritage Electronic Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, © 1992.

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