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The 10 Commandments mini series: 4th Commandment

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

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."

The Hebrew word “shabbat” (שבת) is commonly translated as “sabbath.” It’s a day of rest.

In Exodus 20:8 we read that we are to “remember” the sabbath day. The original Hebrew word that was translated to “remember” was the word “zakar” (זכר). The meaning of zakar is to “remember with a purpose.”

We are not to simply remember about the sabbath. We have to remember it with a purpose. That was the original instruction and it’s still the instruction.

Hebrew words always have an action connected to the definition of the word. From a Greek-Roman perspective (modern day), once you understand the definition - you understand the word. However, from a Hebrew perspective, you only understand a word once you understand the definition AND grasp and perform the action that’s connected to the definition.

Therefore, when we are told to remember the sabbath with a purpose (zakar shabbat) - it indicates that there is an action tied to it.

Abba calls us as born-again believers to be set apart for Him. If we say that we are set-apart, we have to keep the sabbath. There is no two ways about it.

I have done a full blog post about the Sabbath day on the blog on our website. In it we discuss when and who changed the sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday and whether or not it matters. For the purpose of this series, we don’t have enough time to go into the details. But the short answer is...

What mattered to Abba back then, still matters to Him today. Anyone who claims that this is not the case is busy leading people astray. In the times we live in today, we cannot afford to be lukewarm and compromising! Sunday is NOT the sabbath day.

Don’t you find it odd that no one EVER ask if we still should not murder... or if we still should not commit adultery... or if we still should not steal. It’s a given. Obviously we should not do the above. Why then do we ask if we should still keep the sabbath?

We don't ask if we should not murder... of if we should not be part of adultery... or if we should not steal... why then do we ask if we should keep the sabbath?

In Deuteronomy 11:26-27 we read “ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day.”

The commandments includes all 10 of the commandments. Not only 9 of them. Abba gives us the opportunity to choose. However, we have to realise that we will have to face the consequences of our choices. Whether the consequences will be blessing or curse is up to us. Abba told us which actions would lead to which outcomes - therefore none of us has the luxury to shrug our shoulders and say that we didn’t know.

He has a purpose and blessings in store for each and every person on earth - who currently live, who lived before and those who’d still be born.

The fact that He has a purpose and blessings in store for me and you, does however NOT mean that we will get to live in those blessings. For us to live in those blessings, it will take something from us. It requires our commitment to Him and his Word and to be obedient to live the way He asks us to!

If keeping the sabbath brings a blessing. Then not keeping it means that it brings a curse. Our fulfillment and purpose in life is a direct result of our obedience to His instructions. He loves us SO much that He made all of this possible for us! To be saved through Yeshua (Jesus)! But that’s not all! He also has a purpose in store and unlimted blessings which He wants to shower us with! Obedience is the way we can show Him that we love Him in return for all that He has done and given to us. Which we deserve none of.

When we live our lives being disobedient to His Word, we are actually saying that we don’t love Him nor do we need Him. Because if we loved Him and realy grasped what He has done for us - how could we not have a desire to be obedient to Him?

In 1 John 5:3 we read “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

Keeping Abba’s commandments is not a burden, but a joy!

Just like we all have clarity regarding the validity of the other 9 commandments, the 4th commandment should be no different. We should KNOW that the 4th commandment is just as valid as the rest.

If we have been taught by someone / an organisation / a church that it does not matter on which day we keep the sabbath, maybe it’s time to assess whether the doctrine that you are receiving is actually biblically sound. It might be a harsh wake up call. But that was exactly what I needed a few years ago to rip me from dead religion and start to pursue an actual relationship with the Father!

The greatest curse is not the things that we see or experience or live in. The greatest curse is to not even know THAT you are missing out and WHAT you are missing out on!

All throughout Scripture, Abba is 100% clear that His sabbath day is on the 7th day of the week (Saturday). Not the first day (Sunday). How arrogant and filled to the brim with pride are we to think that we can choose on what day we’d prefer to worship Him?

Living contrary to His Word and His instructions, is living a lifestyle of compromise! Compromise is NEVER a good thing! It ALWAYS leads to a watered down faith life. And a watered down faith life is synonymous with being lukewarm - stuck in dead religion.

Revelation 3:16 says “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

In Isaiah 58:13 we read “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your 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 your own words.”

Keeping Shabbat is not about becoming legalistic. If that’s your opinion or the lie that’s been fed to you, I’d like to ask you one question (okay maybe 3)...

Is it legalistic to not cheat on your wife? Is it legalistic to not steal? Is it legalistic to love your neigbour as you love yourself?

Pretty sure you answered no to the 3 questions. How then could keeping the sabbath be legalistic?

We as a family keep shabbat very simple! There’s no hoops to jump through and traditional requirements. We have simple motto and that’s to “not work nor cause someone else to work.”

When we keep shabbat like Abba instructed us to, it’s a way of showing Him that we truly do love Him and that we value His instructions more than we value any other doctrine and teaching that have touched and tickled our ears.

Keeping shabbat is about celebrating life before the fall of sin. Adam and Eve did not have to work - all they had to do was to walk with Abba. No other obligations. When They did what He asked them to, He took care of the rest. Remembering shabbat (zakar shabbat) is about returning to the garden! About consciously choosing to obey Him and to walk according to His instructions!

The 4th commmandment is the ONLY commandment that we are called to remember to keep!

In ALL of Creation, Abba set apart one entire day of rest. He completed the Creation through resting. It’s a pretty big deal.

From Genesis to Revelation it remains important!

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