“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…” Exodus 20:8
The Lord God asked his people (under the old covenant) to set aside the seventh day as a day of rest from their labors and as a day to consider him and his ways.
Since God himself created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, so also his people had to abstain from their labors on the Sabbath day to hear his word and honor it (cf. Ex. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15; Isaiah 58:13-14).
We are no longer required to rest from all our labors on the seventh day, or any other day of the week (cf. Col. 2:16-17; Rom. 14:5-6; Acts 15:1ff.; Gal. 1:1ff.). But just as God required that the children of Israel rest on the Sabbath day so that they would have time to hear his Word and to worship it, so he commands us to set aside time for our earthly works in order to that we may also hear and consider his Word. and glorify His holy name (cf. Isa. 58:13-14; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Luke 11:28; Acts 2:42; Ps. 95:1ff.; Ps. 111:1; Gal. 6:6-8; etc.).
To do this, Christians have historically set aside Sunday, the day of Christ’s resurrection, as a time of worship and meditation on the Word of God. And Christians also seek to make time daily for Bible reading and prayer.
Neglecting God’s house services and not taking time to read the Bible and pray in our homes is a sin against God’s commandment. And, when we fail to listen to and consider carefully the teaching of the Word of God, we put our own soul in danger, for it is through the Word of God that the Holy Spirit reveals to us our Savior and the life eternal in his name (cf. Heb. 10:24-25; Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:14-17).
Hearing God’s will and command regarding the Sabbath should cause us to repent of our neglect of His Word and return to Him for mercy and forgiveness in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. His command also guides us as we then seek to change our ways and live for him so that we regularly set aside some of the time God has given us to meditate on his Word and worship him.
And, as with all of God’s commandments, obedience brings with it rich blessings that we would never have known or experienced otherwise. The treasures of the Word of God are rich!
Dear LORD God, forgive us for neglecting to set aside time to hear your saving Word and worship you. Give us true love for you and your Word so that we will continue to learn of the salvation you have provided for us in Jesus Christ, our Savior. In his name we pray. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] Moll’s other devotional writings can be read freely at https://goodshepherdonline.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.]