Daily Bible Radio

A Commandment with a Reason

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 :

ÔÇťObserve the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Yahweh your God commanded you. You shall labor six days, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God, in which you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. Therefore Yahweh your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

Many Christians have taken this commandment as if it were spoken to them today. When you read it in context, you always find that it isn't directly applicable to Gentiles. The commandment is only applicable to Gentiles who enter into "the gates" of Israel.

That being said, God is holding Israel up as an example to the world. It is also true that God rested from His work for a whole day. Even though no other people or nation was given this requirement, it does sound pretty nice to me. Who wouldn't want to take an entire day with off from physical labor with every other person in the whole country.

There is no indication that this day moved to Sunday in the Bible as some people think. It's still Saturday and it actually starts in the evening. There is also no indication that you have to go to church or synagogue either. This law simply requires that all Israel stop working for that day.

I want to be very clear that this is not a law for us today, even though taking a day of is a good idea for physical reasons. God calls us priests as Christians and they happen to be the only ones who didn't get the day off. There were many duties that they had to do on Sabbaths that God clearly required. We know that Jesus still did his teaching on that day too. Nothing much changes for priests and I think it is reasonable that nothing much would change for us either, unless we are not really living as priests today. God's example of taking a day off for rest is a good thing for us to follow here on earth. God still is God and He still is our example. I even think it is a good idea to take this break after your work is done. That may end up on a Saturday for you too. It's just not a law like it is in Israel.

Jesus also told us that He and His Father are now working. He told us as Christians in John that we are in Him and He is in the Father. I believe that it is clear that if we are in Jesus and He is working, then we are working too, no matter what day it is. When God's Spirit works, we should work. When He rests, we should rest.

Another thing to notice is that this commandment came with a reason. God told them they had to do it because He took them out of Egypt. God didn't take the Gentiles out of Egypt, and this is the reason that Moses gave to them as to why they were to obey the Sabbath. You can learn more about this subject by studying the differences between Israel and the Church.

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