The Fourth Commandment: Remember The Sabbath

What Is The Fourth Commandment Of The 10 Commandments?

In Deuteronomy 5:12, the fourth commandment states:

“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.”

The fourth commandment is a reminder to keep the Sabbath day holy and set apart from the other days of the week for rest and worship. This commandment also emphasizes that everyone, including servants and animals, should have a day of rest.

The Meaning Of The Fourth Commandment

The fourth commandment serves as a reminder to the Israelites, and all believers, of God’s sovereignty over time. In six days, God created the heavens and earth, and on the seventh day, He rested.

In Genesis 2:1-3 we read, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day, he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

God’s rest on the Sabbath is not because He was tired, but to demonstrate the importance of rest and worship.

Importance Of Keeping The Sabbath

The Sabbath day is a reminder for us to take a break from our busy lives and remember God’s provision and blessings. It is a day to rest, recharge, and reconnect with our families and communities. By setting aside this day for rest and worship, we show our obedience to God and acknowledge His authority over our lives.

Moreover, by keeping the Sabbath holy, we also follow in Jesus’ footsteps. In Mark 2:27-28, Jesus says, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus shows us that the Sabbath is not a burden, but a gift from God to help us find physical, mental, and spiritual rest.

A Day Of Rest For All

The fourth commandment also emphasizes that everyone, including servants and animals, should have a day of rest. In ancient times, servants were often treated as property and not given any time off. However, God’s commandment shows that even those who are considered lower in society deserve rest and refreshment.

Furthermore, by giving animals a day of rest, we also show our reverence for God’s creation. This demonstrates the importance of caring for all living beings, as they are also part of God’s kingdom.

Keeping The Fourth Commandment Today

Some may argue that keeping the Sabbath is outdated and no longer applicable in modern times. However, the principles behind this commandment remain relevant and vital for our well-being. In today’s fast-paced society, where work and productivity are highly valued, taking a day off to rest may seem counterproductive.

But as we see in God’s example of resting on the seventh day, it is necessary for our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Taking a break from our busy schedules allows us to recharge and reconnect with God and our loved ones.

Sabbath Rest In The New Testament

In the New Testament, we see that Jesus continued to observe the Sabbath. He regularly attended synagogue services on the Sabbath and even performed miracles on this holy day. This shows that the Sabbath is still relevant and important for Christians today.

However, Jesus also reminded us that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. This means that the Sabbath should not become a burden or legalistic rule, but rather a day of rest and worship to honor God.

Bible Verses Related To The Fourth Commandment

  • 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 a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”
  • Mark 2:27-28: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
  • Hebrews 4:9: “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.”
  • Deuteronomy 5:12-15: “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”
  • Isaiah 58:13-14: “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth.”
  • Luke 4:16: “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.”
  • Acts 17:2: “And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.”
  • Colossians 2:16-17: “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”

A Prayer For Observing The Sabbath

Dear God,

As we reflect on the fourth commandment of keeping the Sabbath holy, we pray for your guidance and understanding. Help us to remember the importance of setting aside one day each week to rest and focus on you.

We thank you for creating the Sabbath as a gift for us, a time to recharge our bodies and souls. May we honor this day by abstaining from work and instead finding joy in your presence. Help us to use this time for prayer, reflection, and fellowship with our loved ones and community.

We also ask for wisdom in balancing our work and rest. May we not let the busyness of life overshadow the significance of observing the Sabbath. Strengthen us to resist societal pressures and prioritize this sacred day.

Thank you for reminding us in your Word that Jesus himself observed the Sabbath and showed us its importance. May we follow His example and find rest and delight in you.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Read More About The Ten Commandments:

First Commandment | Second Commandment | Third Commandment

Hey, I'm Stephen Altrogge. I'm a dad and published author. I've written for The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, ERLC, Church Leaders, Crosswalk, and many more outlets. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook .

2 thoughts on “The Fourth Commandment: Remember The Sabbath”

  1. Remembering The Sabbath is a must for everyone. You determine which day is your Sabbath, since all countries don’t recognized Sunday as the first day of the week.

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  2. Understanding the Fourth Commandment requires recognizing the spiritual significance of rest and worship. It serves as a reminder of God’s creative power and His desire for His people to find refreshment and renewal in His presence. Therefore, by honoring the Sabbath, believers affirm their commitment to God and prioritize their spiritual well-being.

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