“Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy….” Exodus 20:8
The Lord God required 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 upon the seventh, so also His people were to refrain from their labors on the Sabbath, hear His Word and honor Him (cf. Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Isaiah 58:13-14).
We are no longer required to rest from all our labors on the seventh day, or on any other day of the week (cf. Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:5-6; Acts 15:1ff.; Galatians 1:1ff.). But, as God required the children of Israel to rest on the Sabbath Day that they might have time to hear His Word and worship Him, so He requires that we set aside time from our earthly labors that we also might hear and consider His Word and glorify His holy name (cf. Isaiah 58:13-14; Colossians 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Luke 11:28; Acts 2:42; Psalm 95:1ff.; Psalm 111:1; Galatians 6:6-8; etc.). For this reason, we have set aside Sunday as a time for worship and meditation upon God’s Word and ought to take time each day for Bible reading and prayer.
To neglect the services of God’s house, and not to take the time for Bible reading and prayer in our homes, is a sin against God’s commandment. And, when we neglect to hear and carefully consider the teaching of God’s Word, we endanger our own souls; for it is through the Word of God that the Holy Spirit reveals to us our Savior and eternal life in His name (cf. Hebrews 10:24-25; Romans 10:17).
Hearing God’s will and commandment regarding the Sabbath should move us to repent of our erring ways and turn back to Him for mercy and forgiveness in Messiah Jesus, God’s Son. It ought, then, also guide us as we then seek to amend our ways and live for Him, so that we regularly set aside a portion of the time God has given us to meditate upon His Word and worship Him. And, as with all of God’s commandments, obedience brings with it rich blessings we would otherwise never know or experience. The treasures of God’s Word are rich!
Dear LORD God, forgive us for neglecting to set aside time to hear Your saving Word and to worship You. Give us a true love for You and Your Word, that we may continue to learn of the salvation You have provided for us in Christ Jesus, our Savior. In His name we pray. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]