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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 5, 2015

Remember the Sabbath

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

We find the Ten Commandments in two chapters of the Old Testament: Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. It is interesting to note the difference in these two lists concerning what we are to remember about the Sabbath.

Exodux 20, verse 11 tells us: "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."

Deuteronomy 5, verse 15 tells us: "And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day."

The Sabbath was instituted on the seventh day at the conclusion of re-creation week, when God ceased from His work after having been working in a creative mode for six days. So the Sabbath reminds us of God ceasing from His creative work. When we keep the Sabbath, we are reminded of the creation and of God's great purpose for man, which He announced on day six: "Let us make man in our image."

In a world that has been influenced for decades by the theory of evolution and where many do not believe in a creation by a higher power, it is no surprise that people do not keep the Sabbath. They have no need to be reminded of a creation that supposedly never occurred.

The Sabbath also reminded the Israelites of their being freed from bondage in Egypt. Every week on the Sabbath day they were reminded of the freedom that they enjoyed, being able to enjoy a day of rest – something that was impossible as slaves in Egypt. The Sabbath reminds us symbolically of our freedom from spiritual bondage in the bondage of sin. Our recognition of the Sabbath and ability to keep it is associated with forgiveness from sin and turning from that way of life to serve God. We therefore conclude that those who do not keep the Sabbath are not yet fully freed from the bondage of sin.

Remembering the Sabbath involved these two great motifs: God's creation and His freeing His people from bondage.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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