Sabbath Rest – Part 2

In Exodus 20 we find the codification of the Sabbath into law, given to Israel at Mt. Sinai and then the renewal of the covenant in Deuteronomy 5.

In the Fourth Commandment we see the concept for six days of work, which is just as commanded as the one day of rest, followed by the Sabbath observance  on the seventh day.  The widespread, nondiscriminatory nature of the observance, which simply includes “no work”, extends from the individual, to family, to servants, to livestock, to even the foreigner among you.

 

In our study of the Sabbath Rest, we must allow it to unfold progressively as God reveals it piece by piece, detail by detail.  In this way, we assure ourselves of a more rounded, Scriptural approach to understanding what the Sabbath means, and then eventually how it effects us today.  In our overview, we have seen various aspects of the theology of rest, which have brought us now to the topic of the Sabbath as given to Israel.  Introducing this for us in a recent postwas Exodus 16, the familiar passage concerning God’s supply of manna (and quail), with the instruction for Israel to gather their bread each day, gathering extra on the 6th day and resting from labor on the 7th day.

In this post, we turn now to the giving of the law and the inauguration of the covenant with Israel, first in Exodus 20 where we find the codification of the Sabbath into law, given to Israel at Mt. Sinai and then the renewal of the covenant in Deuteronomy 5.  Our first passage is below

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Here we have the Fourth Commandment and interestingly it provides a transition from the commandments focused Godward (#1-4, vertical) and the commandments focused manward (#5-10, horizontal).  Again, we see the concept for six days of work, which is just as commanded as the one day of rest, followed by the Sabbath observance  on the seventh day.  The widespread, nondiscriminatory nature of the observance, which simply includes “no work”, extends from the individual, to family, to servants, to livestock, to even the foreigner among you.

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