The Fourth Commandment
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”
Question: Why was the Fourth Commandment needed?
Answer: A day of rest was already common among many primitive peoples, including,
probably, the Hebrews. That may be why they are told to “remember” the Sabbath. They needed to keep it “holy,” which means sacred, spiritually pure, and set apart to the service
One part of the Fourth Commandment that may have been new, was its call to give others in the household a day of rest, rather than working them non-stop. Let’s take a look at the entire Fourth Commandment as recorded in Exodus:
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son,
nor thy daughter, thy manservent, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested
the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20)
Notice that the Sabbath day is meant to honor God’s seventh day of rest, which we learn about in the story of creation.
Practice: You might have noticed that this commandment did not include mother or wife
among those listed as deserving a day of rest. This will not come as a surprise to most women!
But, that doesn’t mean your own mom, or caretaker, cannot get some time off. Today,
see if you can help out around the house, or give the grown-ups a bit of quiet time.
* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments” Copyright 2001)
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