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Sermon Message

"Keep It Holy"

Exodus 20:8-11
Theme: In the fourth commandment, God instructs us to sanctify one day in seven as holy unto Him.

(Delivered Sunday, August 31, 2003 at Bethany Bible Church. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version.)


We continue our study of the Ten Commandments this morning by beginning our look at the fourth commandment. It's the last of the four commandments that constitute "the first table of the law" - that is, the laws that govern our relationship with God. The first commandment, as we recall, instructs us to have no other god but the one true God. The second instructs us not to make an image or likeness of the one true God, but to worship Him in spirit and truth. The third instructs us to reverence Him as we should - never taking His name in vain. And this fourth commandment builds upon those first three and further governs our approach to the one true God. It calls us to a lifestyle of dependence and trust in Him - to cease from our own labors, and to enjoy a faithful rest in Him.

In Exodus 20:8-11, God Himself speaks and says;

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested in the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it (Ex. 20:8-11).

* * * * * * * * * *

As Christians, we approach the commandments of God with reverence and submission. We admit that we often fall short of the standards of God's holiness that they call us to; but nevertheless, we affirm that they have authority over our lives, and that we should seek to conform to them. And what's more, most all of us have a basic sense of what each of the other nine commandments require of us. But my suspicion is that the majority of Christians wrestle with this one commandment more than with any of the others.

Some Christians insist that we are as bound to it as ancient Israel was. Other Christians insist that there is no obligation to this commandment during the 'church-age' - that it was a sign for the people of Israel only, and that Gentile believers in Jesus Christ are not required to keep a commandment that was not intended for them.

And of that group of Christians who argue that we are in some sense bound to this commandment - among whom I include myself - some say that we are bound to observe the very same day that the Jewish people observed. Others say that the general obligation to observe the commandment is the same today as that of the Jewish people, but that the required day has changed - insisting that the day to be observed is now Sunday rather than Saturday. And still others say that we're not obligated to a specific day so much as to a specific pattern: that is, we are obligated to work six days, and set the seventh apart for God - but are free to select which day of the week that seventh day might be.

And then, there's the whole question of what it means in practice to keep that day "holy". Does it mean that we should not do any work at all on that day? Or are we just required to refrain from the work of our regular paying jobs? What if my boss tells me I have to work on Sunday? Does this commandment mean that I can go ahead and work on Sunday - just so long as I make sure I still go to church? Or am I required to turn down every opportunity to work, if that opportunity happens to fall on Sunday? And what about recreation and leisure activities? Does taking a trip to the beach count as obedience to this commandment, so long as I "rest" when I get there? Can I work in the garden on Sunday; if that work is restful to me? Or should the whole day be set aside for activities that are strictly "worshipful" in nature?

And what's more, there are the problems we face as a result of living in a culture that no longer supports the practice of this commandment. Many of us remember a time when almost all the shops and stores and restaurants and theaters and banks and businesses would be closed on Sunday. Even the busses and trains ran on a very limited schedule on that day - if at all. In such a cultural environment, a "Sabbath rest" was sort of forced upon us circumstantially - which made it much easier to keep. But as we all know, those days are long gone. Now, many businesses are proud to advertise that they are open and in operation twenty-four hours a day - including Sunday. There was even a bank that ran an ad on television recently - "We've discovered a new day for our customers - Sunday!!" Some companies advertise, "Your family doesn't take a break - and so neither do we!" If we set ourselves to obey this commandment, then we're going to often find ourselves fighting upstream against a "24/7" culture.

* * * * * * * * * *

Perhaps you've noticed that, in the past few years, many churches have sought to accommodate these cultural trends by changing the times and days of their services. There was a time not long ago, for example, when almost all churches had a Sunday evening service. But over the past few years, more and more churches began to drop their evening services, because so few people were coming to them. People had other plans for the 'after-church' half of Sunday; and now, Sunday evening services are a rarity. And then, about ten years ago, another change began to occur. In an attempt to accommodate people who wanted to keep a greater portion of Sunday free for recreational activities, or because of conflicting work schedules, more and more churches began to hold services on Saturday evenings. And now, there are even a few churches that are holding Friday evening services, because people are wanting to keep the whole weekend available.

Now please understand; I'm not arguing for a return to the 'good-old-days'. The tradition of having a worship service at 11:00 am on Sunday, for example, originated from the need of farm families to have enough time to get the milking done before coming to church. Not very many of us need to do that kind of thing anymore; so it only makes sense to change some things, and adjust to cultural needs as they really are. But it seems to me that many of these changes are accommodations, not so much to practical needs of the Sabbath day, as to a general irreverence toward the day itself. God meant for this commandment to be a cause of delight to His people - making the day of His Sabbath rest the very best day of the week. But to many people, this commandment - and God's requirement to observe it as "holy" - is more of an inconvenience to their schedules than anything else.

* * * * * * * * * *

So, what do we do? Well; if you expect that I'll conclude this morning's message by giving you a clear list of do-s and don't-s regarding this commandment, I'm going to disappoint you. There are some broad principles I believe we can discern from the Scriptures; but I think we'll find this to be one of those cases where God calls us to do something in obedience to Him - and requires us to keep the spirit of this commandment faithfully - but without telling us exactly what that obedience will look like. We'll come away with some idea of the broad principles of holding that day in reverence; but I expect that we're going to have to allow room for each of us to be led by God a little differently in how those principles are to be put into practice.

So from the very start, let's promise to do a few things together. First, let's each of us promise to present ourselves to the Father as sinners who have been saved by the blood of Jesus, and who are constantly being conformed more and more into His image. We - like many today - are guilty of irreverence toward the spirit of this commandment. And if we've blown it, then praise God! - He still loves us and is glad to forgive us and give us a fresh start if we will but ask. Second, let's each one demonstrate a genuine repentance of heart by inviting the Holy Spirit to teach us what God expects from us in this commandment. We may not have all the answers we'd like to have about it, but we do have the Holy Spirit living in us; and He has all the answers. We can trust the Holy Spirit to guide us in a way that's pleasing to our heavenly Father if we read the Scriptures carefully, and trust His help in understanding them. And third, let's each of us commit ourselves to do whatever God instructs us to do with respect to this commandment. Let's make it our commitment from the very start to give up whatever He tells us to stop doing with regard to His holy day, and to begin to do whatever He tells us to start doing instead. If we all agree to do those things, I don't see how we could go wrong.

Let's begin, then, by examining ...


God Himself is speaking to the people of Israel - gathered around the base of Mount Sinai. And He says, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." God could tell them to"remember" that day, because He had already introduced them to it just a short while earlier in the wilderness.

On the fifteenth day of the second month after the people of Israel had left Egypt, God announced to Moses that He was going to put the people of Israel to a test - a test to see whether or not they would walk faithfully in His law and depend on Him for their provision (see Deuteronomy 8:3). So, He promised that every day, He would cause a certain quota of "bread" to rain down to them from heaven. This "bread" came to be called "Manna" - a Hebrew word which means, "What?" - because the people couldn't figure out what else to call it. The first time they looked at it, they said, "What is it?" (v. 15); and the name stuck. They were able to cook this "What?" stuff in a variety of ways. God faithfully provided it for them as He promised; and they lived on "What?" every day for forty years, until they came to the promised land.

But Moses told the people that certain rules applied to God's daily provision of manna. God said, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily" (Exodus 16:4-5). So, the people of Israel got up the next morning, after the dew of the ground had lifted; and they found a small, round substance on the ground - "as fine as frost" (v. 14). Each man gathered up a certain portion for each member of his family every day - with twice as much on the sixth day; no more and no less. And as this was faithfully done, everyone always had exactly the amount of food that they needed. (And just think - Israel wandered through the wilderness for forty years getting all the food they needed from God's regular six-days-a-week provision of manna; and once every week, they had a miraculous reminder of God's provision of the day of rest!)

Now here's where the test came in. During the regular days of the week, the different families were not to try to hoard up food for the next day. There were not to be any left-overs. The Bible tells us that some families disobeyed this; and when they got up in the morning and checked the bowl of the previous day's manna, they found that it had bred worms and stunk! They were to be out working and gathering up manna six days in a row - but only for one day at a time. God was going to provide them, each day, with only that day's 'daily bread'; and they were not allowed to try to circumvent the need to trust God by hoarding up manna for the next day, or jump ahead and skip a day's gathering.

Five days a week, they were to gather up manna for that day only. But on the sixth day, the men were commanded to gather up twice as much as usual because there was not going to be an outpouring of manna on the next day. The men were to rest on the seventh day, and were not to gather manna on God's holy day of rest. God told them, "Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning" (v. 23). They did so; and when they woke up on the seventh day, they found - miraculously - that the left-overs from the sixth day didn't stink, nor were there any worms in it. Moses told them, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none" (v. 26).

What could be plainer? But then, the Bible tells us,

Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but the found none. And the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." So the people rested on the seventh day (vv. 27-30).

And by the way; that helps us understand the meaning of that Hebrew word we have transliterated into "Sabbath". It's basic meaning is "rest from work". For Israel, God instituted the specific day that was to be the weekly day of rest. It was established for them when He first commanded them to gather up manna (v. 25).

* * * * * * * * * *

I believe it's very important to see the Sabbath commandment in the context of the deliverance of the people of Israel from their 400 years of slavery. They had no rest in those days of bondage; but God graciously delivered them, and then commanded them to take a day of rest from their labors each week. In fact, in the second account of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5, God closes this commandment by saying, "And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day" (Deut. 5:15). What a delight this command must have been to them! How loving of God to have commanded these former slaves to keep a day of rest!

In His law, God gave other "Sabbaths" to Israel. He commanded them, for example, to allow the farmland land to rest and lay fallow every seven years (Ex. 23:10-11). He called it "a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD (Lev. 25:4). And, there was to be a very remarkable year every fiftieth year, after a cycle of seven sevens of years had passed. It was a year of "Jubilee" in which, on the tenth day of the seventh month, on the Day of Atonement, all debts were cancelled, and everyone who had lost the property of their forefathers was to have their property restored to them; and each indentured servant was to be set free, and allowed to returned to his family. No sowing or reaping of the land was to occur on that Jubilee year; but everyone was to eat what grew of the land on its own; because it was a holy year to the Lord (Lev. 25:8-17).

God made a Sabbath rest to be an inherent part of life for Israel. The promise of the giving of manna in the wilderness was the first time God introduced Israel to the principle of keeping a Sabbath. And God had a very specific reason for giving these Sabbaths to Israel. In Ezekiel 20:12, He says, "Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them." And so, God thus stamped the people of Israel as His own by giving them the Sabbath to keep.

But it's important to know that this wasn't the first time that the principle of the Sabbath made its appearance in the universe. God marked the people of Israel out as His own through the Sabbath; and this was because He showed Himself to be the original Sabbath-keeper at Creation. The Sabbath was more than just a sign to Israel; because it has it's roots in God's own example of rest. The first few pages of the Bible tell us that, after God created everything there is in six days,

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made (Gen. 1:31-2:3).

If God's gift of the Sabbath as a sign to Israel was the only thing we knew about this commandment, then I might be inclined to agree with those who say that only Israel was obligated to it. But the perpetual obligation of all people to keep this commandment, and honor God's day of rest, is revealed in the fact that it is - first and foremost - a matter of God's example at creation. He Himself rested on that day, and blessed it as a part of His creative work.

All of this helps us to better understand what it is that God is commanding in the fourth commandment. He instituted a "Sabbath" - that is, a rest from labor - that He Himself first exemplified. And He commanded His people Israel to "remember" it, to "keep it holy", because He Himself remembers it and keeps it holy. The fact that it was given as a specific day to Israel makes it a sign for Israel; but the fact that God Himself blessed and kept a Sabbath at Creation - long before Israel came into being - makes this commandment a perpetual obligation for all of us.

* * * * * * * * * *

Certainly, God commanded that it be "remembered", because we have a tendency to "forget" it or "neglect" it. God saw that it would be easy to allow the pressures of life to crowd in so much, that the day of rest would get pushed out of the schedule. He knew that it would be easy to begin to make excuses for putting off His appointed day. So He commanded His people to "remember" it. And He also commanded them to "remember" it in the sense of actively honoring it, observing it, and keeping it. He commanded them to "remember" it in such a way that it effected the structure of their week, and made its way into their calendar as a permanent feature. He commanded them to "remember" it in such a way as to ensure that it was kept "holy" - just as God Himself "blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (v. 11).

Now, this leads us to the next matter ...

2. THE "HOW" OF THE COMMANDMENT (vv. 9-10a).

How were they to "remember" the Sabbath day, to "keep it holy"? God goes on to tell them, "Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work ..." (vv. 9-10a).

The Hebrew word translated "labor" in this verse has to do with labor in a general sense - the regular things that one has to do to keep things going. And within that general field of "labor" was to be done all of one's "work" - a word that referred to the occupational work someone did for their livelihood. And God is saying that He is giving His people six days - six-sevenths of their time - to work at their vocational or professional callings, to mow their lawns, to fix up their homes, to shop for their groceries, to complete their school work, and to do the other regular chores of life. When you think of it, that six-sevenths of time is very generous. God certainly could have given us less. In fact, He could rightfully demand all of our time for His own service. But instead, He graciously allows six days for "labor" and the doing of all "work" - to make our livings and to maintain our lives.

And before we go further, let me suggest a couple of principles from this. First, God wants us to be a people who are industrious and productive - a people who are working. It may be that we don't have a "paying" job at the time; but there is always work to be done. The goal in life should not be to get to the place where you don't ever have any work to do; because that's not what God created us for. We need to remember that He created the first man in the perfect environment of a sinless creation that was all "very good" - and then, put that man to work tilling the ground! We need to be working. It's a part of who we are. God means for us to work "six days" a week - and there's always plenty to do.

But second, it's important to notice that God is good to us and loves us; and He puts a limit on the amount of work that we do. He calls us to work six days; but He calls us to work only six days in a row and no more. Even God Himself - in all His work of creation - stopped at six days! I would suggest that a lesson from this is that, if we cannot do all that we need to do in six days, then we are doing more than God has called us to do. Could we really believe that the God who gave this commandment would then give us so much to do that we couldn't obey it?

If we have more to do than can be done in six days time, we are doing more than God has given us to do. And if this is the case, then we need very much to bring the matter before God - and perhaps even before one another as brothers and sisters in Christ - and seek God's guidance for what needs to be cut out of our lives, so that our work is limited as He would have it be limited. And living within the limitations He has placed upon us, we then need to trust Him for His provision of whatever else remains. The Bible says, "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep" (Psalm 127: 2).

And a third principle we could draw from this is that the limiting our work to six days requires discipline and planning on our part. It requires that we plan our work in such a way that it fits into God's appointed limits to our work, and thus enabling us to protect and prioritize God's appointed day of rest. It means that we schedule our work during the week to fit within a time-frame of six days, and trust God to bless our plans and efforts. This teaches us to be wise and effective in our work. Many have testified that they were more productive in six days with reverence to God's day, then they could ever be in seven days without it.

* * * * * * * * * *

So that's one aspect of how we are to keep this commandment - that is, limit our work to six days. But there's more to keeping the commandment than that alone. God also says, "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work ..."

Obviously - in keeping with the meaning of "sabbath" - this means we are to rest from our work. This has to be kept in proper balance, however. This doesn't mean that we're to be neglectful in the case of emergency situations or necessary acts of mercy. Jesus once was accused for having healed a man on the Sabbath; but He said, "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:11-12). We're not to neglect to do good on the day of rest; but on that seventh day, we are definitely to cease from our regular labors and "rest" from them.

But even this "rest" doesn't mean "inactivity". What is to cease is our "regular" work. But it is a day to be given over to the service of the Lord. He says that "the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God." He says that it's His day. It is His possession. Many people fuss and struggle with the idea of giving God a whole day as if it was their day in the first place to give! But it's not our day to own - it's God's day! And the Sabbath "rest" means to rest from our own labors so that we can give God what belongs to Him. If we do not work on the day that our boss pays us to work, we're stealing from our boss; but if we work instead on the day that God says is His day, then we're stealing from God!

So then, we're to completely cease from our own labors on one day out of seven, and make ourselves available to God to honor His day. Think of how many Sabbath's you have seen in your life. What have you done with those days that God says belong to Him? If the average person lives fifty years of adult life, then they will see 2,600 "adult" Sabbath days. 2,600 days would average out to a full seven years of giving one's adult life over exclusively to God in worship and service. That works out to being a "tithe" of the average life-span. What have you done with God's "tithe" on your "time"? Think of how much we would grow in God's grace if we were faithful to give God His day!

* * * * * * * * * *

Notice, thirdly ...


God tells us who is not to work on His special day: "In it, you shall do no work"; and notice that He first specifies, "you". Honoring God's day begins with you and me as individuals.

May I share with you a personal commitment I have made to God? I have made the commitment that, no matter where I am, whatever reason I might have for being out of town -even if I'm on vacation - as much as I am able to do so, I will be in some church somewhere on Sunday morning to worship with God's people. That's a commitment I have chosen to make in order to honor God's day in my life. I'm not saying that's a commitment everyone should keep; but I am trusting God to help me keep it.

God also says, "nor your son, nor your daughter". Now I'm assuming that God is speaking to men as the heads of households in this verse. And that, of course, teaches us that husbands and fathers are to take the lead for their family, and make sure that God's day is honored in the home. He is to set the example. He has a responsibility to cease from work - not only for God's sake and for his own, but also for his children's sake and the sake of his wife.

I've seen something in my role as pastor more than once - and it's been very upsetting to me whenever I've seen it; I've seen families in which the children literally beg their parents to take them to church on Sunday; and yet, their parents fail over and over to do so. Imagine that! Their kids long to go to church. What an exciting opportunity that is! And yet, their parents find one excuse after another for not doing so. They wake up late, or they're too tired, or they made plans for that day. The weather's bad; or it's too nice out. There's always some reason not to go, it seems. And the tragic thing is that the day finally comes when the kids quit asking. I've lived long enough to have seen some of those kids grow up to repeat the same pattern with their own children. What a terrible heritage to pass on to one's kids!

As moms and dads, we have a moral obligation to provide for the spiritual care of our children - and the responsibility to see that it happens rests on the dads. God's word says, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). As husbands and fathers, we will be held accountable for how faithfully we fulfilled this responsibility. May God help us to protect God's day for our children so long as it's in our power to do so.

God also says, "nor your male servant, nor your female servant". Now most of us will let ourselves off the hook on this one. Many here today are probably thinking, "If I only HAD a servant six days a week, I'd gladly let him or her take Sunday off!" I have thought that way too. But here is where God has really begun to convict me. I've come to believe that, every time I go to a restaurant on God's day, and a server comes to take my order with the expectation of being paid by me, we are right then entering into a master/servant relationship with one another. I have also brought the cook into that relationship, and the dishwasher, and the cashier. Every time I go to the store on Sunday and require the grocer to work for me; or go to a theater and require the theater attendants to work for me; or go to the gas station and require the service station attendant to fill my car; I'm entering into a master/servant relationship with them and am making them work on the Lord's day. I am not allowing my "servant" in that relationship to obey God's command to "do no work".

Now I have tried to argue myself out of that idea. I have told myself, "But it's their choice to work! I'm just taking advantage of their availability. And after all, maybe they need the money!" And of course, maybe it's true that it is their choice; and maybe it's true that they need money. But in spite of my arguments, the Holy Spirit has convicted me that what God says still stands - on God's day, "you shall do no work: you ... nor your male servant, nor your female servant".

Those potential "servants" - whatever their other needs might be - are still as obligated to God's established pattern as I am: "Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work ..." God can provide them with all the money they need in six days. And while I'm not responsible for the decision other people make regarding that day; I will nevertheless give an account for the decisions that I have made. I must make obedience to God's command as possible to others as I hope for it to be for myself.

I'll tell you a story that has really convict me regarding this. I heard about a church group that liked to go to a particular restaurant after church. One of the elders asked the girl who regularly served them if she'd ever thought of coming to their church. She responded by saying, "I'd love to but I can't, because I have to get everything ready before you come here." Think of that! Do we actually keep restaurant workers from coming to church who really want to, but can't because they have to work to get ready for the after-church crowd instead?

Now again, I think that this is something in which we each need to be led individually by the Lord. But let me just make a suggestion: Wouldn't it be better if we just started having each other over to our homes after church instead of making other people work on Sunday - even if we just served simple, good ol' fashioned sandwiches and chips to one another? Sure it would take a little more planning on our part, and it wouldn't be near as fancy; but that's a rather small price to pay to protect God's holy day, isn't it?

God also says, "nor your cattle." Isn't that wonderful? God is even concerned with showing mercy to the animals He has created; and desires that they too have their needed rest. Now of course, not many of us here this morning have cattle that we're tempted to 'work' on Sundays. But I take the principle to be that we're not to cheat on the idea - thinking that "something else is really doing the work, not me". He calls for a complete rest - for everyone!

And God is even concerned with "stranger who is within your gates." We're to make sure that, as much as it's in our power to do so, we are surrounded by an attitude of reverence for God's day - even by those who are our guests. They may not reverence God's day; but we are to bear a witness to them by the fact that we do. I have known some people who did not go to church because they had guests over that weekend; and I've often wondered: Didn't it occur to them to bring those guests along?

* * * * * * * * * *

All of this leads us, finally to ...


God says, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, an all that is in them, and rested the seventh day." Think of what a feat God's work of creation was! And yet He rested.

I believe He didn't rest from His work because He was tired. The Bible tells us that "The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary" (Isa. 40:28). So why did He rest? Why did He cease from His labors? One reason that the Bible seems to suggest to us is that He wanted to enter into the enjoyment of what He created. When He rested, the Bible tells us that "God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." God sets an example for us in this. If He took the time from His labors to rest and enjoy the things He Himself had made; why do we think we - as His creatures - don't also need to rest from our labors and enjoy Him?

And another reason I believe God rested is to set an example for us in hallowing His day of rest. The commandment goes on to say, "Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." The Hebrew word here translated "hallowed" is the same word translated "holy" in verse eight - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." In other words, God does the very same thing in verse eleven that He commands us to do in verse eight. The great reason God gives us for our keeping the commandment to honor His day is that He Himself has honored it. How can we not hallow what He Himself has hallowed?

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Now, please remember what I asked earlier that we do together. We've seen that God wants us to keep this day holy; but we have not yet discussed what, specifically, we're to do in that day. I hope that, in the weeks to come, we can touch on that subject. But for now, let's do as we have agreed to do - let's give ourselves to God on this matter, ask that His Holy Spirit help us to see clearly from the Scriptures what this day means to Him, and then make the commitment that we will do what He calls us to do in obedience to this commandment.

I believe that God will lead us in the right thing to do; so that, in obedience to Him, we will truly keep His day holy.

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