Sabbath, Creation, Guarding and Observing

The ten commandments are listed in two places in the Torah (Pentateuch).  They are listed first in Exodus 20, then again in Deuteronomy 5.  The lists are almost identical except when it concerns the commandment regarding the Sabbath.

First, I’m not going into whether or not one should still observe the Sabbath, or whether it is Friday night to Saturday night or Sunday.  That is a discussion for another day.  This discussion is about what God actually said – not how various people interpreted it later.

In one of the places where the Sabbath command is listed, God says we are to observe the Sabbath.  In the other place, He states that we are to guard it.  In one place it is because God created all in six days and rested on the seventh, and the other because He brought us out of slavery (see the earlier posts, “Creation” on Jan. 5th, 2017, and “Sabbath and Slavery” on Feb. 5th, 2017.

To guard and observe (or in some translations, “remember and observe”, or “remember and keep”.

The Sabbath was given not as a burden to us (none of the Torah was meant so), but as a sign of the relationship between God and us, and as a means for us to keep our walk with God straight.  It takes two things to do this.

We need to remember the Sabbath.  Remember both that God created all in six days.  In other words, He is the one who is in control of all things.  Not use.

We need to guard or keep the Sabbath.  We need to actively arrange our lives so that we can do as God commanded on the Sabbath.  Rest.  This takes work, and ritual helps towards this goal for most people.

When we don’t guard the Sabbath, our ‘remembering’ of it will also fall away, and we thereby lose one of the most beautiful aspects and visible elements of God’s love to us.


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