FOURTH & FIFTH COMMANDMENTS

Exodus 20:8-12 (NIV)

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.



If we read the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, we come to see that the command to remember the Sabbath day has two aspects to it.


First, it’s a crucial practice. In our lives we’re commanded to have a rhythm of work and rest, and we are forbidden to overwork.

We’re also commanded to nurture our bodies and our souls. We’re not supposed to nurture only our bodies. We’re to rejuvenate our souls through fellowship and through prayer and devotion and worship every week.


It’s also true, however, that the New Testament shows us that the Sabbath day points to a deeper kind of rest. Hebrews 4 in particular says that when we believe in Christ and the gospel, we rest from our works. Which means the great burden of having to prove ourselves and having to earn our salvation is lifted from us. In this life we get much of that deeper rest, and yet it’s only completely realized in the future in the new heavens and new earth. And we look for that and we long for that. It’s deeply consoling especially at times in which we’re very weary.


The fifth commandment to honor our parents should also be read in light of the gospel. The command says that as children, we should obey our parents. As adults, we should respect and listen to our parents. And yet the gospel also reminds us that God is our Father, by grace we’re brought into his family, and he is our primary source of love. And if our primary phileo relationship is with him, then we are able to love and honor our parents well, not looking to them to provide what can be found in God alone.

Timothy Keller

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