Friday, December 15, 2017

The Big “If” – The Fourth Commandment

Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 16:13
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The Big “If”

The fourth commandment

Exodus 20.8; Deuteronomy 5.12

“Remember, observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Isaiah 58.13, 14

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

If only…

What a huge word that is which begins God’s word on the Sabbath through Isaiah: “If.” That word recognizes that we have a choice to make each Lord’s Day. We can either submit to the Word of God in His Law, and remember and observe Him as Creator and Redeemer throughout the day He has set apart as holy, or we can do whatever else we may choose to do. That word also recognizes that there are many temptations inviting us to rationalize our way out of obeying God’s Law – “I already went to church, didn’t I?” “I think God wants me to rest in the way that works best for me.” “We don’t have to keep the Lord’s Days because it’s not repeated in the New Testament.” “Sunday is my day to do what I want, and I think God’s OK with that.” – or we can agree that God knows best how to bring maximum blessing into our lives, and that our best interests are served in obeying Him even in the face of severe temptation to do something else. So that “If” is really a big word, and it points to a fork in the path of our lives, a fork that we come to once a week. One road leads along the path of our own pleasure; the other leads to the heritage of Jacob. However you respond to that “If” on a weekly basis, you just need to know what’s at stake.

If you obey God each Lord’s Day, He will bring you the heritage of all His precious and magnificent promises. Do you really think you could improve on that by simply choosing to do your own pleasure on the Lord’s Day? On what basis?

“In the Gates” is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001,2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Editor’s note: The use of a translation other than the Authorised Version in an article does not constitute an endorsement in whole or in part by The Christian Observer.

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