In essence this commandment is calling us every seventh-day to rest and give rest to others, including our animals. And the motivation for why we should rest, borrowing the same language from the creation story of Genesis 2, is that God is our Creator. He has blessed the day and made it Holy. 40 years later Moses repeats the Law of the Covenant to Israel just before His death and their crossing over into Canaan. As he recounts their journey, he repeats the 10 commandments. As he repeats the Sabbath commandment found in Deuteronomy 5:12-15, it carries most of the same features as the one we read in Exodus 20:8-11, until you get to verse 15 which says, “And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. Deuteronomy 5:15. Don’t miss this critical point! Now the reason that is given to rest and give rest to others is that they were slaves in Egyptian bondage, but Yahweh, their Redeemer, has brought them out and saved them! You see, this is telling us that our hearts are called into the weekly rhythm of Sabbath rest, because it reveals that…
Your Creator is the Redeemer who Saved You.
You have been saved, now rest in the freedom of your salvation. It’s like when your parents came together to procreate and you came into existence. Then later in a moment of your deepest need, they step in and save you. This is why I have such respect for my father, because their was a time when I was a baby, that our TV caught fire in the room that I was in. I’m told by my mother that the entire room was filled with smoke while I was lying in the crib, when suddenly my father rushed into the room, picked up the burning TV with his bare hands, ran into the bathroom and dumped it in the tub. She says the moment he dropped it in there, the TV exploded. My father, who along with my mother, not only pro-created me, but he saved me from the fire!
God says, “I’m not only your Creator, I’m your Redeemer.” He invites you to rest in His completed work of not only creation, but salvation. He modeled the pattern of resting and giving rest to others Himself on the first Sabbath of creation. And now He invites us to enter this rest ourselves, while giving it to others.
This means that you have to be vigilant to guard against anything that seeks to rob you or others of Sabbath rest. This is why we’re called not to work or cause others to work, because we are called to rest and give rest. Why? Because our Creator is the Redeemer who saved us and we are to rest in His finished work!
Oh, but there’s even more to this gracious gift of rest. Moses would record the LORD saying in Exodus 31:13…
Follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, Pastor, Author.