Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 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, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11
“Mom, why don’t Christians keep the 4th commandment?”
My young daughter had recently started to read the Bible when she asked me this question. I didn’t have an answer for her. I am not even sure if at that point I could have said what the 4th Commandment is. Her question haunted me. It has for more than 30 years. Recently I set out to figure out the answer to that question. The answers I found have changed the pattern of my life. By God’s grace, my husband agrees with me. We now “honor the Sabbath” and are learning to “keep it holy”.
Notice that this commandment is the only one that begins with the word “Remember”.
Because God knew that we would forget.
Why did he want us to remember?
Because he did not want us to forget, to neglect, the truth of creation.
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:11
What has our culture forgotten, even despised?
Answer: Six Day Creation
Recently my family had a big crisis that began when my granddaughter asked, “Couldn’t God have used evolution?”
My husband and I, with firm commitment, and, tragically, with lack of grace for my granddaughter’s struggle with this question, said “No! God could not have ‘used evolution’.”
We told her, in no uncertain terms, that if evolution were true, then Genesis is not true.
We told her that if evolution were true, then death is not the result of the fall because there would have been death for millions of years before Adam and Eve.
I asked her, “How could sexual reproduction evolve?”
I explained how I had realized that Jesus could have created everything with the appearance of age, because he had served cooked fish and baked bread to thousands of people without those things going through any process that took time. He created them, ex nihilo, on the spot.
Tim told her that if death did not result from the fall, then what did Jesus save us from?
My granddaughter could not deal with our empathic defense of the six-day creation. She left the table, and later insisted that Tim and I not come back to their home that evening.
Because this culture is not “Remembering the Sabbath, to keep it holy. . .because in six days God created everything.
At the point of that family crisis, Tim and I had not yet realized the connection between the 4th commandment and the problem of believing in the theory of evolution. We put those things together as I began to ponder my daughter’s question from 30 years ago.
“Why don’t Christians keep the 4th Commandment?”
I am convinced that this commandment begins with the word “Remember” precisely because God knew that at the heart of the apostasy to come would be the devastating lie that creation could not have happened in six days.
I have come to understand why the 10 Commandments are so offensive. It is not because they tell us not to tell lies, steal, or kill. It is not because they tell us to honor our parents, and to be sexually pure. It is because the satan does not want us to remember that God created everything in six days.
Because if God did not create everything in six days, then the story of creation is not true, so the Bible can’t be trusted; death is not the result of sin; and we don’t need salvation.
God said “Remember the sabbath” because he knew that by ignoring the truth of the six-day creation people would think that they were not created by God for his purpose, they would lean on their own understanding, they would not acknowledge him. This would lead to all kinds of debauchery as Paul explains in Romans Chapter One.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:24 – 32
This is what happens when the 10 Commandments are removed from our consciousness, from our government, from our marketplaces, from our schools, and from our families. When people “believe in evolution” they don’t keep any of the commandments.
I am 70 years old, this year—2019—I could never have imaged the depravity of society that we are seeing today when I was growing up. I grew up in the Bay Area of California. I didn’t even know one person when I was in school whose parents were divorced—NOT ONE. The 10 Commandments were still in our schools then. We even learned, with shock, that in Russia the Bible was not allowed in schools!
Read Paul’s pronouncement above and think about what has happened since we took down the 10 Commandments and specifically denied that God made everything. People no longer think that we will be held accountable to him–that we need to be saved. What Jesus did became irrelevant.
In our quest to understand how to “keep the Sabbath holy” we are not trying to set up a bunch of rules, but we are attempted to keep the 7th day separate from the other six days of the week. We have a special dinner on Friday night, and another one Saturday evening to mark the start and end of our sabbath rest. We decided to close our farm store for the whole weekend, instead of just Sunday. We are basking in the peace that these decisions have made in our lives.
There is a lot more to say, volumes, about sabbath keeping. I am not going to go into any of that right now. If you have read this far in this blog, I encourage you to check out all the controversies about, and history of, sabbath keeping. Perhaps you will come to the same conclusion we did.
“Remember the Sabbath, to keep in holy, because I created everything in six days.” Amen.