Recently, my husband I have been involved in a book study with a group of other homeschooling parents. The book was a guide to help center your family in Biblical faith. The well known author had a lot of personal and Biblical advice to share. I enjoyed the study and the fellowship greatly. But there was something I found very interesting through out the book. The author often referred to the ten commandments and that they are our guide to how to live out God’s plan for His People. He mostly referred to the command to obey your parents since it was a book on family relationships. But I found it very interesting that this well known evangelist and teacher certainly believed that the ten commandments were not done away with when Jesus died on the cross.
Often when people read God’s Word they focus on the new testament and the teachings of Paul. I also find this sort of ironic, Paul’s letters were written to specific people at a specific place and time. Paul is a very intelligent man in the Way of God and in the time and cultures of his day. His letters can be very confusing if we haven’t read and understood the books before his. For example, when Paul tells the young, teaching elder, Timothy, that all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, correcting, training, and rebuking, we have to ask what scriptures is Paul referring to? You see Paul talks about many things in his letters to his students of God’s Word. But if we don’t realize what he is referring to, we could easily misunderstand his letters. When Paul wrote to Timothy the scriptures of that day were the Torah and Prophets of the Old Testament.
When I read through the Bible many years ago now as an adult, I realized something I had been missing all my years of studying scripture. I realized that like all books the Bible is written in an order that makes sense when we read it from front to back. It builds on itself. The important lessons, information is in the beginning, and without reading and understanding the beginning, I couldn’t truly grasp the ending. Every time Jesus, Paul, and the other writers of the new testament refer to following God’s commands and obeying Him they were referring back to what the reader or hearer already new. They were talking about the commands in the front of the book.
So, did Jesus do away with these old testament commands? Do we have a new way now? Why did God give these commandments in the first place? The easiest way to figure out the answer to that question is in the answer that Jesus gave about what is the greatest commandment. When asked this question Jesus said, the greatest commandment is to love the Lord( Yehovah) with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second command is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself. This command is originally found in the front of the Bible when Yehovah gives His commands to His people, Israel. But now we have Jesus clearly restating it for all who choose to follow Him.
So, that brings me back to the question are we suppose to obey God’s commandments today? Specifically, are we to obey the ten commandments?
Jesus clearly says that God’s Word has not passed away. So, why do we think we can pick and choose what and how to obey God? We teach our children the first three commandments of the ten. We tell them to remember that God is a jealous God and He does not want us to put anything as more important than Him. We teach them the value in obey the fifth command. I think it is probably the most taught commandment of the ten. Most Christians even teach the value of commands six through 10. These commandments just make sense in loving our neighbor. But there is one commandment that we choose to ignore, change to met our lifestyle, or out right just disobey. That is the fourth commandment.
For some reason we believe that this commandment about keeping the Sabbath day Holy is optional. We seem to think we can move the Sabbath day. We can do it our own way. But why is that? There is NO where in scripture that it was changed or moved. There is no where in Jesus, Paul, or Peter’s teachings that they said, to stop remembering the Sabbath day. How do we some how teach all the commandments of God are a blessing and gift to us, except the fourth commandment?
The Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week. It was established by God in the very first week of creation. It was never changed or moved. The cool thing is all over the world in many languages it is still to this day called the Sabbath. There is no debate or argument that can be made that scripture is not clear on which day is the Sabbath.
So many people say to me, well, I just can’t keep the Sabbath, or I keep Sabbath on another day. I hate to break it to you, God only set apart the seventh day. So, you can rest on another day, but it won’t be the same. He made the seventh day HOLY, not Sunday, not Monday, not Tuesday, etc. He alone decided, we don’t get to change it. As for working on the Sabbath because you don’t have a choice. I understand that. Many people must work on the Sabbath, many have no choice. We are not in the Promised Land, we do not as a nation all follow the commands of God. Our nation is far from God, all the nations are. So, I understand that we don’t always have a choice in when we work.
But, let me challenge you. Have you even decided that you want to obey God in this command. Or are you stubborn hearted against Him and this commandment. Yehovah is gracious and compassionate. If you set your heart to obey Him, He will make away for you to do just that. Obedience starts in the heart. Even if you have to report to a job on Saturday, your heart can be set on remembering your Creator and Redeemer. You can choose to begin to rest in mind and spirit on Sabbath. If you want to obey God in keeping His Sabbath day, and really understand the beauty and blessing that comes from obedience in this commandment, then start by reading every verse on Sabbath. Here is a great scripture guide for doing just that.
The ten commandments were given to God’s Holy People, Israel, to help them live in peace and love. We are so blessed that it was written down and passed down to us, His Holy People, those who choose to call upon the name of Yehovah and walk in His Ways. Our saviour, Yeshua (Jesus) set a perfect example for us and we have it written down and available too. What an amazing time we live in, to have all God’s Holy Scripture compiled for us to read, study, and walk out.
May His Spirit Guide you in truth today and everyday.