"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy ..." Exodus 20:8
The Lord God required His people (under the old covenant) to set aside the seventh day as a day of rest from their labors and as a day to consider Him and His ways.
Since God Himself created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, so also His people were to refrain from their labors on the Sabbath to hear His Word and honor Him (cf. Ex. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15; Isa. 58:13-14).
We are no longer required to rest from all our labors on the seventh day, or on any other day of the week (cf. Col. 2:16-17; Rom. 14:5-6; Acts 15:1ff.; Gal. 1:1ff.). But, as God required the children of Israel to rest on the Sabbath Day so that they might have time to hear His Word and worship Him, so He commands us to set aside time from our earthly labors that we also might hear and consider His Word and glorify His holy name (cf. Isa. 58:13-14; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Luke 11:28; Acts 2:42; Ps. 95:1ff.; Ps. 111:1; Gal. 6:6-8; etc.).
In order to do this, Christians have historically set aside Sunday, the day of Christ's resurrection, as a time for worship and meditation upon God's Word. And Christians also seek to take time on a daily basis for Bible reading and prayer.
To neglect the services of God's house and not to take the time for Bible reading and prayer in our homes is a sin against God's commandment. And, when we neglect to hear and carefully consider the teaching of God's Word, we endanger our own souls, for it is through the Word of God that the Holy Spirit reveals to us our Savior and eternal life in His name (cf. Heb. 10:24-25; Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:14-17).
Hearing God's will and commandment regarding the Sabbath should move us to repent of our neglect of His Word and to turn back to Him for mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus, God's Son. His commandment also guides us as we then seek to amend our ways and live for Him so that we regularly set aside a portion of the time God has given us to meditate upon His Word and worship Him.
And, as with all of God's commandments, obedience brings with it rich blessings we would otherwise never know or experience. The treasures of God's Word are rich!
Dear LORD God, forgive us for neglecting to set aside time to hear Your saving Word and worship You. Give us true love for You and Your Word so that we continue to learn of the salvation You have provided for us in Christ Jesus, our Savior. In His name, we pray. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings may be freely read at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]