Daily Devotions

God’s heaven-foreshadowing sabbath for all the family

Exodus 20:8-11

‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy!… On it, you shall not do any work — you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant or your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your city-gates! For…the Lord made Heaven…, and rested!’ Exodus 20:8-11.

In his Institutes II:8:28-34, Calvin remarks: “The Commandment is, that being dead to our own…works, we meditate on God’s Kingdom…. It (is) typical, as containing the external observance of a day…abolished with the other types on the advent of Christ…. True…, a type of the spiritual rest by which believers were to cease from their own works and allow God to work in them….

“The Lord intended….the Sabbath never…be completed, before the arrival of the Last Day…. The Lord delineated to His people the future perfection of His Sabbath on the Last Day, so that by continual meditation…they might throughout their whole lives aspire to this perfection…. Christ…is the true completion of the Sabbath (Colossians 2:16f)…. This is not contented with one day, but requires the whole course of our lives….

“The Corinthians (16:1-2, and the churches of Galatia, were) to set the first day apart, for collecting contributions for the relief of their brethren…. Early Christians substituted what we call the Lord’s Day for the Sabbath, the resurrection of our Lord being the end…of that true rest which the ancient Sabbath typified (Matthew 28:1f and Mark 16:1,2,9 and Luke 23:56 to 24:1,13,33,46 and John 20:1,19,26 and Acts 2:1f & 20:6f & Revelation 1:10)…. Be careful…to observe the general doctrine…, so that religion may neither be lost nor languish among us!… Diligently attend on our religious assemblies…which tend to promote the worship of God!”

On Exodus 20:8f, Calvin comments: “Believers should exercise themselves in the worship of God…. God has appointed a special place to the Sabbath…, (which) Paul declares to be in Christ…. Spiritual rest is nothing else than the truly desirable and blessed death of man, which contains in it the life of God…. Hebrews (4:3-10)…retains the genuine reason of the Commandment, viz. that we should rest from our works ‘even as God from His!'”

All Ten Commandments are future-orientated. His first, reminds us He has brought us out of the house of bondage. His second, threatens punishment to the third and fourth generation of those hating Him — and shows mercy to thousands of generations of those that love Him. His third, warns all never guiltily to take His name in vain. His fourth, reminds His people of how hard they laboured servilely in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15) — before He redeemed them on their way to Heaven; etc.

So do not slouch, but labour! Not just for four-and-a-half or five, but for fully six days every week! But then, rest on the seventh — and sanctify it! For in six days God too laboured. But, after making Heaven and Earth for man, He then rested. Therefore also man and all in his home should rest on one day each week, and keep it holy. Rest from all earthly labours, on the way to Heaven! For God’s heaven-foreshadowing sabbath is for you, and also for all of your family!