Daily Word

Reform 4-Preserve the Sabbath|Nehemiah 13:19-22

19 Then I commanded that the gates of Jerusalem should be shut as darkness fell every Friday evening, not to be opened until the Sabbath ended. I sent some of my own servants to guard the gates so that no merchandise could be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 The merchants and tradesmen with a variety of wares camped outside Jerusalem once or twice.

21 But I spoke sharply to them and said, “What are you doing out here, camping around the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you!” And that was the last time they came on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and to guard the gates in order to preserve the holiness of the Sabbath. Remember this good deed also, O my God! Have compassion on me according to your great and unfailing love.

Nehemiah 13:19-22 (NLT)

Reform 4 continued…

Yesterday we saw how Nehemiah took action when he discovered, upon his return from Babylon, that the Sabbath celebration had been profaned. Today he continues with steps to preserve the Sabbath – to preserve the holiness of the Sabbath.

Holy = set apart

The Sabbath was to be kept holy, a day set apart, different, from other days. It echoed God’s rest during creation. For the Jews, it starts Friday night and ends Saturday night. “The Jews have always [determined] their days from sunset to sunset, [based] on the account of the Creation given in the first chapter of Genesis, where “the evening and the morning” [described] each of the six days.” (Pulpit commentary)

It was/is a day of rest – to take a break from the daily grind. This provides time for corporate fellowship in the temple or synagogue. It does not mean that it is the only time to serve the Lord and read His word, etc.

Sabbath today

Jews still celebrate the Sabbath, and do so Saturday. What about Christians? Tradition is to go to church on Sundays. It provides a day of rest – it’s original intent. It also conveniently allows everyone to gather at least once a week. The early church gathered daily (Acts 2:46). 

But is it a command we must fulfill? Jesus said (Matthew 22:35-40) that this fourth commandment, and all of them, are fulfilled in two: Love the Lord and Love others. I’m of the opinion we don’t have to obey them as a law; we do them as we obey the greatest two. For more on the topic, click here.

Image from gotquestions.org *

🤞 May I notify you of new posts?

They'll be sent out as soon as new POSTs are created, which has been daily (hence the name) for over 15 years.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content