“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.” (Exodus 20:8-10)
What does it mean to “remember” the Sabbath day? Is it merely call to mind that the seventh day is the Sabbath? And if that is what is meant, how does that keep it holy or “set apart” from the rest of the days of the week? The Hebrew word zachor (translated as “remember”) infers more than just to “call to mind.” The root word actually means to “speak or act on behalf of” meaning that what is called to mind is supposed to prompt one to take action.
As an example of this, the Bible says that as Noah and his family floated upon the flood waters, God “remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 8:1). Is that to say that He had forgotten them and then recalled that they were alive? Obviously that’s a ridiculous notion. So notice as soon as that statement was made, God began to take action and caused a wind to pass over the waters. Thus began the transition for Noah and his family to go from seafarers back to land dwellers. The point is, God took action on behalf of Noah and family because He “remembered.”
As for us and the commandment to remember the Sabbath, it is more than just an intellectual acknowledgment that the seventh day is the Sabbath. Remembering this should prompt us to take action on behalf of what God has instructed. One way we properly “remember” the Sabbath is, by setting it apart from the rest of the week, we acknowledge that the God of the Bible is God — there is none beside Him. In other words, when He had finished the work of Creation, He rested. When we cease from our work in honor of His Sabbath, we act on His behalf and declare to the world that He is the author of Creation.
In this age of unbelief, rebellion and the determination to do what is right in one’s own eyes, it is incumbent upon God’s people to be witnesses of the One True God. We do that by living a life in accordance with His standards. When we do this, we speak and act on His behalf and declare to this generation that the God of Israel is STILL God and will forever be God. His standards have not changed and it is high time that we remember that.
Blessings and Shalom,