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𝒬 121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?

𝒜. The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment,1 partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it,2 and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments,3 and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion;4 and partly, because we are very ready to forget it,5 for that there is less light of nature for it,6 and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful;7 that it cometh but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it;8 and that Satan with his instruments much labor to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety.9

  1. Exodus 20:8

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (ESV)

  2. Exodus 16:23

    he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’”

    Luke 23:54

    It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.

    Mark 15:42

    And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,

    Nehemiah 13:19

    As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. (ESV)

  3. Ezekiel 20:12

    Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

    Ezekiel 20:19-20

    I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.

    Psalm 92:13-14

    They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
    They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,

    Psalm 92

    92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
    to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
    to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
    For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

    How great are your works, O Lord!
    Your thoughts are very deep!
    The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
    that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
    they are doomed to destruction forever;
    but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
    For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
    for behold, your enemies shall perish;
    all evildoers shall be scattered.

    But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
    you have poured over me fresh oil.
    My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

    The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
    They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
    They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
    to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (ESV)

  4. Genesis 2:2-3

    And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

    Psalm 118:22

    The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.

    Psalm 118:24

    This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    Revelation 1:10

    I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (ESV)

  5. Ezekiel 22:26

    Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. (ESV)

  6. Nehemiah 9:14

    and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. (ESV)

  7. Exodus 34:21

    “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. (ESV)

  8. Deuteronomy 5:14-15

    but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

    Amos 8:5

    saying, “When will the new moon be over,
    that we may sell grain?
    And the Sabbath,
    that we may offer wheat for sale,
    that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great
    and deal deceitfully with false balances, (ESV)

  9. Lamentations 1:7

    Jerusalem remembers
    in the days of her affliction and wandering
    all the precious things
    that were hers from days of old.
    When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
    and there was none to help her,
    her foes gloated over her;
    they mocked at her downfall.

    Jeremiah 17:21-23

    Thus says the Lord: Take care for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and receive instruction.

    Nehemiah 13:15-22

    In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

    As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.