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 Issue #102 Tue, 31 Oct 2006

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PostSubject: Issue #102 Tue, 31 Oct 2006   March 12th 2007, 00:42

Remember the Sabbath Day

Dear Youth,

"O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made.
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When thro' the woods and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away sin.

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!"1
~Stuart K. Hine

Do you recognize the words of the passage quoted above? Yes, they are stanzas of the famous hymn "How Great Thou Art". Whenever I sing this beautiful hymn, my mind is drawn to the themes of the Sabbath? "Why the Sabbath?" you might ask. In answer to this question, we're going to take a look at two occasions where the Ten Commandments are recorded in scripture.

Firstly consider Exodus 20:8: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Of all the commandments given, this is the only one which begins with the word "remember", yet, surprisingly, it is the only commandment out of the whole ten that Christians want to forget!

The expression "remember" should take our minds back to the very beginning of this earth's history. The Sabbath was set to be a memorial of something, and verse 11, of Exodus 20 gives us a little clue! "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." The language used here is describing the creation account found in Genesis.

"And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:2-3) We see from these two passages that the Sabbath has been especially set aside as a memorial of creation. Notice how the first two stanzas of the hymn "How Great Thou Art", in pensive pen-pictures, also remind us of the fact that our Lord is, indeed, the Creator of the universe!

We can also be reminded of the fact that God has not only BEEN our Creator, but He IS our Creator! David's prayer: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) is answered by Christ in these words: "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." (Ezekiel 36:26) Not only did God miraculously form us in our mother's womb when we were first conceived, but today, He is still the One who creates in us a clean heart.

The second record of the Ten Commandments is found in Deuteronomy 5:12, 15: "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. And remember that thou wast a servant [slave] in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day." This time, no mention is made of the Creator, but it does tell us to remember the Lord as our Deliverer and Redeemer. Haven't we all been slaves in Egypt, but by the grace of God we have been delivered?

"Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. . . .the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:34, 36) The Sabbath, therefore, is also a memorial of our redemption as the last two stanzas of the hymn so beautifully depict.

Next time you sing the hymn "How Great Thou Art" perhaps it will remind you, also, of the Sabbath--the great memorial of Creation and Redemption!

--Trevor Fox (with Stephanie Fox)
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PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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1How Great Thou Art, Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal
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