30 May 2004
Exodus 31:15, Leviticus 23:3 & Genesis 2:3
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 62. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments; his challenging a special propriety in the seventh; his own example; and his blessing the Sabbath day.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.62. What are the reasons for the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons for the fourth commandment are these: God allows us six days of the week to take care of our own affairs; He claims the seventh day as His own; He set the example; and He blesses the Sabbath.
1. How many reasons are there annexed to this commandment?
There are four reasons annexed to this commandment and this is more than for any of the other commandments. God knew men would be prone to break this commandment.
2. What is the first reason?
The first reason is, God’s allowing us six days for our own employment. God has been very liberal with us in this area and we should certainly grant Him one day out of the seven. In addition, in modern times very few people work on Saturday afternoon, which is another reason for giving Him one day.
3. What is the second reason?
The second reason is, God’s challenging a special propriety in the seventh day. This is God’s claiming the day as His own. He does not claim it as His own without granting us anything from it, for as we use it in the right way He will grant us the greatest joy in communion with Him.
4. What is the third reason?
The third reason is, God’s own example in resting Himself from His works of creation on the seventh day. Here there is a spiritual blessing from resting one day by His command. In addition, there is a physical motivation in that He knew it would be good for our bodies for us to rest one day. His example should be followed, all to His glory.
5. What is the fourth reason?
The fourth reason is, God’s blessing of the Sabbath. Our Lord consecrates the day to His holy use. The right use of the day will result in blessings for us, “showers of blessings” will fall upon us. The wrong use of the day will result in miseries and woes. (Nehemiah 13:18)