Narrative for Site 4 on the Sabbath Trail
by Pastor Merlin Knowles
The Sabbath at Sinai Mountain is a very powerful picture of the creator God coming down to speak to His children. Something significant about the 10 commandments that is often missed however, is what goes before the very first commandment. God says, "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage".
In the beginning God created Adam and Eve. After He created them, he gave them the Sabbath as an opportunity to worship Him and celebrate His creative acts. Two thousand years after creation, at Sinai Mountain, before speaking the 10 commandments, He reminded His children of their special relationship to Him. He announced that He is the Lord, their God, reminding them that He is the Creator. Then He continues by saying He is the One who brought them out of Egypt -- their Savior. Before God commands, He saves.
After creating and saving, He asks them to trust and obey Him by keeping His commandments. Keeping those commandments is not to be out of fear, rather, out of love for what God has done. The first 4 commandments protect our relationship with God and describe our love to Him. They can be summarized as, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind". The last 6 commandments describe our love and actions toward others. They can be summarized by the phrase: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself". The commandments are all about protecting loving relationships, first with God and then with others. In the heart of the 10 commandments is the 4th commandment, the Sabbath, which ties these 2 relationships together - love to God and love for humanity. Care for the weakest and most helpless of humanity, and even the animals, is guaranteed by the Sabbath. The Sabbath really is all about God's love and our response to it.
The six stone markers above are featured on the following pages:
Lower left, Marker 1 Sabbath - At Sinai Mountain
Upper left, Marker 2 You Shall love the Lord
Upper row, Marker 3 Ten Commandments 1 - 4
Upper row, Marker 4 Ten Commandments 5 - 10
Upper row, Marker 5 You Shall Love Your Neighbor
Lower Right, Marker 6 God is Love and His Love Proceeds