“Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers” (Jeremiah 17:22).
Jeremiah the “weeping prophet” was told to stand at the gate of Jerusalem where the king entered and left the city, and thereafter at all the gates of the city to give this message: “Honor the Sabbath!” The people of Israel had been told “to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant” (Exodus 31:16). The Lord knew that a reinstitution of the Sabbath observance as commanded in Exodus 20:8–11, commemorating His mighty work of creation, would bring about a return of the peoples’ hearts to Him. “If thou . . . call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor Him. . . . Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Isaiah 58:13,14).
The commandment for a weekly observance, when instituted by God in Exodus 20, was prefaced with the word “remember,” which means to “mark.” As we mark each week with an observance of the very first “rest” day, it should cause us to remember that “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11), and the fact that as Creator, He is the sovereign controller of all things. As the children of Israel were drawn into idol worship, they had forgotten to observe one day in seven commemorating their absolute reliance upon and accountability to the Almighty Creator.
We, like Jeremiah, should not only remember our Creator, devoting one day in seven exclusively to Him in commemoration of His creation, but also encourage others to do so. CJH