Billy Graham’s Answer: What is the Sabbath really for?

By   •   June 22, 2015

sunrise or sunset over ocean

Q: A friend and I were discussing the Bible the other day, and we got to talking about how to observe the Sabbath. Why did God tell us to set aside one day out of seven? Is it supposed to be a day of rest, or is it supposed to be for worship and other church activities?


A: God told us to set aside one day out of seven for a very good reason: He knew we needed it. If we work all the time, not only will we wear out physically, but we’ll also neglect our relationship with God.

This is why one of the Ten Commandments says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:9-10). (The word “Sabbath,” incidentally, comes from an old Hebrew word that means to cease or stop doing something.)

This also is why we observe the Sabbath best when we use it for both rest and worship. Our bodies need rest, and that’s why the Old Testament decreed, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest” (Exodus 34:21). But our souls also need renewing—and that’s why the Sabbath also should be a time for worship and instruction in God’s Word. Jesus regularly attended worship on the Sabbath (e.g., Luke 4:14-16).

I’m afraid we’re in danger of forgetting this commandment today—but when we do, we pay a price both physically and spiritually. Instead, God loves us, and He wants to bless us by giving us rest and restoring our souls. May this be true every week for you—and every day. When we know Christ, every day is an opportunity to love Him and serve Him more.

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114 Comments

  1. Annmarie Reece says:

    Praise Him. God gives us so much. Some of us may not be wealthy nor have a dime but we have life and that is enough to praise Him. He is only asking for one day out of seven. So let us worship and exalt His holy name, let us give Him thanks and praise for everything, regardless if it’s good or bad because He is ever present in our lives. He is so wonderful and merciful and He is always there. He is our strength. We cannot do anything without Him.

  2. Stacey Graham says:

    Had mini stroke weeks ago but God has loved me through it. At one time felt alone but He has helped me to realize that I am not alone. That I can give my cares to Him. Thanks for your encouraging words and a life that I can follow.

  3. Simanga Mamba says:

    Thank you for this wonderful insights from the lips of the Most High, we thank God the Father through this ministry of Him through father Billy Graham. May the Lord continually be gracious to this ministry and to all involved, in the Name of our blessed Lord Jesus. Amen.

  4. Denise Guile says:

    Thank God for Billy Graham love listening to him always

  5. JC yip says:

    Praise the God-.

  6. Jane Murphy says:

    I am looking forward to this study, as it comes at a time when I am struggling to stay in touch with God. This should help. Thank you,

  7. Huguette Malonda says:

    May God bless you very much.

  8. Will Campbell says:

    I seek a church that preaches the truth, not politically correct words in fear of offending someone. I want the meat not the show and dance. Thanks you for your words on the Sabbath as they are spot on, why because that is what the BIBLE says. I have been a Police officer coming on 30 years and I have seen such a change in people. They are more mean, and bitter than ever before, but the BIBLE has foretold that this would happen in the latter days. I’m burnt out badly. In need of a recharge, going to try and make the time to be alone with God at least once a week. Thank you and GOD BLESS you all. Live Strong and Stand.

    1. Steve Richie says:

      Will Campbell I agree 100% with your concerns, for they are also mine.

    2. Mary Ann Mulkerin says:

      Take heart Will Campbell, God is still in control and we Christians still need to shine in this dark time. The farther people move from God, the more lost they will be. God’s Love is still the strongest power in the world. Thank you for sharing. I know lots of people who feel the same, but discouragement is one of satans favorite tools. Don’t let him use it on you. God Bless You with HIS LOVE.

    3. Brad Lewis says:

      Only Jesus Christ is the truth. Everyone else is hireling John 10. Trust in God for truth, not a church. Read your Bible, walk in the light, and then you will have the fellowship you seek.
      1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

  9. Polly Walker says:

    Thank you BGEA. God bless you .