Devotion and Commandment by Arthur Green download in iPad, ePub, pdf
Every seventh day a rest is to be taken from such work. Yahweh acted for them in delivering them from Pharaoh. But this is no ordinary rest, for it is to be a day given to Yahweh, a holy day. Yahweh asserts that His Name is not to be used in a trivial manner.
Through obedience to Yahweh's transforming word they will indeed be made into a priestly nation that mediates Yahweh's Presence to the rest of creation, including all the nations. Not to rest, and not to permit others to rest, is to go against this creation fabric.
In the meantime while the nations yet worship their own gods, both prophets encourage Israel to walk in the name of Yahweh their God. But here on Sinai a higher level of cooperation is called for than in the exodus. The Sabbath is to be a day of rest. You are not currently authenticated. In that day the way to worship, the way to be religious, was to make idols to represent one's gods.
In forbidding Israel to make an idol to represent Him, Yahweh is declaring to Israel that He is irreducible and beyond manipulation. This is the fourth and final vertical command. We will see ourselves being changed by the One who desires to do something in us and through us. It helps me to think about it this way. While asserting the primacy of Torah study and observance, they were given the key to unlock the mysterium within the mitzvot.
What is important to note is that the purpose of exodus was Sinai, the purpose of liberation was transformation into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Moses was not on top of the mountain but at the base with the people when Yahweh spoke the commandments. There were all kinds of gods and most people worshipped more than one without anyone seeing it as a problem. Here, this command is grounded in creation - God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. When it is not truly Yahweh's agenda, we have no right to put Yahweh's Name on it.
It was Yahweh's continued self-giving that has brought about this Sinai meeting. This commandment is a prohibition against more than just profanity. It was Yahweh's gracious self-giving and nothing else that brought forth the exodus.
That is the One and only One worthy of your worship. We will learn not to attempt to reduce Yahweh to being just another resource to manipulate and use towards our own agendas.