Why the Fourth Commandment Holds the Key to Heaven: Part II

Israel was on the precipice, and they blew it.

They had come so far only to let fear rule them at the penultimate hour.

Had they only trusted in God, they would have—at long last—had rest. Instead they gave in to fear and turned their backs on the LORD.

Last time
 we looked at the Fourth Commandment as a metaphor: our six days’ work is to be obedient and remain faithful to God. The seventh day is rest that only God can provide—heaven.

Allow me to continue that metaphor for another week with a cautionary tale from the Old Testament.

Why the Fourth Commandment Holds the Key to Heaven

Twice in the past fourteen months my family and I have traveled to Florida by car. (You’re not getting me on a plane with three young kids—especially my own.) But here’s the best part:

We drove straight through.

Ready for some rest after a long road trip

Now if you’re coming from, say, Alabama that’s not such a big deal. But we drove from Norman, Oklahoma—a twenty-hour trip.

We’re talking a full day in the car.

With three kids.

I cannot say I recommend it per se, but it was the right decision for us: it saved time, saved money on hotel and saved money on food because we ate meals in the car.

Both times we did it, getting there was much easier than getting back.


On the way there we were fueled by excitement. We were fueled by the promise of a week of fun.

But we also had the promise of rest.

We knew once we got there, we would have a week of relaxation (as much as a parents with three children can).

On the way back?

Not so much.

We would have to go back to the grind—back to work, back to responsibility.

Our lives are kind of like a road trip: exciting at times, grueling at others. But just like my family's road trips to Florida, we too have the promise of rest once we reach our destination:

. . . the promise of entering his rest still stands . . . Hebrews 4:1

But God's rest is eternal, and there is no return trip.

Our journey on earth, though tough at times, is totally bearable because we have that promise.

The Fourth Commandment as a Metaphor

So where does the Fourth Commandment fit in to all of this?

While I do believe that the commandment to honor the Sabbath is literal, and that it is still relevant (more on that in two weeks), I also believe that the Fourth Commandment is a metaphor—one that demonstrates the key to eternal life:

Why We Often Take God's Love for Granted

Before Katie and I got into the child-rearing business (8 hugs/hour), I had copious amounts of free time.

When the work day was done, I was done.

That left over five hours per day to do whatever the hell I wanted.

You know what I did with that time?

Why the Fourth Commandment Holds the Key to Peace

Have you ever tried to sleep when you were stressed out about something? How did that work out?

Believe me, I’ve been there.

One time I lost three thousand dollars.