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4th Command - Remember the Sabbath

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Introduction

Good morning, good to see you all here today. It is a great day to be in the house of the Lord.
Today we come back to our sermon series on the 10 commandments, and we have looked at the first 3 thus far in our time worshipping.
You shall have no other gods before me
You shall not make for yourself any idols
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in Vain
And today we come to the fourth commandments, it is the last of the commandments that speak to our relationship in front of God,
Remember last week I spoke to you about the the vertical and horizontal applications of the 10 commandments....... explain.
So today we some the 4th, which says this....
Exodus 20:8–11 ESV
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Now it seems that this commandment is fairly simple and straight forward. But there is a great explanation tied to it.... the reasoning is simple but at times I think people struggle with this command.
Exodus 20:8 ESV
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Think about this for a second.... with all the commandments, why is this difficult for us to hang on to at times? I think the answer is fairly straight forward....
We wrestle with self at times… Our desires, our focus… verses God’s will.
It can be difficult, obedience is difficult..... because it requires us to let go and embrace God’s expectations.
maybe we must consider this
So lets begin this morning and lets focus on a few thoughts this morning....

1. God says Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.....

So the command is fairly straight forward my friends, God tells us , commands us to remember there is a day, just one day mind you that is set aside for Him, for His will and pleasure.
As such; we are commanded to keep it, and to keep it holy.
So lets ask a few questions to help us understand what God intends for us....
What is the Sabbath, why is it holy, there are some thoughts we must consider....
A. The first one is this… what is the Sabbath
So what is the Sabbath.... The word Sabbath means to cease or stop, to rest from action.
The Sabbath originates from the creation story itself, so lets look over to Genesis chapter 2
Genesis 2:1–3 ESV
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
Genesis 2 ESV
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Genesis 1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Ok,...God was at work, he created, labored if you will for 6 days and then the 7th day was different…
When God finished his act of creating He stopped and the Bible says He ceased or rested.... But do not think that He stopped or rested from His work for the simple reason that he was tired, exhausted and needed to stop his activity. That he needed to be refreshed… oh no!
Genesis 2 ESV
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Let me share with you what the prophet Isaiah said about God.... Chapter 40:28
So when God finished his act of creating He stopped and the Bible says He ceased or rested.... But do not think that He stopped or rested from His work for the simple reason that he was tired, exhausted and needed to stop his activity.
Isaiah 40:28 ESV
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
So what does the word rest really mean..... what is being said here......
The word rest here does not refer to exhaustion or needing to stop work so that one might recovery his strength. No it refers simply to the action of stopping what one were doing. It means to be inactive or to refrain from working.
God stopped because over 6 days he created, worked and called to life, man and beast, fowl and fish, insect and reptile and so forth......... and at the end of 6 days he was done, finished… and he stopped or rested.
And then you have the Sabbath. the Sabbath means to cease or to stop from activity. I tell you my friends that God was done. There was nothing else to complete, He was finished.
So what else?................
When you look at the command of God, see the thrust of it… it is a command, do you see it.
Also understand there is a command associated with it… do you see it?
God tells us to remember....
B. Remember the Sabbath....
The Lord tells Moses to instruct the people to remember Sabbath, The Sabbath came at the end of 6 days.. So after God has created he set aside this time and called for it to be remembered.
Remembering is a part of the maintaining something incredible when hang onto what God is calling us to doing...
Remembering does not infer that someone forgot… there is no word for forgot in the Hebrew language when one is speaking of God and his ways. The truth is one either does or does not.
So if you come across the word forget, it means one was just disobedient. It wasn’t like they didn’t remember, no… they choose to act differently than God had established.
You see it is not I forgot to keep the sabbath, or some other part of the law, no… it is that I choose to be disobedient.
So God has called us to do… do not let it leave our minds. Hold on to it.
The Sabbath day is special....

2. What About the Church, Why Don’t We Keep the Sabbath?

So God has called us to keep the Sabbath day, but the New Testament church has sought to do something differently.
Why do we push away the Sabbath day itself and worship on the first day of the week?
Well lets take a little lesson into history of the church....
Now we know that what God first ordained was a creation ordinance, it is seen in the book of Genesis and then the Lord reiterates it as He brings His people up and out of the land of Egypt.
There at Mount Sinai, God enters into a covenant with His people. Just as He called Abraham, so God is calling his people, the children of Israel to be his people and He will be their God.
And it is at the mountain of God, Mt Sinai, that God ratifies this covenant. This scene is where we are today in our sermon text, He has established the covenant, they have received it and now God is giving the law.
Now the command of God was strict, lets go back to our text....
Exodus 20:8–11 ESV
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
The law was strict, and when you look at the command, it was the father’s responsibility to ensure that his family did not break the law.
Verse 10 says - 10 “but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.”
Look at it --- You, your son, your daughter, your male and female servants, and no one who is visiting and yes, not even the livestock is supposed to be out working,
There was to be no one who was given the right to work, man or beast, free or slave, natural or foreign person… no one was to act differently my friends.
God even gave regulatory laws to what is happening…
Exodus 31:14–15 ESV
14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death.
Numbers 20:15 ESV
15 how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. And the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers.
Even to gather sticks to build a fire was prohibited....
God even told them not to gather sticks on the Sabbath
Numbers
Numbers 15:32–36 ESV
32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Exodus 20:15 ESV
15 “You shall not steal.
Sin has consequences my friends, … Do we really understand that today?
So the law was difficult, it was burdensome, it was hard… So what about the church today? If this is where OT was… how did we get to here?
So the law was difficult, it was burdensome, it was hard...
One thing perhaps we forget about is the truth that the Old Testament and all that is in it is meant to teach us about God’s plan, to push us to the New Testament and the coming of Jesus.
I want you to know that everything changed because of Jesus.
As sin came into the world because of the first Adam, so sin and death ended with the second Adam ...
John 19:30 ESV
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Because of that pivotal event, the church determined that for Christians under the new covenant, the day of worship and celebration of the Lord’s grace in Jesus Christ was to be the first day of the week, Sunday: “From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, [the Sabbath] was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath”
Because of that pivotal event, the church determined that for Christians under the new covenant, the day of worship and celebration of the Lord’s grace in Jesus Christ was to be the first day of the week, Sunday: “From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, [the Sabbath] was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath”
Becasue of Jesus death and burial and resurrection the whole world changed.
Some all this time the period of God’s rest, i am not sure it is a time to rest since we have so much work to do before the coming of the Lord. But nonetheless, we are at a time that while we are at work, we are awaiting the coming of Jesus.
We are awaiting a new heaven and a new earth.... we are waiting for the reality of heaven. He have received Jesus, we have the promise that has been given to us… but we are waiting for it to be made personal in that we will see it with our eyes and body for on that day we will be changed.
But .... the church decided to do things a bit differently until that day...
tells us that one the first day of the week Jesus arose from the dead…
John 20:1 ESV
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
In honor of the day that our Lord raised from the dead, the early church began to worship on the first day of the week. In fact we see it mentioned in the Scriptures...
1 Corinthians 16:2 ESV
2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
Revelation 1:10 ESV
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet
So Jesus was raised from the dead, but 50 days later we know that the Holy Spirit was poured out on man as the church waited in the upper room.
Acts 2:1–2 ESV
1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
And as Daniel Hyde once said
Just as on the first day of creation God made light and separated it from the darkness, we gather on the first day of the week to celebrate the light of the gospel in Jesus Christ, who has separated us from the world of the darkness of sin.
Now Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. As such the people of God, the New Testament believers rest on the first day of the week and work the following 6 days, we look back on the finished work of Jesus on that first day.
Now Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. As such the people of God, the New Testament believers rest on the first day of the week and work the following 6 days, we look back on the finished work of Jesus
That first day of the week’s rest is a reminder each week of the eternal rest that is coming to us when the Kingdom of God is revealed with the coming of Jesus back to the earth to rapture His church.

3. Keep the the Day of the Lord Holy

Now lets consider this thought today, we are called to keep the Lord’s day as holy.
Now wait a minute Preacher, we are talking about the ten commandments, the Lord says Keep the sabbath day as holy, that is Saturday… if the commandment says this.. why do we worry about Sunday?
Remember our passage today
Remember our passage today
Exo 20
The first day of the week was the day on which our Lord rose from the dead (; cf. ). The first day of the week is called “the Lord’s day” (; cf. ). The first day was the day on which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church (). Just as on the first day of creation God made light and separated it from the darkness, we gather on the first day of the week to celebrate the light of the gospel in Jesus Christ, who has separated us from the world of the darkness of sin (, ; ; ; ).
Exodus 20:8–11 ESV
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
So as the New Testament church, what are we doing, and how do we keep the Lord’s day as holy.
So as the early church started worshipping on the first day of the week in honor of the resurrection of Jesus. This we have already established my friends.
The message is the same, it is setting aside a day where He; our Lord is the focus and not us.
The church meets on Sunday, we have chosen to set aside this day for the purpose of worship, instruction and to give praise and honor unto the Lord, this is the day of rest.
But the problem is this… we do not rest.
I remember growing up and the only things that were open on Sunday was the hospitals and their related services, the police and fire stations and the prisons and of course our churches. Everything else was closed....
But suddenly the so called “needs of society”has dictated the policies of so many...
Now please here me I am not trying to be legalistic, I am saying we have gotten used to having everything available to meet our “so called needs” and if we are not careful the church, the first day of the week becomes something that is convenient, when it fits our schedule.
So here is a way we can honor the Lord.....
Remember this day is set aside for Him, for his worship, for the blessing of remembering His great work in our life… not only creation but the salvation we have in Jesus. To re-emphasize what His holiness means… He is holy… as such, worship Him
It is the setting aside of true priorities, making Him first in our life
It is a witness to the world
It is a day of rest, God knows we need to stop and rest… we are too busy.
Instruction to our children
I want to challenge you to stop and slow down, and remember this day is for man, Jesus said the sabbath was made for man. but make a commitment to God.
That the Lord’s day belongs to Him. I am going to make the Lord the prioritiy of this day. It is him first… If I have to work on the Lord’s day… then I will set aside another day to do the same.
And certainly there is no worship for Him....
You need to slow down, you need to rest and you need to remain second, so that He is first!!
How do you remember the Sabbath?
Pray
Exodus 20 ESV
1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” 18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. 22 And the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. 26 And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.’
Exodus 20
20
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