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02(Exodus 20,08-11) Remember the Sabbath

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AW Tozier said, “God is not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced to the methods of our machine age. The man who would know God must give time to Him.”

I.    Days of Rest in the Bible.

A.    Creation Rest (Genesis 2:1-3).

1       Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.

2       And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

3       Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

        God did not rest because He was tired. He had completed the work.

B.    Covenant Rest. (Exodus 31:13,16,17; see also Ezekiel 20:12)

13     “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

16     Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.

17     It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

1.     The covenant was a sign of God’s special relationship with Israel.

2.     But by time of Christ, it had been obscured by endless rules, becoming not a day of rest but one of anxiety and tension.

3.     The Sabbath rest eluded them because they had lost their relationship with God.

C.    Calvary Rest. (Hebrews 4:2,3,9,10)

2       For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

3       For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

9       There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

10     For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

1.     The work of Christ was to live a sinless life, go to the cross and provide redemption. Once completed, he said “It is Finished.”

2.     Hebrews tells us once completed he sat down at the Father’s right hand, and invites all others to enter that same rest through faith in Him.

3.     Our rest is complete in Christ alone.

4.     everyone of us have violated the Sabbath by failing to enter into God’s rest. God does not call us to a set of rules, but invites us to enter into rest. (Matt 11:28)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

II.  Times of Rest.

A.    Time for Refreshing. (Exodus 31:17). (1st day of week; Jesus arose, met His disciples, churches met)

1.     “Preparation Day” - planning.

a.     “Six days you shall do your work”.

b.     Sunday should not sneak up on us or be a hectic time. Prepare for it.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

c.     Plan it so that it refreshes. Gives strength, focus. (Psalm 23).

2.     Problems.

a.     Computers – never sleep workplace.

b.     Convenience – never close community.

c.     Concessions – compromise to get ahead, to cover our poor financial decisions, to feed the greed.

3.     Principle.

a.     We need to rest and refresh ourselves. Burning the candle at both ends does not make us brighter.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God…

b.     Our manufacturer recommends it. He established it for us.

Mark 2:27 The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

c.     It was a sign of the covenant made with Israel (31:12-17).

B.    Time for Reflecting.

1.     Take Inventory.

Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.

2.     Count your blessings – name them one by one.

3.     Search your heart – correct the wicked attitudes of last week.

4.     Have you covered grace with rituals? (Mark 2:23-3:6).

C.    Time for Rejoicing.

1.     Not a “day off”. Just the opposite. Our work unimpressive- depend on Him.

2.     Remember: celebrate His resurrection from dead. Rejoice in His presence.

3.     Worship (Isaiah 58:13-14). Give the whole day to God.

Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, 14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

4.     Day to come together, talk, laugh, enjoy one another.

5.     Not a day of legalism, drudgery, bondage, fighting.

6.     In New covenant, it is not the commandment to keep the Sabbath that is reiterated, but the lesson of the Sabbath. That productivity depends not on us but is a gift from God. Some live like they don’t believe that, and depend on themselves.

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