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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

4th Way to Delight in the Lord

As a child, I thought the 10 Commandments were simply a set of rules to follow. Then, I discovered I couldn't keep the rules, leading me to Christ for my righteousness. Then, the 10 Commandments no longer condemn, but show us the character of God. As a believer, I can look to these laws to see how to please the Father. For if Christ never once violated these laws, and my desire is to look more like Him, then these laws help me know Him.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; {in it} you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the 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.

When the sabbath is mentioned, most people immediately ask the question, "Saturday or Sunday?" While some are legitimately confused by this issue (nothing a little understanding of the apostles actions can't cure, but I digress), others ask this question to deflect attention from their conscience (similar to John 4:19-21). But just how Jesus points the woman to God the Father, this command points us directly to God as well. He rested on the seventh day, therefore we should honor the sabbath.

Jesus explained that the sabbath was created for man, not the other way around. This explains that God did not need to rest, but rather He chose to rest so that it would teach us. But what was the lesson God desired to teach us?

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

In this passage (Actually, context is critical, and these are two really cool chapters.), the author explains that "the rest" not only speaks of God's rest from creation, nor the "land of rest" they enter. David himself, experiencing both the day of rest and living comfortably in the land of rest, begs the people not to harden their hearts and to enjoy the rest from God. So what is that rest?

The author says that entering His rest also means resting from our work. Sadly, most see the sabbath command as antiquated. Rarely do we mention it, nor treat it with any relevance. However, on the seventh day of earth's history, God gave a 24 hour lesson that our relationship with Him is not of works, but of rest. God gave Adam life, a wife, a perfect earth and work. Adam earned none of those, but they were given to him. Man's sin does not change the character of God. Therefore, after Adam's sin, God gave them garments, a type of the sacrifice of Christ. The sabbath flies right in the face of open theists, again proving God's plan was established before the foundation of the world.

Therefore, rest is worship. Even our sleep can be worship to God. It reminds us of two things:
    We are not like God. We must rest. He trandscends us.
    Rest is a mirror of the gospel. We can not strive our way to salvation. We must repent and trust Christ's work to enter His rest.
Therefore, a sabbath is not about taking one day off a week, but more about our heart. Why do we work? Do we see that we work because it has been given to us, or do we work believing we are earning something? Do we come to Christ with a heart of rest?

Most see the Law as work, rules we must keep to obtain favor. Yet, right in the heart of these "rules" God demands that we rest...and in sin, we continue to strive.

[Other commandments: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]


  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger Brad said…

    I've yet to understand how Romans 14:5 and Colossians 2:16-17 can amount to anything less than a full abrogation of the Old Testament sabbath command. I'm open.

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    i think each of those verses support this. it isn't the observation of a particular day that matters, it is the point behind that day, and the condition of your heart...rest or striving?

    (i think your verses also substantiate why we are not dishonoring the sabbath by corporately worshipping on Sunday.)


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