Summary: Commandment #4 is controversial...even with Christians! But keeping it will keep you out of a lot of unnecessary burnout and pain in your life! *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
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How many of you feel tired or stressed out?
Yes, I’m tired. For several years I’ve been blaming it on middle age, iron poor blood, lack of vitamins, air pollution, water pollution.... But now, I find out, tain’t that. I’m tired because I’m overworked. The population of this country is over 200 million. Eighty-four million are retired. That leaves 116 million to do the work. There are 75 million in school, so that leaves 41 million to do the work. Of this total, there are 22 million employed by the [federal] government. That leaves 19 million to do the work. Four million are in the armed forces, which leaves 15 million to do the work. Take from that total the 14,800,000 people who work for the state and city governments, and that leaves 200,000 to do the work. There are 188,000 in hospitals, so that leaves 12,000 to do the work. Now there are 11,998 people in prisons. That leaves just 2 people to do the work. You and me. And you’re sitting there listening to this. No wonder I’m tired.
From a sermon by Chris Talton at sermoncentral.com as quoted in The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart by Chuck Swindoll, p. 319
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is holy -- a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Exodus 20:8-10 (NLT)
The word Sabbath means REST. So right here at the beginning of Creation, God established the pattern: One day in 7 is a day of rest. Now, what day of the week was this? We don’t know. Our calendar has changed since then. So what day is appropriate to be a Sabbath? The answer is: It could be any day, even though our 7th day NOW is Saturday.
As Christians, we have always believed (since the beginning) that Jesus honored Sunday in a special way by rising from the dead. So we call Sunday “The Lord’s Day”, and we celebrate that by worshipping him. I would suggest that you choose Sunday as your Sabbath (day of rest), and combine the two! Worshipping the risen Jesus, and taking a day of rest in one day.
Why would God give this command?
1. To teach us to value and enjoy his creation.
For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Exodus 20:11 (NLT)
God ceased from his creative activity on the seventh day. He didn’t really rest in the way we understand it because he didn’t need to. God’s not a physical being like us. God’s rest was a cessation of his work. Why did he do it?
He [God] rested for the same reason there are rests in music. It’s not because the musicians are tired, but because they want to have a pause for emphasis and reflection – to rejoice in what has just gone before and to let it sink in.
~ Adrian Rogers, Ten Secrets for a Successful Family, p. 73
Everything that God give us is for our appreciation and enjoyment. Look what the Bible says:
“But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17 (NLT)
2. To teach us about our own value.
How many of you have ever relaxed and felt guilty? That’s because – down deep – many of us think that we only have value if we’re producing and doing. We’ve bought into the workaholic lie.
The Sabbath is one of the Bible’s revolutionary innovations. . . ancient societies tended to regard people as worthwhile only while they were working. Leading Roman thinkers ridiculed the Sabbath, citing it as proof of Jewish laziness … In the ancient world, the Bible’s struggle to establish that human beings have value even when not producing was a difficult one.”
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life, p. 104
The Sabbath reminds us that we are human beings, not human doings.