Summary: Sabbath is a time to remember what we were and why we are no longer what we were! We have a Deliverer! We have a Rescuer! The bondage that we’ve been released from is no less dramatic than the bondage that the Israelites were delivered from in Egypt!
Sabbath: A Time to Remember
Scripture Text: Deuteronomy 5.12-15
As you may remember, …we’re devoting our attention to the subject of “Sabbath-keeping” ~ What does it mean to ‘keep’ Sabbath?
There’s-really a-lot-of-material contained-within the Sabbath-commandment of Deuteronomy 5… But, let’s focus our attention on the last verse because there’s a very important word, there: Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
The key-word here is: Remember. Remember…
Memory is a big-deal. There are web-sites devoted to memory improvement. There are games to help children develop memory-skills. And, of-course, memory-loss is a terrible-experience for stroke and Alzheimer’s-victims. Memory…
Modern psychology differentiates between short-term memory and long-term memory. An interesting exercise in testing short-term memory is this: [Flash the following letters up on the screen:
FBIPHDTWAIBM] WAIT 5 SECONDS THEN GO TO A BLANK SCREEN
Can anyone recall the letters?
I’d be surprised if anyone could... However, when the string of letters is broken down into chunks of familiar letters, …It becomes much easier to remember the letters in the proper order. Check it out…
PUT UP THE NEXT SCREEN AND READ:
FBI PHD TWA IBM,
Short-term memory is very helpful and necessary to daily-living. This ability to recall ~ even recent-experiences and new-information ~ is part of short-term memory, …and the difficulty is not simply remembering what has recently occurred, …but in shifting that-information from short-term memory to long-term memory. If information merely stays in short-term memory, it will be lost. Long-term memory is essential to being rooted, conscientious, knowledge and wise. But, how does information move from short-term memory to long-term memory? ~ That is the million-dollar question!
The answer: repetition! It’s through repetition that we move thoughts, ideas, experiences and memories from short-term, …into the long-term storage banks of our minds. Part of the genius of Sabbath-observance is that it’s repeated every week. And in-this-way, …we review and reinforce and we move information from short-term memory into long-term memory! We need repetition
But specifically, what do we need to repeat? What information is so precious that we don’t want it to be lost in short-term memory? What is the info that – through repeatedly observing Sabbath – …what is the information we want to move from short-term into long-term memory?
I. Windshields and Rearview Mirrors
We remember what the Lord has done for us, …we remember what the Lord is doing for us, …we remember what the Lord has planned for us. We remember : “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.”
One of the sad-consequences of the mindset of people today is that the past doesn’t matter. We get so-involved… so wrapped-up by the present-moment,
- with all its pressures,
- with all its demands,
- with all its feelings,
- with all its desires,
We are so-consumed, …so preoccupied by the present that we can’t grasp the relevance – …the importance – of the past.
As Christians, we must see the importance of the past. We must remember. We remember the mighty-acts of God throughout the history of Israel. We remember those mighty-acts because it reminds us that God gets involved in our world, …He gets involved in what’s-happenin’ with His people. The past reminds us that God cares.
We remember the mighty-act of God in the person of Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Jesus’ coming was a historical event. History is important to remember – …especially, God’s historical actions.
The Bible is like a family photo-album ~ It contains stories that are like snapshots of God’s love, …His mercy, …His desire for relationship with us, …they tell us of God’s mighty-strength and His good-plans. And by reviewing and reminding ourselves of-these-things, …we end-up being reminded that He has intervened on our behalf, He has worked in our hearts and minds, He has spoken to and directed us. Isn’t it important to remember those events?
Do you remember when God first entered your world
- when He told you that He loved you?
- when He offered you the gift of salvation?
- when He took you by the hand and welcomed you into His family?
Do you remember? Do you remember that time when He heard your cry and comforted you? Do you remember that time when you didn’t know where to turn, and all of a sudden a door was opened? Do you remember the time when things were crashing in all around you, but God was there, …and He gave you a peace in the midst of the storm – …a peace that you just couldn’t hardly believe or explain? Do you remember?