Summary: The Sabbath is not only about rest - it’s about trusting God. If we kept the Sabbath, we wouldn’t need to rest.
A Roman Catholic priest, a Pentecostal pastor and a Jewish rabbi were talking one day about their belief in miracles.
The Roman Catholic said that he did believe in miracles and illustrated this by telling of a recent incident when he had flown to Durban. As the aircraft began it’s final approach a tremendous storm broke, the rain was pouring down, there were great peals of thunder and the plane was being buffeted about. The priest had prayed for a miracle and "for a hundred metres around the plane there was a great stillness and the plane landed safely".
The Pentecostal too said that he believed in miracles. When on holiday in Cape Town he and his wife had taken the trip out to Robben Island, on their return to Cape Town harbour however a great wind suddenly rose and the waves were very soon metres high. They feared for their lives and the priest had prayed for a miracle - "for a hundred metres around the boat there was a great stillness and the boat arrived safely in the harbour".
The rabbi said that he had come to believe in miracles through an event that had taken place the previous Saturday. During the Sabbath service a visitor from America had arrived with a suitcase full of ten dollar notes which he gave to the synagogue. "There was a problem, how to count all this money on the Sabbath? So, I prayed for a miracle, and for a hundred metres all round the suitcase it was Wednesday!".
Title: Keep the Sabbath
Propositional Statement: If we kept the Sabbath, we wouldn’t need to rest
William Barclay tells this story: The first Sunday train from Glasgow to Edinburgh ran on the 13th of March, 1842. Our contemporary journalist, wrote that it was filled with peaceful and respectable persons, gliding quietly away on its mission. The Presbytery of Glasgow, however, denounced the running of Sunday trains as "a flagrant violation of the law of God as expressed in the fourth commandment. A grievous outrage on the religious feelings of the people of Scotland. A powerful temptation to the careless and indifferent to abandon the public ordinances of grace, and most disastrous to the quiet of the rural parishes along the line of the railways by the introduction into every Sabbath of many of the profligate and dissipated to inhabit the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. In Edinburgh a threatening battery of ministers, (quite an image there, a ‘threatening battery of ministers,’ picture it in your mind) lined the platforms and informed the detraining passengers that they have just bought tickets to hell.
What does it mean to keep the Sabbath?
Ex 20:8-11 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
1. Do we need to rest?
a. What do you think?
b. Yes, we do need to rest … but we need to work from rest, not rest from work.
c. Tim Noakes: most important part of training is rest
2. Does God need to rest?
a. Is 40:28 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
3. So then what was happening in Gen?
a. Ge 2:1-3 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
b. The word translated ‘rest’ does not mean ‘rest’ as we understand it.
Hebrew is Shabath which means ‘cease’
God created everything so he ceased from creating.
“everything was made, it was perfect … so He stopped making things”
c. Is 58:13-14 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.