Summary: Principles about the Sabbath.
October 17, 2002
October 2, 2002
Throughout this week we have studied different topics. Tonight, we will learn some of the biblical principles about the Sabbath.
A. What are these principles?
1) These are principles that God Himself have ordained.
2) Simple, yet profound.
3) But these principles, if learned properly, transcend more than just the keeping of the Sabbath.
4) It gives us answers as to how we came here, why we are here, and where are we going.
B. May God give us wisdom as we study these principles.
A. One of the centers of contentions
1) Jewish economy
a) Within the Jewish economy, the question about the Sabbath revolves on the keeping of the Sabbath.
b) How to keep the Sabbath properly was the main concern of the religious leaders. The question was not the "when" of the Sabbath but the "how" of the Sabbath.
c) In their attempt to keep the Sabbath properly, religious leaders have devised different regulations on the keeping of the Sabbath.
d) On the Sabbath commandment at all, they have added more than five hundred different regulations.
1. These regulations ranges from the question on how far a person can travel on the Sabbath to the question of what a person can do on the Sabbath.
a. That is why in the New Testament we read some remarks such as a “Sabbath journey,” etc., as a reflection of the regulations that the religious leaders have added from one generation to the next.
e) Consequently, with all the added regulations, the keeping of the Sabbath had become a burden than a delight.
2) Christian Church
a) Within the Christian church, the question about the Sabbath is no longer how to keep the Sabbath, but when is the Sabbath.
1. The question focuses not so much on the principles behind the keeping of the Sabbath, but on the relevance of the Sabbath in our time.
2. And this question about the “when” of the Sabbath is a by-product of a much bigger question—Are God’s Commandments immutable or mutable?
3. Does the Christian church have the right to change God’s command?
4. Are there any in God’s commandments that apply only to the Jewish people and are therefore, no longer relevant within the Christian economy?
b) Within the Christian church, many believe that the Sabbath principles, i.e., resting from our labors, spending time with God, are still applicable in our time. But “when” do you rest from your labor, when do you worship God, has become an individual prerogative. We call this principle “When-it-is-convenient-to-serve-God principle.”
c) The overall principle within the Christian church when it comes to the Sabbath is—“I will choose my Sabbath.”
3) Tonight, we are going to learn that keeping the Sabbath is NOT an individual choice.
4) We will learn that we CANNOT separate the principles of the Sabbath to its application.
B. Principles of the Sabbath. Why do we keep the Sabbath exactly as God have told us in His Law?
1) Sabbath is a memorial of God’s creation
a) Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
b) Other words for memorial
c) Sabbath is a monument of God’s creation
1. Illustration: monument for fallen heroes
a) Jose Rizal’s monument in Luneta park
b) Lapu-Lapu’s monument in Mactan
c) Douglas McArthur’s monument in Leyte
2. These monuments are erected in the exact site where the events have taken place.
d) Sabbath is a remembrance of God’s creation
1. It is not surprising that the Sabbath commandment begins with the word “Remember.”
2. The word “remember” does not simply means putting into memory God’s commandments, or reciting the days of creation, or remembering God as the Creator of the world.
3. It is not simply reliance on our memory to remember certain things. Because the truth of the matter is—we often forget.
4. The Sabbath commandment, though it begins with the word “remember,” does not depends its applicability to our lives, or to our time, on the basis of whether we remember it or not.
5. Thesaurus gives us some other words for the word “remember.”
6. Moses’ words to God’s people clearly define this point about the word “remember.” What does it mean to “remember?”
i. Deuteronomy 11:18-21, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.”