Summary: To note the importance of resting with God.

The 10 Commandments #4:

Seek Rest with God

Text: Exodus 20:8-11

Thesis: To note the importance of resting with God.


(1) “Two words summarize the lives of most Americans – hurry and worry” (R. Atchley, Sinai Summit 82).

(2) The 4th command seems to be the one that is out of place in the list.

(3) Too often, we live like children fighting sleep.

(4) Let us note the importance of seeking rest with God.


I. What was the purpose of the command then?

A. The Sabbath rest was a safeguard.

1. It teaches us that there is more to life than work.

2. It allows us to rest our bodies.

3. Do you remember Harry Chapin’s song “Cat’s in the cradle?”

4. We must commend Chic-Fil-A’s owner, Truett Cathy, who closes on Sundays in order to give a day off for the employees.

B. The Sabbath rest was a reminder.

1. We are able to reflect upon God and His mighty works.

2. In Luke 4:16, we note that Jesus’ going into the temple on the Sabbath “was his custom.”

3. “The day then was looked on as a cessation from labor, a pause, a rest, but this with a view to its being dedicated to God, an opportunity for getting to know God and for worshipping him” (W. Scott, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology).

C. The Sabbath rest was a sign.

1. “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you’” (Exod. 31:13).

2. Observing the Sabbath “demonstrated to the nations around them the difference between grasping for life and being given life by a loving creator” (R. Atchley 91).

3. Do you remember Chariots of Fire? In this movie, Eric Liddell chose not to run in the 1922 Olympic games in Paris.

4. “People of character resist the temptation to compromise their values in order to secure their future” (92).

II. What is the purpose of the command now?

A. Today, we live under the authority of the new covenant.

1. We cannot bind the rules and regulations of Sabbath for today.

2. Also, the Lord’s day is now the first day of the week.

B. However, we may still learn some great principles from this OT command.

1. We should learn to number our days aright (Psa. 90:12).

2. We should imitate the example of Jesus and rest at times (cf. Mark 6:30, 31).

3. We should make the most of every opportunity (Col. 4:5b).

4. We should “organize and execute around priorities” (S. Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People).

5. We should be still and know that God is (Psa. 46:10).


(1) We should learn to seek rest with God.

(2) The only true rest is to be found in Heaven through Christ (cf. Heb. 4:9).

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