Summary: So much work to be done can we really afford to take a Sabbath... can we afford not to?
Dakota Community Church
September 13, 2009
The Field & the Force 7
The Force at Rest
I want to begin today by addressing the letter Pastor Chris read last week from the young man who was frustrated with serving God and then falling away, reading his Bible attending etc. only to tire of it and feel despair.
The hamster wheel of works has two ditches – piety and good deeds, the opposite error is not the truth. Works based righteousness always ends in one of two ways, despair or Pharisaic pride.
If you are going to be saved by works, how much Bible reading is enough? Chapter a day? Verse cards? Jewish children were expected to memorize the Torah by age 10, that’s the first five books of your Bible – memorized!
How many homeless people do you have to provide lunch for? Daily? Couple times a year?
The cure for both of these ailments is a steady diet of the good news. The gospel is the answer!
What about this idea of rest?
In every congregation there are those who need to be reminded that they need to rest; and those who are in danger of slipping into a coma they are so lethargic.
Let’s go to the word of God:
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 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.
God creates the universe in shalom, in rhythm, in peace so that everything works like it’s supposed to work. Part of this original design is the day of rest.
God is not tired, the Sabbath is a part of the design, a part of the shalom, a part of all that is good.
Sin enters and disrupts the shalom, it breaks the peace, it incurs the Wrath of God and we are banished from His presence. Things begin to spiral out of control.
Now in this spiraling, God shows up to a man named Abraham. God shows up to Abraham and here’s what He says:
“Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."”
So God shows up to Abraham and says, “I’m going to reestablish, I’m going to reconcile,
I’m going to fix, I’m going to bring back shalom, I’m going to bring back order, I’m going to bring back rhythm, and I’m going to do it through your line.”
Through one line of people, the Jews, God is going to bring back shalom. He is going to bless the whole earth through them!
To do that He sets them apart and gives them the law; now the law does two things, it makes them unique, it teaches them how things are meant to be and it shows them continually that they are wicked sinners in need of a Messiah.
A. By God’s design and the laws decree there is a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
There is just something right about holidays isn’t there?
What a great day we had as a family on Labor Day. Have you ever seen a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday in a movie and thought, “O man that is the way life is supposed to be.”
Something is woven into us that recognizes what we should have, how it should be, but we are rarely ever able to achieve it. It is God design, His law written on our hearts.
1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days."