Summary: This is part of a series through the book of Exodus. The focus of this message is the purpose for the Sabbath Day and how it applies to the New Testament Church.
The need for Rest
In this passage God gives the nation of Israel more instruction on the Sabbath
The Sabbath was instituted even before the law of God was given
Gen 2:2 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.
Gen 2:3 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.
Exd 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exd 20:10 But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:
Exd 20:11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
This passage this evening gives more information to the Israelites about the Sabbath law
not only were they to rest on the Seventh day but they were to let their land rest on the seventh year. God understands more about the earth than man does. By allowing the land to rest the soil was going to get the nutrients that it needed to be replenished and the harvest after the sabbath was going to be a much better harvest than before
The temptation for the children of Israel when they got into the promise land would be to farm the land as much as possible without any regards because they had never owned property before they had been slaves in Egypt and now in the wilderness for 40 years. But God wanted them to show restraint and get rest for themselves, for their land and for their livestock which in the end was going to bring them a greater harvest
Put yourself in their place for a moment and imagine sitting there all spring and letting your field rest when the spring rains come and the planting season comes and goes and than harvest time comes and goes , imagine the patience and trust it would take
the consequences of breaking the Sabbath day were harsh
Exd 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it [is] holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth [any] work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. E
xd 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh [is] the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth [any] work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
God who designed the earth and made us built within us a requirement for rest in order to be rejuvenated
The religious leaders turned the Sabbath all around and made a long list of rules and regulations regarding the Sabbath day and by doing so really missed the whole purpose of it which is why Jesus said
Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
I don't know if you ever took the time to consider Jesus' statement here but listen to why God made the Sabbath, he made it for man. He knew that man need 1 day a week to rest and refocus himself and his priorities
a sermon on rest is most certainty a timely message for our society today'. Lets be honest with ourselves. We want leftovers warmed up in 30 seconds, we eat fast food, drive in the fast lane. I have even heard people get upset when they were told at McDonald that there was going to be a 2 minute wait on their fries. Because of our mentality we also want the eternal truth of Gods Word condensed into a 15 minute sermon, and worship that is less than an hour. Even then we struggle with keeping our minds focused on worship. And its because we have trained ourselves to be in a hurry.
Some of the greatest mistakes and accidents that have happened in history were a result of people being overs stressed and tired. Exxon Valdez, Chernobyl, Three miles island in PA, all happened in the middle of the night. When the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airbus killing 290 people the fatigued stressed operators on the carrier misinterpreted radar data. In the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, Key NASA officials made the ill fated decision to go ahead with launch after working 20 hours straight and only getting two to three hours of sleep the night before.