Title: The Need for Sabbath
Focus: Because God rested on the seventh day, he blessed it and designated that his creation should also enter into "rest" periodically, such as the sabbath days and sabbath years. This "rest" is more than a rest from physical exhaustion because God's own rest did not involve getting tired. The rest is a reflection on, and enjoyment of God's wonderful gifts he has created. In other words, it was a time to remember and refocus. Even though the command for Sabbath was done away with, the need for it still remains.
Function: To motivate the hearers to slow down and do less in life in order to focus on what is really important which includes God's blessing of family, substinence, and his son.
Text: Gen 16:1-5; Eccl 11:10-12:6
Intro: 1. Do you enjoy time off? How many enjoyed the Christmans break? a. May not have had a lot of time off from work b. But nice because life seems to slow down some for many 2. Spend lots of time with kids, family, etc. 3. Now its back to the old routine 4. Does the Bible have anything to say about time off? I. Did you know that God endorses time off? (Gen 2:1-2) A. Creation completed in 1:31 B. What does God do next? 1. He rests! a. What? I thought God was all powerful! b. It like rest I used to have when I had 67 Mustang - Used to wash and wax it - After done, I used to sit back and just look at it c. That what God did, he sat back and enjoyed it 2. But it doesn't stop there (Gen 2:3) a. God blessed 7th day and sanctified it b. What does it mean that he sanctified it? C. ILL: From Eph 5:25-26 1. Christ santified the church as a man santifies his wife 2. I know a lot of women, but my wife is special 3. I have sancitifed her, set her apart a. I don't treat her same way I treat others b. She get's special treatment c. Her wishes considered before any other womans D. That is what God did to the seventh day 1. There are several other days 2. This one is special 3. So what is special about this day? II. Exodus tells us it meant practically (Ex 20:8-11) A. Notice more verses devoted to this than anything else B. Verse reveals several things about the seventh day 1. It is called a "shabbat" a. Word means "rest" or as a verb, "to cease" b. Related to Hebrew word for seven (Sheva) c. All people and animals to rest on the shabbat 2. There is more than just a special seventh "day" (Ex 23:10-12) a. There is also a sabbath year b. Even the ground rests! c. Add the year Jubilee in Lev 25, and the festivals d. They spent a LOT of time resting C. I'm sure there was a lot of work that needed to get done 1. If you a farmer, there is ALWAYS work to do 2. Who has time to rest, except in the winter D. But God did not make rest anoption (Ex 31:12-17) 1. To profane means to treat as common a. There was a man in Num 15:32ff who profaned it b. He gathered sticks. Was it really a big deal? c. They stoned him for it 2. The Sabbath was a sign. a. A sign of what? That he is Yahweh that sancifies them? b. How does the Sabbath show this? 3. Deut will help to answer that question III. Deuteronomy adds another motive clause (Dt 5:12-15) A. It is the same command, but with an additional motive clause 1. They to remember they were a slave 2. God released them from hard, cruel, endless slave labor 3. Sabbath a day to remember this B. This reveals a couple of things about our God 1. He is Lord, but not a cruel tyrant 2. He not only approves of, but commands rest 3. The rest is intended to recharge both physically and spiritually a. Part of what is involved in Sabbath is rememberance b. Remember God's blessing - re-focus C. Sabbath became a rythym for all of life going back to creation 1. God santified work - You shall work or six days 2. God sanctified rest - Rest on the seventh day, seventh year 3. Rest on year of jubilee, festivals to celebrate, etc. D. Unlike the nations around them, Torah provide good life for ALL 1. Include slaves, animals, even the land itself 2. Sabbath supposed to be a "sign" - Says something of God IV. Is there anything of value for the Christian in all of this? A. Sabbath went the way of the sacrifices and other things B. (Matt 11:28-30) - If come to Jesus he will give you rest. How? 1. You exchange your yoke and burden for his a. His yoke and burden is light b. How can that be? 2. His yoke/ burdern consists ONLY of what is important a. He never frets over stock market b. He did not work endless hours of overtime c. He didn't take out second and third mortgage to finance a particular type of life style d. He didn't wear himself trying to "fit in" to trends and fads 3. Each of us is a branch, he is the vine, God is the vinedresser a. Christ centered life means pruning b. Some things sap your strength and ability to bear fruit c. They are pruned away, and WHAT a relief! d. They you bear fruit by havin less crowded in your life C. ILL: Chinese scholar cam to US 1. His host said, "if we hurry can catch next train and save ourselves three minutes 2. Answer: "And what significant thing we accomplish in that three minutes? No answer D. Even though shabbat was nailed to cross, need for rest was not 1. Do you need to do some pruning in your life? 2. Are there pursuits that are sapping your strength for God 3. Are there activities that keep you from being a good father, mother, child, Christian? Invitation