RestOctober 8, 2023 | Brandon Cooper
This sermon discusses the biblical concept of Sabbath rest. The pastor explains that while the specific Sabbath day changed from Saturday to Sunday, the principle of resting one day a week remains important. True rest is found not by trying to earn salvation through work, but by receiving the free gift of rest God offers through Jesus Christ. The pastor encourages applying Sabbath rest by dedicating time to rest, community, and worshiping God rather than pridefully thinking we can accomplish everything on our own.
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Good morning church want to go ahead, grab your Bibles open up to Exodus chapter 20. We’re continuing our series on the 10 commandments looking this morning at the fourth commandment. As you’re turning there to Exodus 20, we have something of a routine in my household. So just outside our garage door in the garage, we have a box. And that’s where we put all of our recycling. So that we don’t have to walk out, you know, all the way to the bin in the backyard behind the garage with our every every can that we use that week. So it’s a great system, because then you just dump the box into the, into the big bin and all that stuff, except we never empty the box. It’s almost a challenge at this point, can we go the whole week without having to empty the box. And so it things start to stack up and you know, the cans as you toss them out there, they just land on the floor. And so I’ve gotten really creative over the weeks and months and years here. And as we do cereal boxes and things like that, you know, I’ll flatten them. And I’ll try and build up the sides of the box. So that it’s like higher and higher, get as much stuff in as possible. And I’ve found I can balance the stuff in there. All right, as long as nothing happens. But eventually something happens because I have to pick the box up to dump it into our recycling bin. And at that point. It all falls out everything just every week, you would think we would learn but no, we don’t. Okay. This is not just a problem for my recycling bin. I think this is a lovely and terrifying parable of our lives, and of our schedules. In particular, we’re just trying to build up, you know, the capacity of our lives. So we can keep shoving more and more stuff in there do more and more stuff, which is why we’re so so busy. And what inevitably happens is we can balance it all as long as nothing happens. And good luck to you on that. Because something’s always going to happen that’s going to jar the box and your schedule is going to collapse all over the garage floor. Like if time were liquid, I feel like most of us are trying to pack 36 gallons of water into a 24 gallon jug every single day. And we’re surprised that the floor is always wet around us. That lack of balance, that that failure to rest to press pause says something about us. That’s untrue. And we need to unsay that. And it says something about what we think we are what we think we can do, the capacity that we have. That’s untrue, we need to unsay it, and the Sabbath helps us unsay it. It reminds us and this is our main idea for this morning, nice and simple, but it reminds us for Christ’s sake, you need to rest, you need to rest. That’s the reminder, you need Sabbath rest. Now, for some of us, Sabbath might be a hard word, there might already be a little bit of a defensiveness bubbling up inside of you, or maybe it’s a guilt bubbling up as well. We get all of that perhaps you grew up in maybe a more legalistic household and so you know, there’s this is almost a triggering word for you. You know, Sabbath is the day when you have your face pressed up against the window watching all your friends play outside, because you weren’t allowed to and you think I want nothing to do with it. That was no good. Or probably most likely for most of us. Sabbath is just a confusing word. I don’t really understand what as a Christian, I’m supposed to do with this. Can I go out to eat on the Sabbath? Like not Chick fil A? I know. But what about the other ones? Are those fair game? Am I allowed to watch football on Sabbath? What exactly is prohibited? is probably the question we would ask when we think about Sabbath. And I would argue that that’s the wrong approach. You know, what am I not allowed to do is is rarely the right approach when it comes to the law of God’s The Sabbath is a good thing. We talked about this week one right all the commands of God they’re, they’re an expression of His goodness towards us. It is a gift of God because we need to rest so I want to ask some questions of the text. Don’t ask them questions of the Sabbath idea as we unpack this passage, kind of the what question what is the Sabbath? the how question How do we practice Sabbath rest? And then the big one is the why question of course. Why do we need this and we’ll track with our passage as we go. So let’s start first question what looking at the gift of arrest from Exodus chapter 20. Just verse eight to start with. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping Holy. It’s interesting, the command might be a little different than we think it is. The command is not keep the Sabbath day holy. The command is remember, we remember by keeping the Sabbath holy, but that word remember, it’s a calling to mind. It’s a rehearsal of certain truths that we already know. It’s a little bit like the Passover, how that function for Israel every year, they were to remember what God had done by bringing them up out of the land of slavery in Egypt and into the promised land. And we’re to remember in a similar way, as we keep Sabbath, of course, the word remember suggests that this is something they already know you don’t tell somebody to remember something that you haven’t taught them yet. So this word Sabbath had already been given. This is not the first time the Israelites had heard about it. They’re drawing on on past teaching and experience. In fact, even just a few chapters earlier, Exodus chapter 16, this is when God has begun giving them manna from heaven to feed them in the wilderness. And he says, Six days you gather, and then on the seventh day, don’t gather. And this is a daily bread kind of thing. So if you gather two days, on one day, any leftovers you have, they’re gonna be spoiled. And we maggots in and that was all fun for them to discover. Except, except on Friday, basically, on Friday, you’re gonna, you’re gonna gather two days worth and on Saturday mornings, you’re not gonna gather on Saturday, gonna be fresh, still gonna be fresh. So we read this exodus 1622, and 23. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much to Omers for each person, and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses, Moses, He said to them, This is what the Lord commanded tomorrow is to be a day of Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So they already knew this, they were already practicing this to some extent, just in terms of how they gathered mana. But actually, this idea goes back even farther all the way back to creation itself. Which is kind of an interesting thing for us to think about too, because, you know, we measure time by days and weeks and months and years. And a day, as I think you all know, is how long it takes the Earth to spin around on its axis. And a month, as the word even implies, is tied to the lunar cycle, not perfectly. But what was where it developed, at least in the year is how long it takes the Earth to go around the sun and the week has nothing whatsoever to do with anything spinning in the heavenlies. Where does the week come from? What comes from Genesis, that’s where here’s Genesis two, two, and three, by the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing so on the seventh day he rested from all His work, then God bless the seventh day and made it holy, because on it, he rested from all the work of creating, that he had done. So this seven day idea, and especially the six days of working, and one day of arresting that’s baked into the very foundation of existence, God sets apart a day to pause from working. And how important is this rhythm to God, and for his people, it’s interesting, you can probably tell just by looking at the 10 commandments in the Bible, this is actually the longest command of the 10 commandments, the most expansive involving the most people even as we’ll see that are mentioned, and even is a sign of the covenant that God is establishing with his people here at Sinai. This is the sign of the covenant that this is how you know you are a part of the people of God, here’s Exodus 31, verse 17, it will be a sign the Sabbath will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens in the earth and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed. So that six seven rhythm that we’re talking about communicates to a watching world that this is a people set apart. And it would definitely set them apart. You know, somebody’s going to show up at some point some foreigner is going to knock on the door kind of thing and go, Hey, I you know, I need you to repair my car, and they’re gonna go, I’d love to come back tomorrow. That’s not common back then. So this is going to set them okay. This is a different sort of people. I wonder what’s different about them. So all of this so far seems very straightforward, then write really important command. Pretty easy to understand sign of the covenant. I get it all very straightforward, except we’re not under the covenant of Sinai any longer.
We’re under the new covenant that Jesus established. So What happens when we flip to the New Testament with this command? How does Jesus transform Sabbath? Kevin young points out in his book on the 10 commandments, every one of these commands is repeated in the New Testament, it’s there still every command is deepened and transformed by Christ. We’ll see that quite a bit. In starting in January, when we look at big talk, the sermon on the mount and what Jesus does with the 10 commandments. But this command especially is transformed is most noticeably transformed when we shift to the New Covenant. What transforms exactly what changes? Let’s look at three things. First, the New Testament changes our understanding of the Sabbath, especially because by the time of Christ, the Sabbath in the hands of the religious leaders had become a list of boxes to check, or I suppose more accurately, a list of boxes to leave unchecked, the Sabbath. So it was a it was a very specific list of rules and regulations, you can’t do work. So we better define really clearly what work is how many steps can you take on the Sabbath before it is work? These are the sorts of questions they would ask and seek to answers they would know did I actually, you know, you can’t push an elevator button on Sabbath. If you were to go to Jerusalem, you would find on Saturdays, the elevators are automatically programmed to go to every floor nonstop. They just do this all day long. So that nobody has to break Sabbath in order to press the elevator button. So that’s the questions that were being asked and answered at this time. What should I not do? I need to know exactly. You can’t harvest on this. I’d be like it’s fine to eat. That’s not work. You got to carry your plate, I suppose. But that’s not work. We got to eat okay, but you certainly can’t harvest so you can’t pick heads of grain. If you’re really hungry while you’re traveling. You should be traveling anyway. And then Jesus’s disciples do just this. And what does Jesus say? Mark chapter two, verse 27, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. It’s that first part here that I want to focus on though the The Sabbath was made for man. Jesus is saying this is meant as a gift, not as a burden. It is for our sake, as we’ll see as we keep unpacking this. In fact, that’s why Jesus heals. That’s another thing you can’t do on the Sabbath, because that’s a work. So you come by, you know, you got to shrivel hand or something like that. Come back. Sunday, we’ll talk about it then. But not today. But Jesus keeps healing. Why? Because he says it’s the day for doing good, isn’t it? It’s not a day for performing hollow rites, or checking boxes is a day for doing good. I love the way John Dixon says this. He says the Sabbath is not meant to be another wait around our necks. As some of you are probably feeling right now like as soon as I started talking about Sabbath, your shoulders slumped a little bit because you thought this is just one more thing Christians are supposed to do that I’m bad at. It was never meant to be a wait around our necks, but divine provision for those already weighed down. Thank God. So changes our understanding the Sabbath second, when we get the new covenant changes the obligation if I could put it that way, because the Sabbath was a sign of the covenant. And we’re no longer under the covenant at Sinai. And being Sabbath is no longer mandatory. But hear me carefully, no longer mandatory in this way, in the same way. So here’s Paul, for example. Colossians chapter two, verse 16. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink or with regard to a religious festival, a new moon celebration or a Sabbath day. Interesting. Even in Romans 14, Paul says, you know, talking about the the things that divide Christians that don’t need to divide us we can just agree to disagree on and one of the things he mentioned, some people consider one day holier than others. And some considers every day like impulses, that’s fine. That’s fine. You can you know, each one be convinced in their own mind. So it’s not a specific day, I think we could put it that way. You’re not automatically sitting guaranteed if you do work on Sunday, which is good news. For me. This is a big Workday for me. So now that doesn’t mean though, that rest is optional. And that’s the part we got to talk about. Because that’s built into creation. Alright, that’s who we are as humans that’s got nothing to do with the covenant at Sinai, but the specific day is no longer mandatory that six seven rhythm is still there baked into to creation but not a specific day. And that raises the last issue as well. The third change that comes to the New Covenant is the timing. We’ve kind of seen there’s not a specific day that is a holier than others. But if we have a day that is set apart as Christians from the earliest church like even back all the way in Bible times, it’s no longer the seventh day, it’s the first day. We have a shift from the Sabbath, to the Lord’s day. Because Sunday is the day Jesus walked out of the grave. And that’s what we celebrate. So there is this shift in meaning, though, from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, that shift is from creation to, well, new creation, the new creation that we have in Christ begins again, and it’s a new week. It’s a new era. I mean, you see this right there in the Bible, Genesis one one in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, John, one one, in the beginning, was the Word was with God, the Word was God, and we go on. From there, Jesus has brought us into a new creation. I love the way Alistair Begg says this, he says the Jewish Sabbath came at the end of six days, and spoke of a rest to come. The Christian Sunday comes at the beginning of the week, symbolizing the rest that Jesus Christ has won. For those who trust in Him. That’s gonna be a key idea. Especially we get to the last section, our practice of arrest points to the present, and future rests that we are already experiencing in Christ. Similar to what Kyle read for us in Hebrews For a moment ago. So that’s the the what, though, right, it’s a day set aside for us to remember. And rehearse. marks us out as different and it is a gift. That’s what it is. But now let’s ask the how question, how do we practice this rest? And specifically, how do we practice this rest without falling into the Pharisee ism that Jesus condemned? Let’s keep reading. So how the practice of rest, chapter 20, verses nine and 10, Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God on it, you shall not do any work, neither you nor your son or daughter knew your male or female servant or your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. First, just as long as we’re looking at this verse nine, note the goodness of work that’s communicated to us there, we just did this in the last series, right? faith at work had a long talk about this. I’m not going to belabor the point. But part of our problem with not resting as we should is because we don’t actually work as we should. One of the reasons we can’t take the sevens day off is because we don’t actually keep working six days, I’ll give you an example. And only parents are gonna say, Amen. Sometimes kids got to do homework on Sunday, because they weren’t working real hard on Friday or Saturday, right? That’s true. For all of us, though. I don’t want to just throw the teenagers under the bus here or anything like that. But that that’s the idea. Sometimes we don’t get done what we need to get done. Because we don’t procrastinate because we procrastinate, and we don’t work hard. But I also love this balance between don’t work for one day, because you are working for six days. It corrects pretty much every other culture on the planet. Because what happens in most places is the elites, the rich, work as little as possible, like the Greeks saw work as anathema. And so that was their goal is to as a you have to show up to a board meeting once a week or some weeks something like that to get your paycheck. But otherwise, you know, you just want to sit around and philosophize. That’s the good life. Okay. Meanwhile, so the the rich are doing all this leisure and then the poor. They never get to stop work, because it is trying to eke out a living. This is one of the conversations I have had with Greg and faith as we talk about Bolivia and doing life on life. disciplemaking is really hard to do discipleship when you start working at seven in the morning and you finish nine at night. And that’s all you got to do to put food on the table. So what the Sabbath does is it equalizes rest. It corrects this imbalance that is there.
We got six similar days. So we can have one really different day. And some of you are looking at me going Yeah, but we got five similar days. Do we already break this system? Probably okay. But I also think just real quick excursus the there there used to be much less a difference between home and work. Everything kind of happened in the same place as the industrial revolution that changed all that where we’re now we go to work and then we come back home used to work in your home. So yeah, you got stuff to do six days for sure. You got to you know, your yard work, all that kind of stuff. So we got six similar days where we work so we can have a one different day What is different about that day, it is three things that I want us to look at it is a day for rest, a day for community, and a day for worship, and all are here in the text. It is a Day Four rest first of all, do the day to stop doing what you usually do, so that you can recharge and re fresh. And what does Moses say on it you shall not do any work. And here again, I think the idea of doing the opposite of what you usually do can be helpful. Because if what we mean by rest is sitting, a lot of us spend 40 to 50 hours a week sitting in a box thinking, that’s what we get paid to do these days. And so it may be that you want to not be sitting on the Sabbath day, the best way for you to rest is to go for a four hour bike ride, which involves a lot of work in a lot of ways, but it’s a different sort of experience. The flipside could be true, if you’re working with your hands all day long, you know, six days a week, you’re outside of heavy physical labor. Yeah, that might be the day then to sit and read. So we do something different here. I certainly think we misunderstand. If we think the goal is to make Sunday, the dullest day of the week. That is not the goal. In fact, it should be delightful, not dull. But to do that, we need to make sure that we’re engaging in truly restful practices, there are a lot of things that we do to rest that actually make rash just about impossible. Most of them involve flickering screens. Scrolling social media, we’ve talked a lot about this increases anxiety, just demonstrably so. So probably not a good idea. Cable News, I’m guessing does not settle your heart. You can say Amen, there, it’s fine. Okay. Even TV, of course, like the brain sciences, their TV lights your brain up so that you can’t actually settle down. We don’t even need to get into all the blue light issues and things like that. But here’s like a good indicator, as you’re thinking about restful practices, if you feel more anxious at the end of what you just did, and was not resting. That is not Sabbath, not a good choice for Sabbath rest. That does help us then answer some of those tricky questions, doesn’t it? Like we’ve got a new framework? As we look at this, it’s no longer the question of what am I not allowed to do today? But how can I practice Sabbath rest? Well, you know, do I have to take a nap on the Sabbath? Do you need to take a nap on the Sabbath? Would that be helpful for you? I don’t like naps. I wake up groggy. That’s I ruins my day. Okay, but if that’s good for you, then do it. Can I watch football on Sunday? Well, how are you going to feel if the bears lose? Which is by the way really likely? Because if you’re going to be agitated the rest of the day then no, you should not watch football. But if you’re actually refueling in the process, okay, that’s something else can we go out to eat? Well, alright, that one gets a little more complicated. That takes us to our next point, because it is a day for communities a day for rest a day for community as well. The Sabbath was not meant to be an individual experience, but a communal one. It’s so interesting on it, you shall not do any work, neither you nor all the people around you. This is a communal experience. God is calling us to a rest that does not burden others. If my rest make someone else to work, then it’s not true Sabbath rest. You can see this in Jesus as well. But the heart behind this at least because Jesus, he’s about to heal someone and the religious leaders are all upset with him. And he asked this question, he says, which is lawful on the Sabbath, to do good or to do evil? And it says, By the way, that he gets angry, and then he heals the guy, but he’s like angry at that mentality. Why? What is he angry, he’s Sabbath is a day for us to seek the good of others. And that might even mean to work for their rest. You see this throughout the prophets in particular. But I love the way Jen Wilkin says this, she says, we remember the letter of the command. By resting from labor, we remember the heart of the command by laboring for the rest of others. That’s the principle. So you can look at a passage like Isaiah 58, for example, which is all about the religious practices that the Lord accepts fasting and Sabbath, for example, and it includes things like to loose the chains of injustice to set the oppressed, free and break every yoke, which is a really strange way to rest. But why because again, leisure has been a monopoly of the rich while the poor are working, multiple jobs to survive, and so Sabbath says that already equalizes rest. This is why Joseph Ratzinger later known as Benedict the 16th calls the Sabbath the heart of all so Shall legislation. Interestingly, it’s not thou shall not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal. No, he says it’s the Sabbath. That’s the heart of all social legislation, anticipating a society free of domination. And it’s a foretaste of the city to come. So one thing we do, which was to practice Sabbath Rest is to lean into that social communal dimension. The Sabbath is a great day to bring a meal to someone who’s ill, to watch the kids at a single mom, if you are gonna go out to eat, to tip really, really well as Jackie about how tips normally go with the church crowd on Sundays, it is embarrassing for Christians, that’s for sure. Now, here’s the nice thing, because there’s not one specifically a holy day, any longer as Romans 14, that’s Colossians. Two, we can share that burden and still rest. I think that’s key for us. Like there might you might be in a in a season where you can rest on Tuesday, no problem. So you got to take Tuesday as your day to chill, to recharge and refuel, so that on Sunday, you can help out a family. You know, that needs it so that that mom and dad with six small kids or something know that too personal, three small kids or something can actually have some rest that day. I do want to talk about one more piece of the community rest though just as long as we’re here. I think the other reason why this needs to be communal is because we need the encouragement of a community in order to keep doing what is so countercultural. We will not keep going if we’re doing it as a Lone Ranger’s. Let me just give you an example. Y’all know how I feel about this example already, but sports on Sundays, like what happened there. This was not how it used to be not that long ago. And yet we just let the relentless pace of culture shift this for all of us. So now you got to do it. You want to play volleyball your high school, you got to play club volleyball last Sunday morning, sorry. So what would have a look, we are not a majority gospel center, believe it Bible believing Christians are not a majority in this culture, not by any stretch of the imagination, but we are a significant minority. And what if we just all got up together? And we’re like, Nah, we’re done. If we just all stood a thought, the culture is relentless pace, yelling, stop, my kids not going, that would actually make a difference in our culture. And it’d be to the benefit of a culture as a whole. But if nothing else, even if culture was like, Fine, then we will leave you behind. At least we would be doing it in community. And our kids would see that we are doing this in community. So it wouldn’t be just you know, well, my mom and dad, no, all my friends get to know. We’re in this together. Sports on Sunday mornings, absolutely. We need this. But I know families in our church now talk about the beer sugar rule. The bureau rule is you get to miss one Sunday, a year. This semester, one of them a year, one Sunday here for sports. And usually because it’s a vacation kind of time anyways, what we’ll do one out of state tournament, we’re going to go we’re going to take vacation anyway, all that kind of stuff. And now we’ve got other families that are going look, that’s what we’re gonna do. We can do that, too. I don’t wanna tell you the Cooper rule. You’ll be mad. So but that’s okay. We still go on vacation. It’s fine. We need his help everywhere, right? Like we need this with with phones and stuff, too. Right? Like, I don’t just mean phones in general, although that is a big one too. Like your kids don’t need phones. They don’t need them that young and stuff. But like, what if we put phones down on Sundays? Like what if that was a no social media day? Well, but all my friends, no, not all your friends. Because your youth group friends, they don’t do that. Because we’re in this together because we’re a community standing for Christ’s counter culturally, homework.
And, and kind of, you know, importantly, gathering as a church as well. Which would take us to the third one that so it’s a day for rest. It’s a day for a community it is a day for worship, set apart for worship it is what does the text say? A Sabbath to the Lord your God. This is an offering as sacrifice given to God as an chance to honor and commune with God in a special way. So it is more than a time to veg out. It is a time to devote yourself to Him. Which by the way is the most refreshing practice. You can experience so we give you an example. It would be a little bit like going on a marriage retreat. Getting away from work Yes, but even the chaos of home life for a little bit. And you’re there you get you know, two days or whatever, just you and your spouse, you’re you’re retreating from all of us, you get there to go Oh, that’s great. Hon, I’m going for a hike. I’ll see you later. No, that wasn’t the point, the point of a marriage retreat was to get away from all that so we can face each other. That’s what the Sabbath is. We’re the bride, he’s the husband. This is a chance for us to face him. This reminds us again of that rest that we enjoy. In Christ, we rehearse we remember that. We preach the gospel to ourselves, we pray we study, there’s might be a time where you’ve got a longer experience of family worship in the week, whatever it may be, and of course, then we also prioritize gathering together. As the body of Christ were called to do this as a body so you will not teach your kids parents, that church matters to God, and to you. If realistically, it’s the fourth priority on your Sundays. Do we have any sports? Okay, no. Are we going on vacation? No. Okay, is there like a family gathering or something like that, that we need to get to know? Okay, we can go to church. That’s how we approach it. For the most part. I love the way Kevin Young says it. He says it forcefully and we need to hear it. Are we teaching our kids that Sunday is the day we gather as a church. With the day we try to squeeze in church? It’s a question we need to ask ourselves. And this is where the idea of Sabbath as a sign helps. Because it communicates to a watching world what matters most I cannot tell you the number of conversations I have had with fellow parents about why we don’t do travel soccer. Muslim friends, atheist friends, and they’re just hearing us say again, again, that’s not what we’re gonna do, though. And here’s why. It’s a piece of life thing. But it’s also a Sunday morning thing for us. Because think of what we get to do on Sunday mornings. Like that’s the mentality we have to have. I love the way Thomas Watson says it Puritan preacher. He says what preparation should you make for entertaining this King of glory? Just what we’re doing right now. He says when Saturday evening approaches sounder retreat, call your minds off from the world and summon your thoughts together to consider the great work of the approaching day. The great work being dressed in Christ does kind of raise a last point, of course, which is that all of this takes planning and preparation. You know, it’s not just going to happen a little bit like gathering to Omers that one day, you had food for the next day, we got to do that. Also Sabbath will not just happen. It does take some preparation, you got to think in advance, what is this going to look like I need to get all my homework done on Saturday so that I don’t have anything to do on Sunday. It takes preparation, it also takes trust. It takes trust that God will make up the difference. And I don’t know that we all believe this. Giving is a good example. That’s like our money, money and time very similar sorts of experiences in God’s providence, it is more likely that you will be able to pay all your bills, if you are giving sacrificially to the kingdom of God. I could point to a billion examples that I know of personally, that’s no exaggeration, it’s the same thing with time, you want to make sure you get all your work done. Stop working for a day. That’s how you’ll make sure you get it done. John Dixon shares a story in Korea, which is not a restful culture, even by American standards, we’re not a restful culture either, especially when it comes to education. So kids are in school all day long. Most schools off also offer evening classes. If you’re not an evening classes, you put your kids in what are known as hog ones, which are like, you know, tutoring kind of ideas. So the point is, you know, if I could learn this much in eight hours, think how much I could learn 14 hours a day. And one Christian school said, no, they said, We’re not going to do that. We’re not going to do evening classes. Not only that parents do not put your kids in Hogg ones. And you think, okay, but they’re going to fall behind, because everybody else is doing 14 hours a day, and they’re only doing eight hours a day, guess what? They’re gonna get left behind. It was the leading school in the region academically? Of course it was, because that’s God’s economy right there. Lots to consider plenty more to say I’m sure you can work this out in your community group. That’s why we do that. But you and I won’t do any of this unless our hearts change. And that’s the last one we got to get to, especially because I’m looking at the time. So why, why? Here’s the need for rest. Verse 11. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. So verse 11, gives us the reason for Sabbath rest, and it’s because God rested on the seventh thing and takes us back to creation. What’s interesting is the 10 commandments are recorded for us twice in the Books of Moses. Also in Deuteronomy, chapter five. Deuteronomy literally means second law. So it’s the second giving of the law. The commandments are almost verbatim except right here. A different reason is good. Even so same texts that we’ve read so far, you know, Remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy are your daughters, your servants, all that kind of stuff. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day, really different reasons reminds us a little bit of verse two, the reason for all the commands is the grace God has shown us in rescuing us before we did anything to deserve it. But I find this really fascinating. So Exodus 20, God created the world, therefore you need to rest Deuteronomy five, God rescued you out of slavery, therefore you need to rest. And the connection between those isn’t so obvious, it’s worth teasing out kind of these two ideas that are here. So why do we find it so difficult to rest? Are we seeing such an increase in anxiety in busyness people, too busy, even for church? It’s so easy to blame circumstances. Here’s why. I got all this to do. As soon as I know how many times you said this. As soon as I get past XYZ, this season of life, then I’ll be able to relax. Did it ever happen? Did you ever get to Z? Of course not. Right? The problem is not our work. The problem is what we’re trying to make our work do the problem is the work beneath the work. Making even the good things we do try to accomplish more than they possibly can. There is an attitude beneath our busyness. The attitude is one of pride and idolatry and even godlessness like we’re trying to play God in our lives, I can do everything that God can do. And that’s the connection to creation because God rests on the seventh day. So just imagine the hutzpah involved in thinking it he took a break. You don’t need to though I can just keep going. Isaiah 40 and picturing chariots of fire in your head right now, I’m sure as we talked about this, but what happens even the best the strongest, the young, stumble and fall, they get tired, they get worried, but not God, He alone is never tiring. That is one of his incommunicable attributes means he did does not give that one to us. Like every time you go to sleep, it is the reminder I am not God. Because my father is always at work. Jesus says, But you and I, we need to sleep. We are not God. Jen Wilkin says it like this Sabbath is the deliberate cessation of any activity that might reinforce belief in my own self sufficiency. Amen, sister. That’s right. That’s why we need Sabbath is to go I’ve not got I cannot do this. But Deuteronomy. And the connection to the Exodus event takes us a little deeper. You know, at a certain point, it’s Wow, the Egyptian army is bearing down on the Israelites who are just a ragtag bunch of tourists the route to get obliterated, right? And Moses says this to them, the Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still, what a weird time to say once you guys rest for a moment. Why? Because the Lord will fight for you. You can rest because the heavy lifting has been done by God himself. He’s wanting to send the planks he’s the one who splits the Red Sea. He’s the one who destroys the Egyptian army. And
here’s the good news. This side of the cross of Jesus Christ that’s even truer. Because God has done the heaviest lifting for us already. He lifted sin and the punishment we deserve for our sin off of us and placed it on Christ in stead. We don’t always live like we believe that’s true. We don’t live like we believe we’re saved. We’re trying to do what Christ has already done. We try to play creator I can be like God, but we try to play Savior also to justify ourselves to earn something that was freely given to us. I think it’s a part of why we prize busyness and we do prize it by people say how you do on busy. There’s a lot going on at work. That means I’m important, right? We prize business. We’re impressed by our busyness. That’s idolatry. Here’s the way Sydney Pollack actor and director died a few years back, even as he was dying of cancer. He got enough money could have spent that time with his family. And so he kept making motion pictures. Why? Because he says every time I finish, I feel like I’ve done what I’m supposed to do in a sense that I’ve earned my stay for another year or so. Is trying to justify himself, trying to earn it Something still trying to prove something we all had. And so there’s no arrest, or it’s not a question of having too much work to do. It’s a question of what that work means to us. takes us back to idolatry. Right? It’s about approval. It’s about security, it’s about comfort or status or whatever it may be, will never be enough though you cannot earn that because that’s not what satisfies can’t possibly satisfy it is a fool’s errand. And so truly, there will be no rest for the weary then we keep this going. It’s it’s like the scene and Saving Private Ryan. You know, the dying, Tom Hanks says to Private Ryan, earn this. What a curse to put on somebody. The nicest thing Tom Hanks could have done in that situation was shoot Private Ryan in the head. Because that’s a burden he carried with him for the rest of his life. I have to earn this. And so at the end of his life, you see him in the last thing the movies breaking down going, I don’t know. I tried. I don’t know if I did it, though. That’s how we live what if there were a better option. There’s a work beneath the work. We’re trying to save ourselves. But there’s a rest beneath the rest. We don’t just stop working. But we stop having to do what we think that work will accomplish. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. And I will give you rest. The enemy, the world, the flesh, your parents, your boss, your spouse, your kids are all whispering, Ernests. And Jesus says, Take this, I freely give it the gospel assures us we are accepted already. We don’t need to prove ourselves don’t need to earn it. Don’t need to search for significance for Christ’s sake. Now you understand what I mean by that in light of what Christ has done. You need to rest stop filling the bin up to overflowing you can rest from work for a day each week. Why because your souls are at rest in Christ every moment of every day of every week. Let’s pray. Father, in this time, even now help us to rest in you to rest in Christ’s finished work. And what a freeing phrase the work is finished. There’s nothing left for us to do to make ourselves right with you all that we are seeking we have already been given in you if we will simply stop, be still know that you are God and receive the gift that you have given us. All the approval all the comfort, all the security, all of love. It’s ours in Christ. We don’t need to win it. We don’t need to earn it our work can be a gift of love we give to those we serve. Because there is something overflowing and it’s not our schedules. It’s the love that you have for us poured into our hearts flowing out of us into others. May we be people like that, for Christ’s sake. Amen.