Sabbath Rules

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:8-11 (day four)

The rules governing the Sabbath day were frequently a point of challenge between the Pharisees and Jesus.  The Pharisees had developed hundreds of laws of their own design that governed this holy day.  Were these extensive restrictions God’s plan for this commandment?

In Matthew 12:1-8 and Mark 2:23-28, Jesus told the Pharisees that he was Lord of the Sabbath; that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  Jesus was in direct conflict with the man-made religious systems (think cleansing of the temple) of His day.  The light of Truth penetrated the false teaching of the hypocrites that were creating an idol of worship over God’s authority.  Jesus referenced the prophet Hosea saying God values compassion rather than sacrifice.

Are there areas of your life where you have added to God’s Word and given divine authority to the devices of your own reasoning?  Repent and return to the simple commands of divine truth!

Shared

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 2:8-11 (day three)

“You shall not do any work.”

Some work needs to be left undone. The work you leave unfinished creates a space for someone else to think, to speak, to act. When that happens, continued work becomes a shared engagement instead of a solo project, shaping character in ways that isolation cannot. Work done in isolation invites pride, while shared work cultivates humility. Isolation encourages denial of painful flaws, while shared work necessitates honest conversations. Isolation propagates your own weaknesses, while shared work builds robustness. Isolation convinces you of your indispensability, while shared work reveals to others your worth. Heeding this command results in a less lonely work space.

Active Rest

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:8-11 (day two) 

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Sabbath = Rest         Holy = Set Apart

I have sat looking at those two words for several minutes. What comes most to my mind is indictment. I struggle to understand holy rest.  I get exhaustion and general fatigue, but not a regularly recurring respite from the world. If I’m really honest it sounds lazy. That is my confession, but it comes by way of a cultural understanding that there are many that struggle with Sabbath. One of the chronic conditions facing many Americans today is  poor mental health. There is no simple fix, but as believers I would challenge everyone to consider how we are treating this commandment and what the consequences are for us and our children. Why is something so seemingly easy, so dreadfully hard for us to obey? Talk with your family today. How are you going to actively pursue rest?

Monday Re:Verse Blog Post – 6/24/19

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:8-11 (day one)

Join us as Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Exodus 20:8-11 (the 4th Commandment) in our Summer Sermon Series: “Meant for More. A Study of Commandments.”

In the Name of Jesus Christ

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:7 – (day seven)

Jesus’ name is as powerful as it gets.  By His name we believe, we are baptized, we prophesy, we work mighty deeds, we heal, and we thrive.  Jesus’ name is not an incantation though, it is a relationship.  The sons of Sceva learned this lesson in Acts 19:

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”(Acts 19:13-15)

The authority of the Creator of the universe is bound up in His name that His children bear, may we cherish this relationship and live in the boldness of the name of Christ.

Holy

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:7 – (day six) “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

I changed my name when I was 16. Growing up I went by my middle name, but decided to go by my first name at the beginning of my junior year. There simply were too many other “Mikes” in the same dorm; I wanted to be set apart. Names offer distinction, separateness.

When God tells Moses His name at the burning bush that’s exactly what His name accomplishes. There is none like him, there never was, nor will there ever be. God’s name embodies His otherness, His holiness. This is precisely why he commands us to never take it for granted.

Freedom

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:7 – (day five) “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

Often, when God gives a negative commandment we tend to think God is limiting us, invading our free will, or cramping our style. Actually a negative command offers more freedom than a positive one. A negative command instructs us not to do one thing but leave many other possibilities. A positive command tells us we are to do only one thing. So, when God says don’t take the LORD’S Name in vain, there are many other ways to use and speak His name properly: praise, honor, blessing, celebration, prayer, thanksgiving, glorifying, and trusting, and revering to name a few. Some Jews won’t even use God’s Name at all for fear of breaking this commandment. Aren’t you glad for the freedom to use His Name properly??

In Vain

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:7 (day four) 

At the time of the giving of the Ten Commandments, God was establishing the basis of a covenant relationship with Israel. A covenant, unlike a contract, cannot be broken or set aside just because circumstances have changed.  A covenant is a holy agreement.  Verse 7, our text, deals not only with cursing using God’s name or proclaiming God’s word without actually having it, but also making vows or promises with God and not keeping them.  We may flippantly make a promise to God or invoke His name into a promise to another, with no intention of keeping it.  We have no reverence or respect for His holy name and toss it around like a seal of approval for our own devices.

The only solution to deal with our vain statements is repentance.  To restore our relationship and receive forgiveness, we must repent!  To break a covenant will always result in consequences.  Take seriously your covenant relationship with God and avoid using His name in vain.

Context

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:7 – (day three)

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

There’s a difference between magic and prayer. Magic relies on mechanistic recitations of formulas whose only purpose is get done exactly what you want to get done. Prayer is a kind of life in which you and God have access to one another, and the purpose of that life is not to get stuff done—though that might indeed occur—but to transform you into the kind of person who lives like God lives. In which of those contexts are you speaking about God and to God? The answer to that question will tell you whether you are using the name of God in vain.

Words Matter

Re:Verse passage – Exodus 20:7 (day two) 

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Words matter. Choosing the way to ask for something can move from a simple plea to a dogmatic demand with a turn of a phrase. I often lament that we don’t exercise our linguistic muscles as a society anymore, and therefore lose the ability to accurately communicate our intent. When we reduce our language to sound-bite worthy statements we lose something of what it means to express ourselves in a meaningful way. How we talk about God and communicate His love and plan is mission critical for all believers, but we are not to wield His name or authority like a blunt instrument. God does not speak idly, and nor should we. Let’s think about praying before speaking on God’s behalf. We may find it better to say nothing at all.