Monday, August 31, 2020

2020.08.31 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 20:8–11

 Read Exodus 20:8–11

Questions from the Scripture text: With what command does Exodus 20:8 begin? What are we to remember? What are we to do with that day? How many other days are there in a week (Exodus 20:9)? How much of our labor and work are we to do on that day? But what is the seventh day (Exodus 20:10)? Whose Sabbath is it? What are we not do upon it? Whom else is not to work upon it? What else is not to work upon it? To what people (role), then, is this commandment especially addressed (hint: cf. WLC 118)? Who established this pattern for man to follow (Exodus 20:11)? What did He do in six days? What did He do on the seventh? What two things did He do to the day that defines this “resting”?

Sometimes, we are tempted to think of the Lord’s Day as a day of resting or refreshment. The fourth commandment, properly obeyed, will result in rest and refreshment only if we find the Lord Himself restful and the Lord Himself refreshing.

As we can see in Exodus 20:8, the basic commandment is to remember and to consecrate.

First, we are to remember that it is the Sabbath of Yahweh our God. If we are moving right along in a particular mode, laboring and doing all our work, we may be forgetful when we come to a day that is not for those things. So, the first part of obedience here is remembering that the day is different.

Second, we are to consecrate the day. That is: we are to set it apart as holy, i.e., wholly devoted unto the purpose for which God Himself has consecrated it. 

We know, of course, that God needs no rest. In fact, He did not need to take six days to create. 

These things He has done for us because of our need to devote ourselves entirely to Him. Even when man had not yet fallen, the Lord gave him a day to come apart from serving in the creation in order to directly act upon the Creator Himself in service. This is what we call worship service.

When Jesus identifies Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12), He declares Himself to be greater than David, greater even than the temple. He is the Lord unto Whose worship the day had always been set apart as holy, the One in Whom we are meant to find our rest.

But He declared this in the midst of accomplishing our redemption, so that it is no surprise that He changed the timing of the day to emphasize that we are acting upon Him Who is not just our Creator, but also our Redeemer!

It is a hideous wickedness when we twist the Lord’s Day to make it about our rest and refreshment in the abstract—as if things that we find more restful or refreshing than Jesus properly fulfill the purposes of the day. Such thinking successfully exposes how profane we are, but certainly does not justify spending the day in such ways!

Thankfully, the Day itself, properly kept, is filled with the means of His grace, and especially designed to root this profaneness out of our hearts. As He promises in the new-covenant section of Isaiah, if we call His Sabbath a delight, then our delight will be in Him Himself.

What/Whom should you find most restful? To grow in this, what must you do to the Lord’s Day?

Suggested songs: ARP118D “Now Open Wide the Gates” or TPH153 “O Day of Rest and Gladness”

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