Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Ten Commandments Series Part 5 Made for Man


So far in our study of The Ten Commandments, we have discovered that the law is a shadow set in stone and intended by God to be a schoolmaster bringing us to faith. Furthermore we understand that just because God does not actively punish us according to the law, violations of the law still have their own potential consequences.

For further clarification I’ll refer you to the first 4 Parts in this series. Visit our website, watch the archived messages, download the notes or stop by the information desk and order a CD or DVD of these messages.

This evening we are going to review the evident fact that:

What God set up for a specific purpose in Israel, (the law), never fully reflected His own mind.

However, we can ill afford to minimize the temporal intent or the eternal benefits of these life instructions given to us by our Heavenly Father.

Commandment Number One:

You shall have no other Gods before Me.

No other god brought you out of Egypt. It was Almighty God.

No one loves you like He does!

Commandment Number Two:

You shall make no graven images nor bow yourself down to them.

Don’t fashion a god for yourself.

Commandment Number Three:

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

It is vain to profane or to falsify or idly or casually associate ourselves with the Name of the Lord.

Commandment Number Four:

Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

On the first Wednesday night of this year, January 4th, I taught a lesson entitled: The Rest of 2012. We discussed the Sabbath and realized that we enter into God’s rest when we first begin to trust Him. God wants us to know the rest He has made available to us through faith in His finished work.

There is no subject and no commandment which Jesus dealt with so often as the subject of the Sabbath. Yet, not once did Jesus condemn someone, criticize them, judge them or even instruct them concerning what should not be done on the Sabbath. Each time the subject came up, it was brought up as an accusation by the religious sects against what Jesus was doing or allowing to be done by His disciples.

Perhaps the reason Jesus had to spend so much of His time defending Himself against these erroneous charges of violating the Sabbath is because there is such little true revelation concerning this commandment.

Case in point – turn with me to:

Mark 2 NKJV

23 Now it happened that He went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain.

24 And the Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"

25 But He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him:

26 "how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?"

27 And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

28 "Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."

Mark 3

1 ¶ And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand.

2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.

3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Step forward."

4 Then He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they kept silent.

5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.

6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Mark 2:27 And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Jesus attempting to reveal that the Sabbath is a blessing, not a burden. Which one of us would not consider it a blessing to be given a day off work with pay or double pay? What does TGI Friday mean? Thank God It’s Friday! Why??? Because it supposes Saturday to be a day off. In fact, we like days off so much that it has become a standard in the western world to take at least 2 days off each week. Which of us want to work at a job which demands we work 7 days per week without ever having a day off? Days off are a blessing – this is the intent of the Sabbath.

The Sabbath expresses God’s merciful consideration for man.

The merciful consideration is in respect to our health and well being, teaching us patience, trust, hope, faith and giving - time for family and reflection on personal and spiritual matters. All of these are not to be forgotten but remembered weekly.

Deuteronomy 5:14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

The observance of Sabbath makes us consider our philanthropic and humanitarian responsibilities in that it also gives others around us a day of rest. Even if we don’t think we need it … others need it - Family, animals, strangers and even the land.

I am more and more convinced that the reason for the observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the everlasting necessities of human nature, and that the blessedness of keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a day of spiritual rest, will never be without lasting benefit.

The spirit, the soul and the body wither without rest.

Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. (caught His breath)

The Sabbath was made for man and the need, therefore, must be deeply hidden in human nature.

If we feel we can do without it, we cast ourselves wiser than our Maker.

Sure, the Sabbath principle seems a bit legalistic when viewed as a law.

But what is the New Testament revelation and grace-filled application of keeping the Sabbath?

God wants His children to trust and honor Him with 1 day of their week, just as He hopes they will trust and honor Him with the first 10% of their income. God is committed to insuring that the 90% blessed by His hand will go farther than the 100% without His blessing. He is convinced that the 6 days work, blessed by the 1 day given to Him, will provide more health, wealth and spiritual peace, than if we used all 7 days for our own pursuits. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy – separated – set apart.

God knows that it is best for us to set aside one day each week to leave off our own secular pursuits and concentrate ourselves on focusing on and resting in what God has done, is doing and will do. It is a Spiritual Day of Remembrance and Rest. Yes we need it …The Sabbath was made for man!