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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

chapelblog: "The Principle of Sabbath" by Dr. George Murray

Song: "I am Bound for the Promised Land"

Scripture:

Gen 2:3
Ex 20:8-11
Ex 31:16-17

"Sabbath" means "rest", the rest day. Does not mean "saturday," or "saturn's day" or "seventh day." Nor does it mean “Sunday” (actually from “deis solis”, or “Day of the Sun”).

Note Webster's: 7th day of week observed by Jews and some Christian sects as day of rest; Sunday.

Is the Sabbath the first, or last day of the week? Are the disciples breaking commandment by observing the Sabbath in conjunction with Christ's resurrection? Most Christians refer to Lord's Day as the Sabbath.

Many still observe Saturday as the Day of Rest. We will agree to disagree, as we may on other issues, as tongues.

We can discuss the particular day and a livelier discussion about what practices we should observe on the day of rest.

Deep study has brought deep conviction about how I have not observed and the legalistic way I have kept the Sabbath. The Sabbath is anti-culture.

The following is from a 1989 Chapel message by [now] President Emeritus, Robertson McQuilken called "Magnificent Gift Exchange" from Is 58:13-14:

We are invited to give a gift to God. God gives us a gift of rest; He gives us a gift of time. God desires my companionship! As we give Him a portion of what we possess, one day in seven is to be given. When we love someone we long to give that person a portion of our possessions and time. How will you rearrange what you have so you can give it?

Since the visible aspects of life crowd out the invisible, God sets aside what is Holy to Him. See Delietsch Commentary on Is 58.

Time set aside to rest is a time to renew by entering into Him. God packaged the gift in law because a law frees us to safeguard.

For what reason did it begin? It started before the Jews and before the fall (not a redemption factor). God did not rest and bless, but blessed and rested! God included something on His own character in the Decalogue, not hoops to jump through (why not include circumcision in the Ten Commandments, or temple worship?). Sabbath is a personification of God.

We are omitting our part of the command. It is better to obey God legalistically than disobey Him legalistically.

Exceptions: works of necessity, mercy and Ministry. Sabbath is not a burden that prohibits, but a privilege that frees. Rest from work and play--it is to be all Him without distraction. We make play an exception for children. We may set aside the Sabbath for rest, but should we find our own pleasure in this day?

How do I use my feet (or hands or head) on the Sabbath? Am I "stomping around" on the gift God gave me? God waits for our special time with Him and we are selfish, impoverishing ourselves. What best reflects the picture of our marriage to Him?

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