Monday, January 19, 2009

Rest and Respect

On January 4 we began a new series on the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately I have not posted anything on the first two messages. The third message dealt with the command (s) to Remember the Sabbath Day and to Honor Parents.

Remembering the Sabbath Day is about Rest and Refocus. We need physical rest from the demands of the week. We also need time to Reflect and Refocus our lives. We need to spend a part of the Sabbath asking "Did I honor God this week?" "Am I in God's will?" "Is this what God wants from me?" and the like. We need to be relentless in pursuing and evaluating what God wants from us more than simply taking in a nice church service. This kind of Reflection is modeled by God on the Sabbath, as it is here that God surveys his creative work on the Seventh day.

A couple of other observations about the Sabbath command. This is a critical passage to argue for young earth creation. In this text we hear that God created in six days and rested on the seventh. There was not an Israelite standing at the foot of the mountain that would have thought that God had created in millions or billions of years. Rather, the most literal, natural sense of this text is a 7 day week. If you engage in a debate about the age of the earth, Ex 20 is a great resource!

Most importantly, the Sabbath points us to a REST from our efforts to try to please God through our own works. Heb 4 :8-11 points us to this reality as we are encouraged to enter the Sabbath rest of God.

The second command we looked at was that of Honoring Parents. Here I argued that we honor our parents differently depending on the stage of life we are in. For young children it is about obedience. As children grow it is about learning to manage increasing responsibility and consequences. And, for adults it is about love, forgiveness, value, and appreciation.

If you'd like to interact, let me suggest a couple questions:
1. What is most difficult for you about maintaining a regular Sabbath?
2. What is the biggest challenge you face as a parent?
3. What is the biggest challenge you face as a son/daughter?

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