The Rhythms of Rest

The Rhythms of Rest

Scripture: Genesis 2:3
Date: 08/28/2021  Lesson: 9
During this week, we will study God’s wonderful invitation to enter into a dynamic rest, again and again, with every seventh day. How can keeping the Sabbath holy be a reminder of freedom and liberation? How can we avoid making it restrictive and legalistic?

Is Obedience Legalism? - Paper or Digital Download

Is Obedience Legalism? - Paper or Digital Download
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Shawn Brummund: Hello, friends. Welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour." It is good to be able to be here in the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church here in the Greater Sacramento area, and it is always a pleasure to be able to invite our local church members, different visitors, friends that have come to join us here in our sanctuary. It is always good to be able to have those who are joining us live as you--many are watching across the country, different places of the world, and then, of course, for those of you who are viewing this particular program on the various television networks.

It is always a pleasure to be able to come together, to be able to study God's Word, and to be able to understand the truth that God would have us understand as we continue to go through one of my favorite subjects, our quarterly which is entitled "Rest in Christ." And we're going to be studying lesson number nine. As you saw on the screen and in the intro already, this is "Rhythms of Rest." And so we continue to look at that important subject, "Rhythms of Rest."

Now, before we get into our study and we invite Pastor Luccas and our singers up forward here today, I want to invite you to take advantage of a free-gift offer that we have for you. In this case, it is entitled "Is Obedience Legalism?" Is obedience legalism? Now, you can see the toll-free number on your screen. The free offer is number 706. That's--and you just have to dial 1-866-788-3966. That's 1-866-Study-More. And that's available in North America and the different US territories. Now, we also have a digital version of this available for free that you can download to your phone, to your tablet, et cetera. And in that case, you just need to text the code "SH041," and you want to dial that to the number 40544. And--so if you've never studied this lesson, this is a great study guide. I have studied through it myself. I know many people that I've studied with it. It is a very important question. Is obedience legalism? And so please take advantage of that free-gift offer.

We have some singers and musicians that are going to be blessing us as we continue to praise the Lord in song.

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ Joy is the time I feel that I've been caught ♪

♪ in the mire of self. ♪

♪ Joy is the time I feel my mind's been bought ♪

♪ by worldly wealth. ♪

♪ That's when the breeze begins to blow. ♪

♪ I know the spirit's calm ♪

♪ and all my worldly wanderings just melt ♪

♪ into His love. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You more. ♪

♪ Deep within my soul I want to know You. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You. ♪

♪ To feel Your heart and know Your mind, ♪

♪ looking in Your eyes stirs up within me ♪

♪ cries that say, "I want to know You. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You more." ♪

♪ And when my daily deeds ♪

♪ ordinarily whose life and song, ♪

♪ my heart begins to bleed, ♪

♪ sensitivity to Him has gone. ♪

♪ I'd run the race, but set my own pace and face, ♪

♪ a shattered soul. ♪

♪ Now the gentle arms of Jesus ♪

♪ warm my hunger to be whole. ♪

♪ And oh, I want to know You more. ♪

♪ Deep within my soul I want to know You. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You. ♪

♪ To feel Your heart and know Your mind, ♪

♪ looking in Your eyes stirs within me ♪

♪ cries that say, "I want to know You. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You." ♪

♪ And I would give my final breath to know You ♪

♪ in Your death and resurrection. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You more. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You more. ♪

♪ Oh, I want to know You more. ♪♪

Shawn: Is that the prayer of your heart, to know the Lord more? I hope it is as we continue to study. Pastor Luccas is going to be our teacher here today, and we are blessed to be able to study with him. Before we invite him up, let's invite the Lord to be with us in prayer.

Father in heaven, we are thankful for the opportunity to be able to come together here this morning. God, we thank You for this time in which we have come together to invest into Your Word, into a knowledge of it; that it might draw us closer to You, that it might increase our faith, that You might give us more understanding of the depths of the mysteries of Christ, that You might help us to be able to continue to experience that new life that is found in You. We thank You so much for Your promise that You give to us when we ask for Your Spirit in sincerity, that You will give it to us and it will guide us and teach us all things and lead us into all truth. And so we claim that promise even right now. We pray that You'll be with our teacher, be with our minds. In Jesus's name we pray, amen.

Luccas Rodor: It's good to see you all here on this blessed and beautiful day. I love being able to be here and just come to-- coming to church is such a privilege. I think that, you know, after the year that we've had-- the year and a half that we've had, I wake up every Sabbath just feeling so much joy in being able to go to church and being able to, you know, see my brothers and sisters. It's such a blessing.

The lesson for today is a really beautiful lesson. It's a very important lesson. I feel that, you know, God has given me this last year--a few opportunities to talk exactly about this subject. I don't know if you'll remember, but in the last quarter I got this exact same subject, which was the Sabbath, right? And the Sabbath is such an important thing for us to analyze and study not only so we have this theoretical knowledge, but so that we can have this day-to-day application of what this "rest in Christ" means. And today's lesson's title is "The Rhythms of Rest." And so, really, we're going to dive into the Bible a little bit and see the different rhythms of what resting means from God to us.

So Pastor Shawn just prayed. I'd like to invite you to pray again. Bow your heads. Dear Lord, please lead out. Please open this Word and guide us as we understand a little bit more about You, Father, and a little bit more about the Sabbath. Use us please, Father. I ask in Jesus's name, amen.

You know, friends, a very interesting thing about the Bible is that the Bible doesn't really spend time or waste any time trying to prove God's existence. It doesn't really spend any time trying to prove that God is real, that God exists; and it doesn't really give or try to offer evidence or, again, empirical proof that the creation happened. It just assumes it. The Bible just assumes it. In the very first verse, we find what? In the beginning God created.

In the beginning God created, and we find some answers to the most foundational--some of the most basic questions of life in this first verse. For example, we find when. When is this happening? Well, in the beginning. In the beginning, this is happening. And you know what that suggests? It suggests the universe and matter are not eternal. The universe and matter and history are not cyclical as many would like to believe. So when. You also have the who. Who? God. Not chance, not chaos, not randomness as suggested by diverse theories that are out there on the market. No. It was God. How? By creation.

Creation is the method that's used by the maker. Not evolution, not a big bang somewhere; although I do believe that there was a big bang. I feel that when God said, "Let there be," and then so on, that was a big bang. When God said, "Let there be light," can you imagine anything other than a big explosion of light? I can't. That was a sort of a big bang. Not what people traditionally believe, but a big bang nonetheless. God created from nothing. The Latin phrase ex nihilo, it means and it translates exactly that. God pulled things into existence that were not there before.

You know, here in this world we have this principle that energy--this is a principle of chemistry and physics. Energy is never really created. It's transformed. Things aren't created, but they're transformed. And we, really--humans abide by that law. We don't really create things from nothing. Rather, we transform them. But when it comes to God, God has this uncanny, mysterious power of creating things from nothing. He has that ability.

What did He create? The text says the heavens and the earth. Creation, as mentioned here in Genesis, has to do with our system. And I'm not talking about our solar system, okay? I'm talking about our system of existence, not the entire universe. God didn't create the whole universe on that fourth day. And what I mean is that-- well, He already lived somewhere, right?

So did God create His place of habitation on that fourth day? Did He create the angels' home on that fourth day? No. God was creating things that pertain to our sphere of existence. Now, how far out that goes compared to us, I have no idea. That very--very well may be the entire known universe, the billions and trillions of stars. Who knows? Maybe God just is that big and that all this enormous space that scientists find more and more every year is really just this big. We'll find out when we get there.

But you know, there's something rather sinister in the fact that it's precisely this book that provides so many answers, that provides so much to us. The one that is designated to provide so many answers to some of humanity's most basic questions: origin, purpose, destination, where we came from, what we're doing here, where we're going is exactly the book that has--had its credibility most ferociously attacked. The thing is, friends, that without Genesis, without that first book of the Bible, the rest of the Bible makes absolutely no sense. Makes no sense at all. Well, we can't--now here's the thing.

We can't, of course, explain creation in scientific terms. I'd like you to try. Try to explain those 6 days of creation in scientific empirical terms. We can't. You know why? Because the Bible isn't preoccupied with that. The Bible, friends, does not reveal-- it doesn't provide absolute revelation. The Bible provides necessary revelation, revelation that we need to be saved. So the Bible isn't going to go into the deepest details of physics, chemistry. It assumes from the get-go that God is the one that established these laws. So at the same time, the theory such as evolution, which remains a theory in spite of all its pretensions, is not science. What it really is is a scientific philosophy that demands a lot of faith. It does.

A car, for example, has approximately 23,000 parts and pieces, and maybe someone here can correct me on that; a mechanic, or a car engineer, or something like that. But it's about 23,000 parts and pieces. Not one sane person in this world would defend that even the simplest model is a product of chance or an explosion. No one would defend that idea. Imagine then the whole world in its deep complexity, its beauty, its splendor, its purpose, its mysteries, its enigmas being up--being attributed to blind luck, to random chance.

Friends, we find that Scripture reveals truths inaccessible to human logic and reason and inaccessible to the-- to humanity's methods of research. It's not, and that doesn't mean that God is illogical. You know what that means? That means that God is super logical. He is just beyond our capacity of logic and reason. He is that big, and here's the thing.

We have a really hard time sometimes of understanding how big God is and how small we are. We're small. We're very, very, very small. Creation just like the incarnation of Jesus, his resurrection, his ascension, his Second Coming, are objects of revelation. And having withstood millennia of all sorts of the most intense and dire attacks, the Bible continues to declare its foundational message that in the beginning God created.

Now, here's the thing. You might be asking, "Well, what is--what does this have to do with this week's lesson, 'The Rhythms of Rest?'" And you know what? Sometimes we get emails where, you know, we see that people are asking exactly that. "Well, it seems like he's just preaching. He's not teaching the lesson."

Friends, I will--I said this last time in last lesson and I will say it again. The objective of a Sabbath-school teacher, it's not to repeat the same thing that you studied throughout the week. It's to bring new information, right? That's the objective here. I'm going from the presumption that you studied the lesson at home and that, here, you're ready for new information about that same subject. So keep that in mind as you hear what is being said.

But back to the topic, and here you'll see where I'm going with this, all right, in the sense of rhythms of creation; well, we find that when the Bible says that in the beginning God created, it paints this extraordinary masterpiece of this incredible paradise that now has been lost to sin. Scripture illuminates the path that the planet took and what was the cost of this detour.

However--and here I'd like to invite you maybe this afternoon, maybe tomorrow to sit down and read Psalm chapter 19. I'm going to read a portion of it right here, but I'd like to invite you to--at home during the hours of the Sabbath or throughout the week read Psalm chapter 19 and marvel at the glory of creation even after the fall. Verse 1 through 4 says, "The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out throughout all the earth, and their words to the very end of the world."

Friends, after all was created, all this beauty, all the splendor, all this magnificence--after God had created all of this, on the sixth day He reviewed His work. What is Genesis 1:31 say? It says, "Then God saw that everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

But then after all His creating, all--of all His work creating, God turned His attention to something else. God simply made what on the seventh day? He made a day. He created another day. He included another day on that cycle, the seventh day. Was that day just like every other the-- of the previous six days? He made it special. He made it different. He made it unique. He made it singular. Even before humanity dashed off into their self-imposed stressful lives, God set a marker as a living memory aid. He wanted this day to be a time for us to stop, stop and deliberately enjoy life; the real enjoyment. Sabbath was made for men, not the other way around. It's a day for us to be and not to do.

Do you see the difference? It was a day for you to be, for you to exist before your creator, not for you to do as a product of consumerism. It's a day for us to celebrate the gift of grass, of air, of wildlife, of water, of people, and most importantly the creator of every good gift. And friends, this invitation would continue to be in effect even after the first couple was exiled from Eden. God wanted to make sure that this invitation could stand the test of time and so right from the beginning He knit it into the very fabric of time.

That's where the lesson starts, when it begins on Sunday with a prelude of rest. We learn here, friends, that creation moves from space to time. What did God create first, life or the environment for life? The environment. He creates light. He separates the land from the water. He creates an atmosphere, a sky, the heavens, the firmament. God created space first and then life. Creation moves from space to life. What He created is initially seen as good, an expression that appears five times in Genesis chapter 1. And God saw that it was good; the separation of land and water, everything that I've already mentioned, the heavenly bodies.

However, on the sixth day after the creation of man, this expression, it's changed. It changes and it gives way to a more intense description and it involves the entirety of creation. Because here God says in chapter 1, verse 31, he says, "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was," what? It was good? It was very good, very good. In the same way that creation moves from space to life, time flows from ordinary time to special time, ordinary time to special time.

You know, the Sabbath appears inseparably connected to the act of creation. In three--you're going to find this in three main biblical verses. You'll find it in many places, but in mainly three verses, three texts you'll find this reality that the Sabbath appears inseparably linked--inseparably linked to the act of creation. It's going to be Genesis chapter 2, verse 1 through 3, Exodus 20:8 through 11, and then Exodus 31:12 through 17.

These texts provide the origin of the Sabbath and the purpose of the divine commandment for its observance. Both of these--all right? Both of these, the origin of the Sabbath and the commandment of rest, are deeply rooted in the consequence of God's creative activity. The commandment to rest and the origin of the Sabbath. So, for example, Genesis 2:1 through 3, as the very text here concludes the narrative of creation--that's what we find here. God is concluding the whole story of creation. It forms this compact of artistic unity.

There are basically four different points of emphasis here regarding the Sabbath; four that I'd like you to-- I'd like to call your attention to. First of all, on the seventh day God concluded His creative activity. Isn't that what we find? That's when God ends His creative activity. The idea behind the verb--the structure here, having finished all of His creation; the idea behind this verbal construct, it's not one simply declaring that God--that His work was done, that He took it to the end. The verb here, it explicit-- it expresses the idea of completion, of reaching a desired goal. God did what He set out to do. It wasn't interrupted. It wasn't half done. It wasn't incomplete. God concluded what He had set out to complete, and right here we encounter this established order for humanity in which time is separated by ordinary time and special time. I've mentioned this: ordinary time and special time.

Now, what's more is that ordinary time finds its purpose where, in what time? In special time. The ordinary time of our life, the six days of work, they find their meaning, they find their purpose in special time. Wasn't it like that with God? God created throughout the six days, but on the special day everything made sense. One flows into the other. And you know what that means? That means in our life--since God is our supreme example, in our life if your ordinary time does not flow into the special time, if your ordinary time is a means in itself there's something wrong with your ordinary time. Ordinary time was meant to flow in to special time.

God ends His work as a creator, and from then on the Bible reveals work as a means to an end. The end is not the humanization of man nor its self-creation. God didn't work for Himself, did He? Who did God work for? Others. The meaning, friends, or the purpose of work is outside of the one who is doing the work. You understand what I'm saying here? Even the very purpose of work, and here you have to rethink your understanding of work. Is work just this--is the nature of work just financial, just social-economic, or should it flow into another purpose? Its finality is not to introduce the product of the work into the personality of the one who is executing it, but to extend His personality to those for whom the work is being executed for.

Did you understand that? Your work needs to reflect the character of God. So you have to ask yourself, What are you working for? Who are you working for? To me this is a very extraordinary lesson that needs to be learned by all the workaholics in the world that simply work for themselves to accumulate, to retain.

God rested on the seventh day. That's the second lesson here. This appears in Genesis 2:1 through 3; Exodus 20, verse 11; and Exodus 31, verse 17. And God's rest serves as an example and a motivation for the sabbatical rest. For humans that were created on the sixth day, the Sabbath was their first day of existence. It wasn't their seventh day, it was their first day. They hadn't worked yet. They weren't tired yet. Have you ever stopped to think about that? On the seventh day of creation, the Sabbath day of rest, what day--it was humanity's first day. Were they tired? Had they gone through a week of work?

No. Friends, we don't rest because of the week that has passed. We're resting in preparation for the week that is ahead. They rested because God rested. They rested in order to commune with their creator, to enjoy His creation. The Sabbath is the seventh day of said creation, but it's humanity's first day. It's its first call to meet its God and to establish what the priorities are. Before humans ran off into their schedule, they were called by God to establish their priorities, what's important in life.

Friends, we still need that today; to have our values, our priorities, our spirit, our vision adjusted by God. That's one of the purposes of Sabbath: to establish priorities. The third idea that's present in these texts and--especially Genesis 2:1 through 3, it has to do with God's blessing. God blesses the seventh day just as He bless the animals and the humans one day before. You'll find that in verse 22 and 28. The blessing of the Sabbath referred to in the fourth commandment connects the Sabbath of creation to the weekly Sabbath. This is the connection. To bless means that human beings are then imbued with this power of enrichment and of prosperity to find contentment in life, joy in life, peace in life.

So in other words, the seventh day is a gift from God imbued with a blessing that no other day possesses; and this effectively destroys the idea that what matters isn't the day that you rest, it's whatever day. If you choose a Sunday, a Monday, a Friday, a Wednesday, it doesn't matter the day. Friends, show me where else in the Bible in the week of creation where God confers a blessing to a specific date, He makes that day a blessing. How could I say, how--who am I as a human? Who is anyone to remove that blessing and say it's anywhere? it's just a trivial matter. It doesn't matter. You can't do that. You're playing God. That's blasphemy. God imbued this day with a blessing and only He could remove it. But we know that God doesn't change, so, you know, how are you going to do that? The blessing that God communicates to this day of rest grants power, and this power makes the Sabbath fruitful and vital to our lives.

Friends, the Sabbath is a source, an uncomparable fountain of enrichment in the weekly cycle. And the fourth lesson that you learn here in these verses that the lesson mentions on Monday is the holiness, the sanctity of the Sabbath. The biblical text affirms that God hallowed the seventh day. He made it holy. He sanctified it. What does that mean? The basic idea of sanctification, or of making holy, is the idea of what? What is God doing? Starts with an S. He's setting apart. He's separating it. The Sabbath was separated by God to be a day of weekly rest.

And it's important to make clear here, friends, and I can't stress this enough, it was God who separated it, not humans. It wasn't Abraham. It wasn't Moses. It wasn't the Israelites. No. It was God. God separated it. God made it holy. God set it apart. No one else. The sanctification of the Sabbath is an act of God.

Friends, the Sabbath is holy time, not a holy place. It invites us to set aside the common, everyday work and to devote our minds and bodies and hearts to the holy things. So while you might go to places or be excluded from places, you can't bring the Sabbath and you can neither be excluded from the Sabbath. Everyone has this day. Everyone has access to this special time. It comes to everyone, and in that way Sabbath is a temple in time.

At the beginning of creation we find the separation between light and darkness, and at the end of creation we find another separation again between ordinary time and holy time. The weekly day of rest or the weekly rest of the Sabbath brings us hope. It brings us the certainty that our origin and destination are in God. It gives us a sense of continuity from the past and a hope for the future. It invites us to rest while we live in this chaotic and convoluted environment in this world. We live in a sort of a detour, friends, generated by sin and all the while we await the rest-- the final rest and the peace of God for which He created-- for which we were created. You'll find this in the book of Hebrews chapter 4.

So, friends, this is the message of the Sabbath that reminds us weekly of our origins, of our purpose, and our final destination. If your experience on Sabbath has been different, it needs to change, it needs to change.

Tuesday, new circumstances. This is an interesting study. And this study here of this day, it talks about the provision of manna and how the provision of manna is a very strong argument for the reality of the Sabbath. The provision of the manna was for Israel in occasion to renew their commitment to the Sabbath, the greater gift. And you might say, "Well, you know, manna, how is that the-- how is the Sabbath the greater gift?" I mean, they needed the manna to survive. They needed to live. They needed food.

Sabbath is the greater gift because Sabbath celebrates the provider of the manna. Would there be manna without a provider? God is the provider. The substantive Shabbat, Sabbath, appears for the first time in the Bible in Exodus 16:25. That's where the word appears in that way, as a substantive, inside the narrative of the miracle of the manna. Notice that it appears before the Sinai, before the law is given to Moses, and this destroys the theory that the Sabbath is introduced by the Mosaic Law. It destroys the idea that the Sabbath is a Jewish, an Israelite, institution.

The implication that I'm giving you here is that the Sabbath rest was observed before being formally required by the law. That's very important. The whole narrative of the manna is full of sabbatical terminology, and the most important notions concerning the Sabbath in the book of Exodus 16-- or in the chapter 16 of Exodus can be summarized in a few different points, all right? I'm going to give you a rundown on what this means and the implications of this.

First of all, the sixth day, it's mentioned here in-- three times in chapter 16, verse 5, 22, and 29, is a day of preparation for the Sabbath. You know the day of preparation. You've heard of it, right? Adventists have the day of preparation. When I was a child, my mom made me do my chores on Friday. That's when I'd clean the room. I didn't really have a problem with cleaning the room, but then I have to go pick up after the dog in the backyard. That's where things started getting bad. And then I had to clean the bathroom. I did not like that chore. That was a horrible chore. So day of preparation.

You know, I couldn't wait until the Sabbath started for many reasons. But on this day, the sixth day of preparation, a double portion of manna was provided, and it was collected. There was no need to go out and work on the Sabbath.

The second thing here in the rundown is that the Sabbath obviously was the following day, the seventh day, after the day of preparation. It is the seventh day of the week, not the first or the fifth or the fourth. It's the seventh day of the week, and this, again, effectively debunks the idea of any rest in seven days. Whatever day is okay.

Friends, the rest that is indicated here by God is by necessity on the seventh day. That followed what day? The day of preparation. It's very intuitive. There's no mystery here. No one's trying to, you know, sneak in some weird details into this whole narrative. It's very obvious, very intuitive.

Thirdly, it's a divine commandment that is mentioned here in relation to the observance of Sabbath. It's a commandment that God gives again before the Ten Commandments.

Fourth, the Sabbath is holy. The Hebrew terminology here is very, very technical, very precise. It's Shabbat Kodesh. It's a holy day. It's a day that's set apart. You can't confuse this. It's holy.

Also, fifth, the Sabbath is a day of rest. Rest in part has to do with the abstinence of work. In this case, it means to abstain from the collection of food, of engaging in the work of survival. Do you see that? Here they were stopped-- they would stop trying to survive in recognition of what? That God is the provider. God was the provider. When we stop today, when we close down everything, we're recognizing that God is the provider. It's an act of faith.

Six, the Sabbath is a day of celebration. Sabbaton is the Greek word, used multiple times in the New Testament as a day of-- it's not a day of taboo, of lamentation. It's not a day of fasting either, friends. I'm not saying that you can't fast on Sabbath, but Sabbath is not intended or meant for fasting. You know why? Because they collected a double portion of food. If God wanted them to fast, what would He have done? "Don't go out, and don't eat."

The Sabbath is a party. God is a God of parties. Look at the God of the Old Testament. Look at the amount of parties that the children of Israel had. Look at the percentage of how much time that consumed. What do you think we're going to be doing in heaven? It's going to be one big party for the rest of eternity; the right kind of party, the good party, partying and celebrating God and our relationship with him. The people had to eat, for verse 24 and chapter 16 says, "Today is the Sabbath of the Lord." It was a special day with purpose-- with the purpose of bringing joy, happiness, satisfaction to those observing it.

And finally, the Sabbath is a test of fidelity for men to God. You know, some people in their unbelief and in their curiosity, they went out and they tried to find food, didn't they? And God's disapproval was made very clear when that happened. Exodus 16:28 says, "How long will you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? How long will you be rebellious?" Refusing to keep the Sabbath equals refusing to obey God's will. Faith walks hand in hand with obedience.

This is going to be a good study for those that accept it, okay? "Is Obedience Legalism?" The Bible teaches that no, obedience is love. Obedience is love. Exodus 16 contains the central notion regarding the origin of the Sabbath as it comes from before the Sinai. That means that the Sabbath is an institution that was already in effect from the creation of the world and will be in effect throughout the endless times of eternity.

Another reason for rest, Wednesday's lesson, Moses was the great leader of the Israelites; and when he knew that he was about to die and they were about to go into the Promised Land, he reminded them of some very important ideals. That's what the whole book of Deuteronomy is about.

The whole book of Deuteronomy is Moses coming back--you know, when you're--you know, I lived in Germany for a year and a half when I was in college, and my dad took me. He went with me the first week to take me and leave me there, and before he left he gave me this long letter full of instructions, full of advice. Deuteronomy is that. It's dad, Moses, leaving the children of Israel that he knew were rebellious and stiff-necked people, giving them advice, reminding them of some points.

You know, life seems to impose two great tests that are contradictory. They're apparently cognitive dissonances. The first, the test that is forged by the difficulties, the poverty, the trials, the perplexities, the misfortunes of life. And in an attempt of making sense of the evils that knock at our door, we easily become frustrated and lose our faith and are led down the path of cynicism and of unbelief. That's one of these trials, one of these tests.

But on the other hand, people are many times met with the test of abundance, of success, of ease, of riches, and all the evils of life seem to be just distant, far-off imaginations. And the danger of this test, of this case, is forgetfulness, ingratitude, presumption, and the risk of attributing the blessings of God to chance and to coincidence. Israel was at that moment running that risk. Entering the Promised Land provided the risk of taking for granted what could only be understood as blessings from the true leader that had led them to-- through that journey so far. And so Moses calls the people's attention to the things that they had been through: the years in the desert, the things that they were about to experience beyond the Jordan.

The fourth commandment in the Decalogue, the-- Exodus 20:8 through 11, it consists of 55 Hebrew words and it's the longest of the 10. In Exodus, it begins with the word "remember", the Hebrew word zakar. It involves two main aspects. It's a very rich word. It involves two main aspects. First of all, a retrospective aspect where remembering emphasizes the past. This indicates that the Sabbath is not something new. It's not something that was introduced at Mount Sinai. The commandment possesses a very clear link between the Sabbath and creation. Why are they remembering? Because in six days God created the heavens, earth, and sea and the--all that's in them; and He rested on the seventh day. Do you see the link, the connection?

The second aspect of this very rich word, "remember," here, it has also a prospective aspect that relates to the future. The immediate purpose here is--of remembering--is directed towards this definite action to abstain from work on this day, to hallow, and to observe it. And so this way, the remembrance of the past brings to mind the correct action in the present and in the future.

Do you see? One thing flows into the other. It had as a retrospective aspect and a prospective aspect. The past leads into the future. The imperative "remember" zeroes in into the special separation of the Sabbath from the other days of common work. That's what Moses is telling the people here--God through Moses. "Remember" in biblical Hebrew doesn't imply in a mere action of memory, but in the involvement of life. Remember the transition from the slavery of Egypt to the condition of freedom. Israel went from oppression and slavery imposed by the Egyptian taskmasters to freedom and to liberty.

You know, friends, freedom isn't primarily-- it's not primarily defined by a lot of work or imposed work. Slavery is primarily defined as work without significance, work without meaning. That's slavery. And it's sad to say that millions fall under that category today: work without significance, without meaning. Slavery in this case had all but destroyed in them the human dimension of spiritual freedom--the abuse, the harassment, the violence-- but the Sabbath was set as a gate to life, a different dimension of time itself, no more slaves, no more instruments-- mere instruments of work serving the dreams of other, mere units of profit margins to other people.

The true purpose of Israel was not a mere geographic location. That's why Exodus 19, verse 4, says, "I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself." That's God saying, "I brought you to myself." Up to this day, the Sabbath frees us, friends, from the idolatry of our dreams of granger, of our pettiness and empty materialistic service.

Correctly understood--and I've said this here before in another lesson regarding the Sabbath. Correctly understood, it is not us who keeps the Sabbath. It's not really you who keeps the Sabbath. It's the Sabbath that keeps you. It's the Sabbath that protects you, that envelops you in meaning, in purpose, in truth. The commandment of the Sabbath is a symbol of dependence. It's a symbol of freedom from the yoke of work, of exploitation. It's a symbol of our own personal exodus. Every single human being on this planet has gone through his own or her own exodus from one point to another.

Friends, the goodness, the justice of God overflows from such an ideal of freedom. In Deuteronomy 5 where we find the repetition-- you know you find the Ten Commandments twice in the Bible in the Old Testament: in Exodus chapter 20 and in Deuteronomy chapter 5. We find the repetition, but it's slightly changed. Have you ever noticed that? It's changed. It's different. The structure remains the same as Exodus 20. We have the same motivation for the observance of the Sabbath.

However, in the repetition here, the commandment gains this new aspect. It's--in theology, this is called the soteriological aspect. Soteriological, or soteriology, is a fancy word for salvation. It gains a new salvational dimension that's introduced. In Exodus 20, the Sabbath is linked to what? To creation. But in Deuteronomy chapter 5, verse 15, the clause "remember" unites the Sabbath to the redemption of Egypt. "For remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God freed you, redeemed you with a powerful hand."

On every Sabbath, Israel was called to remember that their God was their redeemer. This is the theme of the redemption that constitutes an additional to the theme of creation given in Exodus chapter 20. And here they are called vividly to remember the gift that they received from God, His work of deliverance. Remembering the Lord as a creator means to recognize Him as the foundation of our existence. He created us, and He freed us. He made us, and He redeemed us. In a way, the redemption from the bondage of Egypt is a story that is included in the life of every single human being. All of us have our Egypts where we live in bondage.

The last day, Thursday, keeping the Sabbath. Each one of the Ten Commandments of God's law can be summed up in one word. Did you know this? Because these laws reflect His character, each one of them can be summed up in an attribute of who He is. The first commandment, "Have no other gods before Me," it has to do with fidelity. The second that has to do with the craven images has to do with worship, the nature of worship. The third, "Don't say the Lord's name in vain," has to do with reverence. The fourth, the commandment of Sabbath, has to do with dependence, with obedience. The fifth about the parents has to do with honor. The sixth, "Do not kill," has to do with respect of life. The seventh, "Don't commit adultery," has to do with purity, faithfulness. The eighth, "Don't steal," has to do with honesty--sorry. Honesty. Integrity. The ninth that has to do with lies has to do with truth--truthfulness. And the tenth, "Don't covet," has to do with contentment.

But the commandment of the Sabbath, it appears in the midst of the moral commandments. It has to do with our dependence on God. When the sun sets on Friday, I interrupt my ordinary activities, I close my business, I shut off the computer, I close the books. And in doing so, I'm declaring that my life does not depend on my business, on my studies, on my work, on my bank account, on secular success, on anything else that I can buy or consume.

By resting in the presence of the creator, I am essentially affirming that my life depends totally on God. Resting from the preoccupations and the worries that usually crush and consume me, that raise my heartbeat, that intensify my blood pressure is a sign of rest in Jesus, of trust because we can only truly rest when we feel safe enough to disconnect.

The biblical Sabbath, friends, can only begin when I shut everything else down. In Scripture, as a symbol of both redemption, the-- and creation, the Sabbath is a weekly reminder that God is the creator and that ultimately He is responsible for His creation. We are not astray. We are not in uncharted waters. We are not victims of blind fake. We are the sons and daughters of a God that has everything under control.

The Sabbath tells us that we are creatures of God, singular beings of infinite worth; and this way the Sabbath restores in us the identity that has been marred by the consumerist mentality of this planet. It reminds us who we are. The disposition of stopping for this weekly rest, this pause, is a solemn recognition that we are creatures of God, not creatures of things. Our identity isn't based upon the things that we have, the things that we can buy, the car that we drive, the house that we live in. Our identity is based solely on God's perspective of us, the value that He attributes to human beings. Our true sense of worth and identity is only, friends, achieved in the presence of He who invites us to rest and to celebrate with Him the true purpose of life.

I'd like to finish with a very beautiful text. It comes from the book called "Christ's Object Lessons," and you'll find this in page 25 and 26. It says, "God gave to men the memorial of His creative power, that they might discern Him in the works of His hand. The Sabbath bids us, 'Behold, in His created works the glory of the creator.' On the holy rest day, above all other days, we should study the messages that God has written for us in nature. As we come close to the heart of nature, Christ makes His presence real to us and speaks to our hearts of His peace and love."

My friends, I invite you to take advantage of the day of rest. Rest on this day, allow peace to inundate your heart, and understand who you truly are through the eyes of Him who sees you for what you truly are. May God bless you.

I'd like to invite you again to take advantage of this free offer. It'll help you a lot on this comprehension of obedience, and faith, and legalism. So if you would like this, please call 866-788-3966, ask for the offer 706. If you're in the US or Northern America-- North America, you can text "SH041" to the number 40544. And if you're outside of North America, you can go to study.aftv.org/SH041. I'm sure that this will help you to understand a little bit more even of this subject. May God bless you, and may be-- may He be with you, amen.

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Ashley: I grew up in northern New Jersey, just about 35 minutes out of New York City, and I grew up in a famous family. And so my father played for the New York Giants for nine years. That's how we ended up where we were. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers, and he was in the Pro Bowl. He won two Super Bowls. And I also had an older brother who played professional baseball. So I had a lot to live up to.

Everything we did was based around sports. That was my life and I loved it, but inside I was--I struggled daily with insecurity, lacking confidence. You know, I would look at myself in the mirror and not-- and would not see good things about myself. I started to put all my energy into soccer and I decided that I was going to go far with that.

So I ended up getting a scholarship to play in the University of Miami. I was being pulled in these, like, two directions of, you know, wanting to live this party lifestyle with my teammates and I was so engulfed in soccer and school, but I also had this, like, strong yearning, desire, to serve God. And I was just struggling to figure out the balance in how to do that. I was in sin city in Miami and I couldn't--I felt like I could-- I was swimming upstream and I just felt like I couldn't breathe.

I had everything everyone would have wanted. I had everything. I had a scholarship to pay for school. I was playing a sport. I was the captain of my team. I was in Miami. I was--I had a great family, I had a lot of friends, but where was God? There was--all of that is meaningless unless I had Him. And the lifeline that He gave me was this soft whisper in my ear saying, "Go." I just remember, "Go." So I decided to go, and I spent two months in Kenya and two months in Uganda and God was saving me by sending me there. It was God's prescription for my life, for my existence.

When I returned from Africa, I went back to school. I finished school, finished soccer. I went to the University of Tennessee to get my masters when I met my husband. Our motto in life was we wanted to live in reckless abandon for our creator and-- whatever that was, whatever that looked like. And you know, we've traveled and we've done mission work, but we've mostly been in Tennessee. And when we were--we spent the summer apart a year after that we were married, and it was the summer of 2015. When we came back together, he's like, "I have some things I want to share with you. I want you to listen to this." And we were on a 14-hour car ride and he just started playing this prophecy code all the way back from 2005, and it was so clear and I just was comprehending it so well.

You know, after a couple, like, three or four, I was like, "I need a break. My mind is going to, like, explode from all this, like, information overload." And everything that I thought I had known about the Bible and about Scripture is just completely different. I was in shock. Everything that I was hearing it was, like, Scripture is proving Scripture is proving Scripture. My heart was, like, changing in that car ride because I was learning more about God than I ever have before.

After that car ride and after listening to the whole prophecy code, my life was completely changed. He's become more real to us than He ever has been before, and that has pushed us to disciple and to minister to others and share with them what we know. My name is Ashley, and I want to thank you for changing my life.

Announcer: Amazing facts changed lives.

Male: I come from a Hindu background. My mom is a preacher for Shiva, who's a Hindu god. My father is agnostic kind. So me myself I grew, like, as an atheist. In the year 2007 I had an experience of being in South India, and that was the first time I experienced Christian people, you know? The majorities were Christians there. There were some Adventist youth who invited me to be a part of one of their mid-week service. They were presenting a video of Pastor Doug Batchelor, "The Richest Caveman." I was moved, you know? I do understand good and bad, and I pictured myself into the bad category than the good one.

I started experiencing several dreams and-- which started troubling me. And you know, I kept the website in my mind. I went to the internet cafe and started browsing the website of Amazing Facts, and then I saw the Bible study guide there. Every day I started taking one of the lesson, and I was baptized 2007.

After my conversion, I strictly came to Spicer to do my studies. During the summer vacation, I decided to go back home and give my mom and my father the visit. By that time, they knew that I have converted to Christianity. I was thrown out of the house. We are not in good terms even today, but sad part for them, not for me.

During 2015, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I had only one professor and one friend who was coming along with me to the hospital every day. When I asked this assistant doctor, "What do you think is the lifespan of a person like me?" Then she said, "You'll be losing weight and you'll get sick slowly, slowly if you don't go for a treatment." So a year plus, one night I decided--it was January 2015. I said, "I am not going for any treatment anymore." I said, "Lord, You gave me one year. So what I'll do is I'll just do Your ministry, and that's okay." And I never went for any treatment after that. I just left everything right away there. I didn't take even one tablet, one medicine.

I'm standing in front of you strong in 2018. Nothing happened. I don't know what happened. I don't know if still there in my body or what. I don't know. I'm not dead yet. I want to serve in India. Amazing Facts team, especially Pastor Doug, has really played a very important element in my life to give me an identity.

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