BE WELL RESTED
INTRO: The meaning of our sermon text for today is “second law”. We might ask ourselves when was the first law? On Mt. Sinai God gave to Israel through Moses the Ten Commandments. God wrote on tablets of stone. Before this God’s law was written on man’s hearts. In Exodus (chapter 20) God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel at the beginning of forty years of wandering the in the wilderness. In Deuteronomy Moses now gives Israel the law at the end of forty years of wilderness wandering. They will soon enter the Promised Land. God reminds them of his Law that was written on the first tablets of stone, Ten Commandments. Much is going to change for God’s people. They will settle the Promised Land. They will plant and harvest. They will build houses and dwell in cities. They will have rest in the Promised Land. You and I live in a modern day promised land. Compared with other countries we have rest. Today we study the third commandment and its true, deep meaning of rest for us. The Lord invites us into his Sabbath, his rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest …learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (MATTHEW 11:28, 29b).
We consider the theme: BE WELL-RESTED.
- Observe the requirements of rest.
- Remember the blessings from rest.
- OBSERVE THE REQUIREMENTS OF REST
- In this section of Scripture there are subtle differences from the Ten Commandments in Exodus.
- Verse 12 emphasizes observing the Sabbath day. This word means to watch, guard, and keep.
12“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you
God wanted his people to keep this day holy – guard it.
- Israel was to keep this day holy simply because the Lord God had “commanded” it (you).
- Verses 13, 14a. Israel is to get all their work done in six days. The seventh day is a day of rest.
3Six days you shall labor and do all your work,14but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.
- The Lord is serious about this No family member is to work.. No servants or beasts of burden are to work. No visitors or even foreigners. Everyone rests! In this way even outsiders would notice the attitude of respect and reverence Israel had for this day.
- God’s law speaks very clearly to the wicked hearts of mankind today. God’s law is very blunt and to the point. Today the Lord would remind us to watch, guard, and keep the Sabbath day for ourselves. The day of rest is be as precious to us as it is to the Lord. “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done”(GENESIS 2:3).
Even God, who really does not need to rest, rested on the seventh day. Thus the seventh day was made holy. As mortals we need rest much more than God. We want to remember that the day of rest is not just a physical rest but always, ever a spiritual rest. God wants us to value this rest, his Sabbath (rest) made for us.
- Which day of rest are we to watch, guard, and keep? Creation ended on the sixth day. On the seventh day (Saturday, according to our calendars) the Lord rested. The day was made holy. In the New Testament the believers began to observe the first day of the week (Sunday) as important. Why? On Easter, the first day of the week, Jesus rose from the dead. Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, took place on Sunday. On that Pentecost the Christian church grew by 5,000. In the book of Acts the believers began to gather together on the first day of the week. Creation also began on the
first day of the week. Sunday became the day of rest they wanted to observe.
Christ is our rest. Whenever we come to worship (rest) in Christ, this time is our Sabbath with our Savior. Sabbath means rest –not Saturday, Sunday, etc.
- Our Lord’s law emphasis to our sinful nature is to watch, guard, and keep the Sabbath. It is to be a holy day or time to the Lord. The Sabbath is to be holy to us also. We observe the requirements of the Sabbath as holy by keep it sacred. We observe the requirement of the Sabbath when we truly find in Christ is our rest. “Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil”(ISAIAH 56:2).
God’s law says: BE WELL-RESTED. We are to observe (guard, watch, and keep) the requirements of rest.
God’s gospel also wants us to BE WELL-RESTED. We are as we remember blessings from rest.
- REMBER THE BLESSINGS FROM REST
- Moses was very concerned that Israel would soon forget God after they entered the Promised Land.
- In the land flowing with milk and honey they might not remember everything God had done.
- Moses reviews God’s law from the Ten Commandments for God’s people as they enter rest.
- The simple truth of the Law, God’s command is stated. The Law does not save. There is the Gospel.
- Moses says: “Remember”. Once they were slaves now they are free.
- The greatest armies did not budge God’s “mighty hand…arm” one inch from protecting them.
- “Remember” once you had nothing now you have everything. God’s divine mercy is great!
- “Remember”. In remembering God’s love Israel could gladly observe God’s Sabbath day of rest.
- When we remember God’s great love us we are well rested. For it is our Savior God, our heavenly Father who is able to do all things for us. Not only is the Lord Almighty able to do all things for us – he actually does all things for us. God has delivered from our worst enemies and fiercest foes.
We remember. We rejoice. We rest in the love our Creator has for his creation. “Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations”(PSALM 98:1
- Our lives are changed as we live in an imperfect Promised Land. We strive to find that time of rest that God wants us to have. We are to be well rested because this is what God wants for us.
This is God’s gospel motivation in our lives. We believe and live and do because of what Christ once did for us. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”(GALATIANS 2:10). We remember God’s blessings from rest (Christ). We are well rested.
- Like Israel we also need to be reminded to “remember”. Remember God’s blessings from rest .We are usually very protective of our physical rest. Not many enjoy not getting enough sleep. Tiredness leads to crabbiness. Lack of sleep can even be bad for one’s health.
Our true rest is written in God’s holy and precious word. Whenever we hear God’s word we rest. Whenever we read God’s word he gives us his rest, which the world cannot and does not provide. As we study God’s word our souls are rested and eternally refreshed. Christ is our rest. We find our rest, our Christ, our Sabbath in God’s book of life. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might
have hope”(ROMANS 15:4). We remember blessings.
BE WELL-RESTED. It hardly seems that any of us would need to be encouraged to get more rest. How true God’s word is to remind us of that very fact. We do need to hear God’s law.God’s law commands us to observe the requirements of rest. As new creatures in Christ we need to hear God’s gospel. God’s gospel encourages us to be well rested. Out of love and mercy God provided his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We remember God’s blessings from rest. Our Lord would have us remember the importance of the Sabbath (rest) day. We willingly work to guard, watch, and keep God’s rest as holy. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us,
therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their
example of disobedience” (HEBREWS 4:9-11). BE WELL-RESTED. Observe rest requirements. Remember blessings from rest. Amen. Pastor Timm O. Meyer