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The Sabbath Rest - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 30, 2022 5:00 am

The Sabbath Rest - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 30, 2022 5:00 am

Though Christians are solidly under the new covenant, rooted in grace, we enjoy the principle of taking a Sabbath rest from our work. In the message "The Sabbath Rest," Skip shares how you can honor God through worshipful rest.


The word Sabbath is the Hebrew word Shabbat, and it means to put an end to something, to cease, to desist. We would have the idea to unplug from our work, to veg out, to use a modern parlance, to chill out, to relax. The Bible gives believers a mandate to rest and relax. And today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip shares why rest is not only good for you, it's also Christ-like. But first, did you know that Skip shares important updates and biblical encouragement on social media?

Just follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest from him and this ministry. That's at Skip Heitig, at Skip, H-E-I-T-Z-I-G. Now, we're in Deuteronomy Chapter 5 as we dive into today's teaching with Skip Heitig. So there was an Orthodox rabbi who went golfing on the Sabbath, which is a no-no. So he's out there golfing, he's on the golf course, and Gabriel in heaven sees that and goes to inform God, as if God needs to be informed. And Gabriel says, Lord, we got a rabbi golfing on the Sabbath.

You should strike him with lightning. And God said, I've got a better idea. So the rabbi got up to the tee box, took his driver, had a pretty good swing, and the ball flew from the tee 420 yards right toward the green, bounced, rolled onto the green, and into the cup for a hole-in-one on a par-4. Gabriel turns to God and said, I thought you were going to punish him. God smiled and said, I just did.

Who's he going to tell? Several years ago, after a stressful period in my own life, my wife and I took a vacation. We were at a quaint spot near a mountain lake, and I relaxed. And I got into something that, up to that point, I had only heard about, but I had never done. They're called naps. I'm not really good at doing naps. I've really kind of been opposed to naps. I kind of like to just plow through the day and then crash at night. But I found that I got really, I got really restful and relaxed, and I started taking a nap.

And then I was taking two naps a day on that vacation. And I realized, you know, I think I've been missing something here. I think I really needed to do this. I walked away after many days feeling differently, thinking differently, regaining my perspective. Everything just seemed clearer.

Everything seemed better. Now I'm going to fast forward to what happened a couple years ago, almost, when I was walking into my garage, and I walked right into my bicycle that was hung up. And I hit my head very hard, had a subdural hematoma, had to go to the hospital, get the blood drained, and then got released.

And then the blood came back, and I had to go back to the hospital, have another surgery, and get the blood drained again. And as I was in the hospital the second time on my bed, my son Nate was there, came up to me, leaned in, and said, Dad, what do you think the Lord may be saying to you in all this? And he was, it was just a genuine question, you know, what do you think the Lord might be saying? And I'm thinking, what, besides don't walk into stationary objects? He might be saying that.

But I did reflect and wrote down that I think I'm really needing to learn to consistently rest. And I'm going to share a little bit about that today. We started last time when we were together on the fourth commandment. We're looking at the Ten Commandments. And I said last time that the fourth commandment of the ten, think of it as the tender commandment. It is God's maintenance program for men and women that He created.

We laid the groundwork last week. We made a note of the fact that the Sabbath is a weekly celebration. It is an intermission every single week. It's a special day. It is Saturday, the Sabbath and the Bible. And Judaism begins sundown Friday evening to Saturday sundown.

It's a 24-hour period, a day of rest. But also we looked at the idea that sometimes God put Sabbath days attached to festival days. So there were festivals in the Old Testament through the calendar year. God made sure that there were Sabbaths along with the weekly Sabbath. But then also we discovered that sometimes the Sabbath wasn't just a day, sometimes it was a whole year. That in the agricultural calendar of the nation of Israel, they were to work the field for six years. The seventh year the farmer was to let it go and not touch it, let the land rest and let it be replenished on its own. We also told you that the word Sabbath is the Hebrew word Shabbat and it means to put an end to something, to cease, to desist.

We would have the idea to unplug from our work, to veg out, to use a modern parlance, to chill out, to relax. And we also last time looked at why we should do it. We should do it first of all because God said do it.

Enough said. But number two because God Himself did it. In creation He worked six days and on the seventh day God rested, not because He was pooped, not because He was tired, He just was done. He worked for six days and then took an entire day to rest. Now what I want to do today is kind of go deeper and talk about why the Sabbath is good for us.

What are the benefits of resting from work? And then toward the end of the message I'd like to just touch on whatever happened to the Sabbath day. Did the Sabbath get changed to Sunday? Is the Sunday worship a fourth century AD conspiracy that was hatched to change the idea of the Sabbath day?

That's what we're accused of doing in some circles. I at least want to cover that. I've asked you to turn to the book of Deuteronomy. Last time we were together it was Exodus chapter 20. That was the first rendering in Scripture of the Ten Commandments, but Deuteronomy chapter 5 is also a rendering of the Ten Commandments.

Let me tell you what we're dealing with. Deuteronomy is a series of sermons preached by Moses to a different generation than the first generation. The first generation died in the desert. The second generation is now alive. They're on the plains of Moab and about to enter the Promised Land. Moses himself after this book is going to die.

He's quite old. And so we have a recap of the law. It's not really a repetition. It is a recapitulation to a new generation. By the way, Deuteronomy is a word that means the second law.

It is the second statement or giving of the law to a new generation. So Moses takes this young group of people and reviews the Ten Commandments. By the way, from time to time we need to review the Ten Commandments.

You know why? If I were to give you a test right now and say, list, without looking at your Bible, list the Ten Commandments, I wonder if you'd be able to do it. According to Harper's Magazine, only 40% of Americans can name more than four commandments. We have before us what I told you last week was the two tables of the law or the two tablets of the law. If you would look down in verse 22, it says, these words, the Lord spoke to all your assembly. This is Moses talking in his sermon.

In the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud and the thick darkness with a loud voice and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. It is believed that on one tablet were engraved the first four commandments and on the second tablet were inscribed the second six commandments. The second tablet or table of the law had the rest of them. Now the first tablet was all about the vertical relationship. It's all about our relating to God.

The second six are horizontal. They're about mankind dealing with one another. I could sum up the Ten Commandments this way. The Ten Commandments in a nutshell is that God expects two things from people. Two things. Supreme devotion to Him and sincere affection for others.

That sums them all up. Supreme devotion to Him, that's the first four. Sincere affection for others, that's the rest of them. But what I want to do is show you really something very simple and that is three reasons why the Ten Commandments are good. They're good for you personally. They're good for you relationally. They're good for you spiritually.

That'll take up our study this morning. The Sabbath is good for you personally. Let's read in chapter 5 of Deuteronomy beginning in verse 12. Moses tells this new generation, observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 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.

And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. What struck me as I read this this time around is the word you and yours in what we just read. The word you appears six times, I counted, and the word your appears 15 times.

Like all of the your appears 15 times. Like all of the commandments, God is getting personal with them. This is God saying, I am asking you, My people, to do these things. But with this commandment, because He says you, you, your, your, yours, it shows me how much God cares for you. God cares about you.

Peter said casting all your care upon Him because He cares for you. This is God caring about you. And that's what you need to understand about the Sabbath. The Sabbath is good for you personally. It's God's gift to you personally.

It's His maintenance requirement for your benefit, for your longevity. You remember in the New Testament, I love the story, Jesus is with His disciples that are out in the grain fields. It's the Sabbath day.

They're just walking along. Disciples are picking heads of grain, rubbing the things in their hands, blowing the chaff, throwing it in their mouth like chewing gum. It was permitted to do what's called the laws of gleaning, but it was the Sabbath day.

And the Bible tells us that the Pharisees, I guess they were following the disciples, sort of popped up from the grain fields and said, hey, what's up? Why are your disciples doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath? Which wasn't true, but that's a whole other Bible study.

But that's the accusation. You're breaking the Sabbath. And then Jesus confronted them and He said, have you never read your Bibles? Have you never read how David went into the house of the Lord and got the showbread from Abiathar the priest and ate the showbread, which is only lawful for the priest to eat? But he and his men ate of it.

And then he made an application. He said, for the Sabbath, listen to his words, for the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, for the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath. But that phrase is something to listen to. Sabbath was made for man. God gave you a break for your benefit. Everybody who studies work and production understands this is the truth.

Production analysts will tell us that work breaks, increase productivity, and after 40 hours of work, concentration levels drop, mistakes increase, morale goes down. So God knew that. And so God gave a commandment.

It's for you personally. Every now and then I'll meet a well-meaning but overachieving brother or sister who will say things because, you know, they want to justify the fact that they work harder than everybody else, and they will say stuff like this. I'd rather burn out than rust out. Have you ever heard anybody say that? I'd rather burn out than rust out.

In other words, my overwork is good as long as I just don't sit around and veg out like everybody else. I'd rather burn out than rust out. That's a stupid thing to say.

It's stupid because whether you burn out or rust out, either way you're out. You're out. God doesn't want you out. God wants you in, hence the commandment. I want you in. Take a break.

It is good for you personally. Even Jesus took a rest. Mark chapter 6, He sends His men out. They come back from a short-term mission trip after preaching. Jesus said, Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. That's Jesus talking. So rest and relaxation aren't luxuries.

They're necessities. It's not carnal to take a rest. It's Christ-like to take a rest. I read an article that I found interesting. I'm certainly not an expert at all in the Chinese language, but the article said that the Chinese letter or pictograph for the word busy is comprised of two different pictographs put together. You'll notice in the diagram the word heart and the word death or killing, as some translations put it, so that the word busy, meng, comes from two words that mean heart-killing. Isn't that fascinating? It's pretty fitting, right? It's like the Chinese knew, if you are too busy, you're going to kill your heart. Now, I don't know how this works in daily conversation in Chinese.

How are you doing? Oh, you know, I'm killing my heart a lot lately. But it is very appropriate in terms of meaning. Jesus came to lift your burden, not give you a burden. He said, my yoke is easy. My burden is light. The Sabbath was made for man. It's good for you personally.

Which brings up a good question. How does the human body respond to rest? How does your physical, how does your physiology respond to rest?

Well, it turns out it responds very positively. I got on WebMD this week and looked this up and said, when you relax, your heart rate slows, your breathing slows down, your blood pressure goes down, your digestion gets better, your muscles relax. If you have pain, you hurt less because relaxed muscles hurt less than tense muscles. Also, your brain releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers, and your immune system works better, all from rest. Also, studies show that you become more creative when you rest. When you step away from a project, you fill up your reserves, you allow your brain to think past creative barriers that you couldn't get past when you were on the job, you find solutions to problems.

According to Forbes magazine, I'll put this up, the human body is built to thrive in a series of short sprints. This is why taking a break, if only for a few minutes, can offer you the refresh you need to persevere through your day. Also, taking a rest helps with decision-making. We know that as a culture. We tell somebody who's making a decision, can't quite figure it out, we'll say, go home, sleep on it, sleep on it. In other words, maybe if you walk away from the situation and spend a night just thinking about it casually, you'll come up with a solution, which turns out to be true, you make better choices.

By the way, this is the reason why Monday mornings in many businesses are the mornings that are filled with high-importance tasks, meetings, technical assignments, because the previous days of rest has sharpened the mind. Now, I'm going to throw something out at you that I want you to at least consider. You all know Psalm 23, right? It's the most famous Psalm. Unbelievers know the Psalm. Believers certainly know it. We usually know it by heart, right?

You could say it if I were to start it. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley. You know it. You know it. You're so good.

You know it. Listen to it this way, though. The Lord is my shepherd.

I shall not want. He makes me lie down. Makes me lie down.

Now, when I read it that way, it sounds like it's enforced. It doesn't say, he lets me lie down in green pastures. It doesn't say, he just shows me green pastures and says, it's up to you. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Why on earth would a shepherd make a sheep lie down? Answer, to restore your soul. Now, here's a thought. I wonder if God has to force some of His sheep to lie down because they won't do it on their own. But He wants their soul to be restored, but that sheep is so achievement-oriented and goal-oriented, I've got to put it on its back.

I've got to make it lie down. That would have been me a couple of times in my life, I would admit to that. You see, our culture, and probably the way I was raised by my dad, our culture applauds anyone who can cram 80 hours into 20. We give you a raise for that. We applaud you.

You're awesome. You work harder than anybody. You just need to know God does not applaud that. God says, walk away from that.

Take a break from that. I want you to lie down and restore your soul. You might say, I'd rather burn out than rust out. I don't want you out.

I want you to stay in. So the Sabbath is good for you personally. Here's the second benefit. The Sabbath is good for you relationally, relationally. Back to verse 14, but the seventh day is the Sabbath day to the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work.

Now watch this. You, comma, nor your son, nor your daughter, so this extends from you to your children, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, that would be your employees, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, that would be your farm equipment in those days, nor your stranger who is within your gates, resident aliens who have come into the nation, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. So the Sabbath wasn't for certain people, for religious people, for people who felt like it. It was, according to the Ten Commandments, for all people.

The entire nation took a rest because they were one nation under God, and the under God part was proved on the day they said, we're not doing anything today because the Lord God commanded that we take a break. We're going to do it as a nation. That's Skip Heideck with a message from the series Hustle and Grind. Now, we want to share about a resource that encourages fathers across the nation to step up and fulfill their God-given calling.

Your gift to this teaching program has helped us grow, and we want to do more in 2023. This month with your gift of $50 or more, you'll receive a download or DVD of a new critical issues video hosted by Skip, Where's Dad? The problems are clear. Teen crime, drug abuse, youth suicide, abortion, and a host of others. The question is, where's dad? Where's the man of the household when their boys are making life decisions about their treatment of women, their worldview, and their morals?

Why are legions of energetic teens channeling their time towards self-destructive and socially destructive behavior? And where's dad to guide them, to correct them, to be in relationship with them? We realize that single-parent families are not exclusively a male issue. Fathers who do not take responsibility for their children are the critical problem. Where's Dad? looks at the problem of missing fathers in the home, tells stories of people who have been impacted by this plague, and looks at the possibilities of reconciliation at any age or stage of life. Get your DVD or download of the full-length video, Where's Dad?

hosted by Skip Heitzig and featuring Josh McDowell. Receive your copy of Where's Dad? when you help us expand Skip's teaching with where's dad. When you help us expand Skip's teaching with your donation of $50 or more, call 1-800-922-1888, or go to to get your copy of Where's Dad?

Did you know that God had you in mind when he crafted his plan of salvation for the world? Well, you can connect others to that same good news by giving a gift today to help reach them and to keep these faith-enriching messages coming to you. Visit to donate to give generously and share God's love with others. That's slash donate, or call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888. Thank you for changing lives. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares how rest benefits your spiritual walk with the Lord. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-30 12:04:26 / 2022-11-30 12:13:25 / 9

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