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August 14, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Mark Minnick continues a chapel series entitled “Oh How I Love They Law.” Today’s scripture passage is Exodus 20.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist, Dr. Bob Jones senior. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything. So he established daily chapel services. Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the university chapel platform.
Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a study series entitled Oh How I Love Thy Law, which is a study of the Ten Commandments. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Mark Minnick, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina.
The commandment that we are turning our attention to today is in the 20th chapter of Exodus. And we'll look at it line by line.
I have all the scriptures up here this morning so you can pretty much keep your attention here. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shelf our labor and do all they work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, thy God in it. Thou shall not do any work.
Thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter by man servant.
Nor are they made servant.
Not even your animals. Not thy cattle. Nor are they stranger. That is within the gates. Now notice this place. Notice that the next verse begins with the word for.
So what we have here is a reason.
Four in six days. The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them and arrest of the seventh day, wherefore that is therefore the Lord bless the Sabbath day and Halit it. What is that first reason for that Sabbath day commandment? We could summarize it this way. It's calling attention to the Lord's original week. His original rhythm for time. He evidently was calling the nation Israel to an imitation of that rhythm. Now, you know, of course, I'm sure it's been mentioned a number of times in this series that in Deuteronomy we have a second statement of these Ten Commandments. And all I want to do is call our attention to the fact that in Deuteronomy we have a second reason given. Remember that thou want a servant in the land of Egypt and that the Lord, thy God brought the out thence. And if you look at the way this is put in the 15th chapter Deuteronomy, the word redeemed is used. He redeemed the through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm. Therefore, the Lord Thy God commanded the to keep the Sabbath day. So there is a second reason. What is it? It's this matter of redemption. Those are the two reasons that are given. Keep the Sabbath day in imitation of the original rhythm of the Lord himself and keep the Sabbath day in remembrance of his redemption of you out of Egypt. There's one other scripture initially that we need to pull together with this, and that is from the thirty first chapter of Exodus. And I won't read all of that. All I'd like for you to note is what is in the dark red. And that is that in this passage, the Lord informs Israel that the Sabbath is a sign of their covenant relationship to him. So when it comes to the Mosaic Covenant, it has a sign just like the Noé Covenant has a sign, the Rainbow Abrahamic Covenant had a sign circumcision. The Mosaic Covenant has a sign, the keeping of the Sabbath. Now, that's what makes this commandment the most controversial today out of all ten. This is the one that really is a matter of debate among the Lord's people. And I think that I can help us to understand that with this first of three major questions this morning, is Sabbath observance then in view of those reasons and the fact that it was a sign of the covenant between the Lord and that nation, is Sabbath observance then a perpetual law for Lord, for the Lord's people? We would say for New Testament Christians, well, some people say emphatically yes. And there may be many folks in the room this morning who believe that. What's the reason for their thinking that?
Well, among other things and really foundational is that first reason, the thinking of folks like this is that Sabbath observance was something that is previous to the Mosaic law. It's previous to that covenant. Therefore, it's a timeless matter. And just like it was observed previous to the Mosaic Covenant. So it's to be observed after the Mosaic Covenant as well.
So in terms of working that out, you have some groups today and they continue to observe the seventh day of the week as a Sabbath. Seventh Day Adventists, there are seventh day Baptists. There is the Church of God. Seventh day. There are people who literally observe the Sabbath that way. But most people who would answer this question. Yes. Are people who flesh it out. This way, they observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath and particularly since the time of the Reformation. This is characterized what are called reformed churches. That would be Presbyterian churches, many Congregationalists. That's reform people. They simply take the Sabbath principle and they observe it on the first day of the week. Now, on the other hand, of course, you've got some people who say no to that question. What's the question again? Is Sabbath observance a perpetual demand on the Lord's people? Many Christian people today say no. What are their reasons for that?
Well, at least to one would be the very significant fact that when you go to your New Testament, this is the only one of the Ten Commandments that is not repeated in some form.
All the other nine are.
But in addition to that, and people who answer that question, no really feel strongly about this. And that is that in your New Testament, you actually have a prohibition against imposing Sabbaths on the Lord's people. It's found in the book of Colossians that reads this way, let no man judge you and look at the end in respect to Sabbath days. And you have something similar to that in the 14th chapter of Romans. So these people to feel that they have very strong ground to stand on now, that probably would be the position of most of us in the room this morning.
If you were raised in an independent Baptist background or a Bible church background, you probably have been raised in a dispensation of theology which takes the position that the first day of the week is not necessarily not by demand to be observed as a Sabbath day. You might do it, but you're not required to do it. Now, that leads to the second major question. I'm building a little bit here, because what I would like to do is just ask this. Is there any weekly spiritual rhythm of time for the Lord's people today?
And I'm asking that particularly of those of us who have been raised in an independent Baptist background or a Bible church background. And it might be our position that we do not have any scriptural demand upon us, that we have to observe a complete ceasing of all work on the first day of the week.
Let's say that that's our position. Let's say that's your position. The question then is, is there any weekly spiritual rhythm of time for you today? And you really have to begin answering that question by going back to the Old Testament.
We're asking about ourselves today. But you really do well to go back to the Old Testament and to this particular passage. I'm picking this passage out of the Old Testament at random.
This is the passage that was quoted on the day of the triumphal entry when the people shouted, hushing onna, which is our word. Hosanna! Holding onto Hosanna! Save now.
Those words occur immediately after a prophecy that I'm going to put up here on the projector this morning, the stone which the builders rejected is become the headstone of the corner. Do we know what that means? Next verse. This is the Lord's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. Do we know what that means? The final verse. This is the day which the Lord have made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Do we understand that verse? Well, anytime that we're trying to understand an Old Testament prophecy, it is particularly helpful if the New Testament writers expositor that prophecy for us. And in this case it does happen. Peter expounds. This prophecy in his second great sermon in the Book of Acts is found in the fourth chapter. We'll look at it up here. Here's the New Testament fulfillment starting an X Forbes 10.
He's preaching to the leaders of Israel, be it known under you all and all the people of Israel, not just you, the leaders that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom he crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him, that this man stand before you whole next verse. This is the stone which was set at Not of You Builders, which has become the head of the coroner. Let's sort that out, folks.
Let me ask you this. I put this in red. What is the stone? What in the previous verse is the stone? It's clearly Jesus Christ of Nazareth. What is this. Set at not. Of you builders. What in the previous verse is the fulfillment of that? Clearly it's this whom you crucified. And finally, which has become the head of the coroner. What is that previous verse? Whom God raised from the dead?
Now we have the inspired interpretation of that prophecy, and we really understand now hushing onna save. Now, when he came in at the triumphal entry. Now, let's go back to the one other verse in that hundred eighteen song. It's that twenty fourth verse. Now, folks, do we understand this line? This is the day which the Lord hath made. When I was a freshman student here, there was a day like this day, very early in the semester when it rained and one of my older roommates started the day by just saying rather cheerfully, oh, well, this is the day that the Lord has made.
Let's rejoice and be glad in it. I don't know that I'd ever heard anyone quote that verse or that I'd ever paid any attention to it, but I really accepted that as a great way to face bad days if it was gonna be a bad day. I'd repeat that to myself. Well, this is the day the Lord's made. Let's rejoice and be glad in it. Now, there's no question. But what? That's an acceptable application. But that isn't what this versus talking about this verse. I'm not talking about bad days. It's actually talking about the best day ever.
It's talking about the day of resurrection. The day when he was made the head of the corner by gods raising it from the dead. Now, folks, look at that next line. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Now, what that does is clearly establish in an Old Testament foundational passage that, yes, there is a rhythm to the week and it's a rhythm, of course, that has to do with the resurrection, which is exactly why then that you see the early church moving. They are meeting, they are gathering for worship and other spiritual activity to the first day of the week from the Salik.
My question thirdly and lastly this morning is what would it mean for us then to rejoice and be glad in this day? We're directed to do that. The ancient prophecy directs the Lord's people to do that. How can we rejoice and be glad in it? Well, I want to take you to one other passage and then we'll be finished with these. I want to take you to an Old Testament parallel.
It's found in the 58 chapter of Isaiah. And it reads this way. If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, what's it mean? Turn your foot away from it. Let the next line expositor from doing your own pleasure.
On my holy day. Sabbath is my holy day. Turn your foot away from doing your own pleasure. Now, I want to weave in for a moment. New Testament parallel to that and its revelation, one 10 where the Holy Spirit directs the Apostle John to write. I was in the spirit.
On a New Testament day that God himself refers to as his. It's called in the language of the Holy Spirit. The Lord's Day. There's an exact correspondence here. The Sabbath, my holy day. The first day of the week, the Lord's day. And you go on. And in this prophecy, it says, if you'll turn your foot away from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath, call this day a delight, the holy of the Lord and honorable and shall honor him. If you look in the modern language translations, it'll say and honor it if you'll do that. Now follow this. Not doing your own ways nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words. Now note this, folks. This is dynamic.
Then you will delight in the Lord.
Do we grasp the genius of that?
What's really remarkable about this is that that is exactly what the nation, Israel, at least the vast majority of it, that is evidentally what they missed for all those centuries. I don't mean that they weren't aware of those verses, but I mean, in their practice, they evidently missed the ultimate objective for the Sabbath day.
What they focused upon was, you can't work.
That wasn't the and that was the means to the end. The end wasn't nobody gets to work.
The end is then you're going to have the opportunity to really delight in the Lord. And not working is the way of freeing you from your six days of burden and labor and sweat of the brow so you can enjoy the Lord. The not working is the means to that end.
But Israel focused on the prohibition and either deeply resented it and resisted it, or on the other hand, so exaggerated it that it became a great burden like the Pharisees did in the time of our Lord. But you can see, folks, what the real objective of this is. Now, follow me on this, please.
Nothing has changed. Every week still has seven days.
And the chief end of man is still exactly the same. If you learned a catechism growing up, you know what the chief end of man is? The chief end of man is to glorify God. And to do what? Say it with me if you know it, and to enjoy him forever. Let's all say that. What does the chief end of man? Let's all say it.
The Chief and a man is to glorify God and to nothing has changed.
Now here's our situation, just like Israel's. The Lord has a great deal for us to do every week. So Monday morning he sends us out. We go out into the world. We earn our food and our drink. We raise our families. We have our friendships.
We have innocent pleasures, some delights, things that are allowed for us to do. But folks, because we're fallen people and we're in a fallen world, we have to do all that by the sweat of our brow.
And so much of it becomes tremendously burdens.
If you can do this this morning, I think a number of you can really relate to this. But if you grew up, for instance, in a Christian home where your folks are reasonably dedicated people to the Lord, I want you just for a moment to bring into your mind's eye the way your father usually looks when he comes home at the end of a workday. Or just for a moment, remind yourself of the general atmosphere of your home in the evenings after everyone has really been out there taking it on the chin in the world all day long. And you may not be completely able to relate to that right now because most of you are not married and you don't have your own homes.
But I can really tell you that when that day comes and you're into your marriage a few years, you have children and all the responsibilities. Life is very wearing.
It's wearing on you right now, but it will be multiplied exponentially when you get out into real life. So here's all this that the Lord's given you to do and you're doing it.
But because of the nature of the circumstance and because of your own fall in this, this is very, very difficult. And then when you add to that as a believer that you're in. You really are. You're just engaged in a constant spiritual warfare.
You're trying to stay in touch with the Lord. You're trying to maintain a sense of his presence all week long. You're desperate to even be able to find time for your devotional life. It just gets squeezed out by life. This is what goes on six days a week. And by the end of the week, most Christian people are really beaten down if they have engaged in that warfare to the glory of God. They really are. They're worn out with it.
And then it's the first day of the week. The week ends on Saturday night. Sunday is not part of the week, and the week ended with the seventh day.
Sunday is the first day. Monday is the second day. And what the Lord has given to us is this wonderful day. First day every week. And what we do is we assemble ourselves together, their services in our local churches. Generally, there's time in the afternoons.
Time for some extra rest and time to give attention to what we've so desperately wanted to be able to give more attention to. All week long, there is time for the spiritual devotion to the Lord, really entering into the secret place of fellowship with the Lord and enjoying the kinds of things that elevate my spirit toward him. It's there. And folks, it isn't that the Bible teaches a compartmentalization of things.
In other words, they are lawful things. Six days of the week. They're not lawful. The seventh day it is that the first day of the week is there to set the rhythm for the rest of the week when the Lord's day really is observed in the way we're thinking about this morning.
It has a tendency to really scrutinize everything else and put everything else back into perspective. It's like you reset or reorient it. It's like six days of the week, you're out in the woods so often you get off of the track, the Lord's day comes. It's like taking out the compass and getting oriented again to where the North Star really is.
And it has this great effect on your spirit so that Monday morning you're ready to get up and go at it again for the glory of the Lord and trying to enjoy the Lord.
All week long, folks, what's the biggest threat to that?
Do you realize what the biggest threat to that isn't? Ignorance of the Bible. It isn't immaturity. It isn't even on confessed sin.
Because when we come to the first day of the week and we use it as God intended, all those things get taken care of by really looking at the Lord. Here's the great threat. I grew up in Kansas. We very often had a bird dog. Some of you can relate to this. It's really enjoyable to train a younger bird dog with an older dog.
And when you're trying to train a dog to hunt pheasant or quail, you know that one of the difficulties with a young dog isn't that the dog is young or that the dog is ignorant or that the dog is slow to learn.
The biggest difficulty is when something comes across the trail that has an irresistible scent. You scoot a rabbit across the trail and even an older dog go crazy.
But you're hunting pheasant. Folks, the biggest threat to this is distraction.
And the biggest distractions are just exactly what that verse is saying, look at them again. Our own ways, our own pleasure, our own words. Those those lines are not talking about sins. God is not saying you can see on the other six days of the week. Just don't do it on the Sabbath day. He's talking about lawful things and joyful things, things there are ways, subjects we like to talk about.
But if you really will set aside those distractions this day, then you'll really delight in the Lord, and that will winnow everything. And it'll put all those other things into right perspective so that they don't become those choking thorns that the Lord was talking about in the parable of the soils. And you really will learn to delight yourself in the Lord.
Now, this is not insignificant. Between now and September, on this very day are seven months. One whole month will be Lord's days. If you're 18 this morning, by the time you turn 25, that's seven years and a whole year of them will be large days. If you live to be 70, 10 of those years will be lord days.
What do you think the effect would be on the people of God if they deliberately turned their feet away from everything else and learned to delight in the Lord? Let's back for prayer.
Father, we are so grateful to you for your word and these verses. And we pray that, by your grace, that you would help us to know how to use the rhythm of a week in the way that most brings us into deep, satisfying intimacy with you. And we'll thank you for it. We pray in Christ precious name.
A man you've been listening to, a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Mark Minnick. Join us again next week as we continue this series on the Ten Commandments here on The Daily Platform.