The Seventh Day as the Sabbath – Discussion Notes

Garden Grove SDA – Young Adult Sabbath School
28 Fundamental Beliefs – #20: The Seventh-Day as the Sabbath
May 10, 2014
Duration ~ 50min

Icebreaker Question

Please state your name and share with us your go-to trick for staying energized/staying awake.

Preamble:

Few of us are aware that at the moment America is suffering from a public health epidemic that is becoming frightfully common in our society. The lack of rest.

Take sleep, for example.

Q1 How many of you get in daily 7-8 hours? 5-6 hours? 4 or less hours?

Adults are recommended 7-8 hours daily. According to data from the National Health Interview Survey, a third of adults sleep less than 6 hours of sleep per day. Furthermore, the average American sleeps time of 6 ½ hours is a 25% drop since the early 20th century. How dismal….

But what about vacations?

Q2 How many of you get paid vacations?

You are a fortunate lot… 23% of American workers get no paid vacation time and no paid holidays.

But it’s not just about the lack of benefits; it’s about actually making use of those vacation privileges, too! Of those Americans who had vacation benefits in the year 2011, 57% of them had not made full use of their vacation days by the end of the year.

We are starved for rest as never before. To make up for it, we rev up on Red Bull, Starbucks, sodas—you name it. Our society is craving the physical and mental health benefits of a day of rest.

So before we begin talking about rest, and the provision God made for our hectic lives, let’s have a word of prayer.

Prayer

Introduction – The statement from the 28 fundamental Beliefs

The Sabbath is God’s gift to us, a time for rest and restoration of our connection to God and others. It reminds us of God’s creation and Jesus’ grace.

The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God’s unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom. The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God’s creative and redemptive acts.

Q3 What does “observing the Sabbath” mean to you? / What does it mean to “keep the Sabbath”?

Origins

[READ] Ex. 20:8-11; “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. mSix days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the nseventh 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 cattle, onor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For pin six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Q4 Is this verse the first mention of a Sabbath? / When was the whole idea of a day of rest instituted?

[READ] Gen. 2:1-3; Thus the heavens and the earth, and aall the host of them, were finished. bAnd on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God cblessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Q5 Have you ever been told that Saturday as the “Jewish Sabbath”? / What is your response to the whole idea of Saturday being the “Jewish Sabbath”?

Exodus 31:16-17 – Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is va sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for win six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”

– – – Criticism of “Sabbatarians” for failing to take this verse into account. Sabbath was for the nation of Israel, they say…

–> REJECTION OF ISRAEL AS A NATION Because of the accelerating rebellion of the nation, consummated by the murder of Jesus Christ, God rejected the Hebrew people. Inexcusably, the Jews rejected their own Messiah; accordingly, Thus, in the providence of God, the Roman armies came against Palestine in A.D. 70, and Judaism was destroyed. According to Josephus, some 1.1 million Hebrews were slaughtered, and thousands were taken into slavery. All Jewish records were lost in that holocaust. Today, there is not a single Jew who knows his tribal ancestry. The physical nation of Israel is dead. The “Jews” that make up the State of Israel today (less than twenty-five percent of the world Jewish population) cannot legitimately be called a “nation.”

–> SPIRITUAL ISRAEL As a consequence of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, God has replaced physical Israel with a new nation, spiritual Israel. Today, the “Jew” is not one who is so physically, but one who is so inwardly, i.e., spiritually (Romans 2:28-29). In this age, those who submit to the gospel plan of redemption—whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 1:16)—become children of God, and thus are constituted as the true “seed of Abraham” (Galatians 3:26-29).

[READ] Isaiah 56: 6-7 6 “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant—7 Even them I will gbring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My hhouse of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Sabbath is for ALL people, and will be observed in Heaven (Isaiah 66)

Sabbath is given to human race 2300 years BEFORE the existence of the Jewish people. Mark 2:27 NLT – “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath”

KEEPING THE SABBATH

Let’s look at Exodus 20 again

Q6 God says there is holy time; what does He mean?

Q7 What does it mean to keep the Sabbath holy? / If we think about activities, which ones would people usually say contribute to the “holiness” of the Sabbath?

[READ]Isaiah 58:13, 14; 13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, 14Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to tride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Q8 Is going to church on Saturday what is meant to keep the Sabbath holy? / Would you consider that the main way to keep a Sabbath holy is to go to church for worship? – – Why or why not?

“Holy” literally means “set apart.” or “Consecrated”

–> God is the one who makes something holy. In this commandment, He is saying, “I’ve already made it holy, so you must recognize what I have done and respect Me.”

Q9 if we recognize the meaning of what HOLY means, how then can we change our point of view about what God wants the Sabbath to be?

In the time of Jesus, two fanatical religious groups struggled for supremacy, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They were, for lack of better words, the liberals and the conservatives of their day.

—The Sadducees didn’t believe in angels or resurrection; that’s pretty liberal theology.

—The Pharisees, on the other hand, were so meticulous in their Sabbath-keeping, they set rules to ensure you didn’t walk too far on Sabbath, at least according to their calculations. They had thousands of such manmade rules about the Sabbath and other religious duties.

Ex:

  • People were forbidden from traveling more than 3,000 feet from their homes on the Sabbath.
  • Writing two or more letters was prohibited
  • A Jew could not carry an object that weighed more than a dried fig. But, an object that weighed half that amount could be carried twice.
  • A fire could not be lit or extinguished. If you failed to light your lamps before the Sabbath, you had to sit in the dark until the next evening.
  • Jews could not take a bath on the Sabbath. If they did, some of the water might splash onto the floor and this would be considered “washing it”.
  • Chairs or other heavy objects could not be moved because dragging them might make a furrow in the ground, and that would be considered plowing.
  • False teeth could not be worn because they exceeded the weight limits.
  • If a Jew was injured on the Sabbath, it was unlawful to make him better. You could only give him enough treatment to keep him alive.

[READ] Matthew 12:9-12 9Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him. 11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Jesus never said, “You don’t need to keep the Sabbath anymore.” Every debate He had about the Sabbath was about how to keep it holy, not whether to keep it. He bothered to clarify the role of Sabbath in our lives because we were obviously meant to keep observing it. 

There will sometimes be unforeseen circumstances that arise on the Sabbath that call for our attention. If a woman goes into labor on the Sabbath, should we tell her not to “labor” that day and to wait to have her baby on another day? When people are suffering on the Sabbath and it is within our abilities to help them, shouldn’t we have a heart for them, even more than for an animal stuck in a ditch?

 THE RIGHT ATTITUDE

Admit it. Sometime in your life you’ve looked up at the sky on a Saturday afternoon and wondered how long until the sun set.

Amos 8:5, we read about people saying, “When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?” They were waiting for the sun to go down and the Sabbath to be over so they could do their own thing.

[Illustration] Suppose a young man is smitten by a young woman, but because of their schedules, they can only spend a few hours a week together. He arranges his schedule to get all of his business aside, but while they’re together, she’s talking to him and he doesn’t seem to be paying attention. As they’re walking together, she says, “You seem like you’re a thousand miles away.”

He confesses, “Well, you know, I’m thinking about the work projects I’ve got this week.” Or if they’re sitting together over a dinner that she’s spent time preparing and he keeps looking at the clock saying, “Is our date over yet? You mind if I leave early?”

Q10 What would that say about his heart? Would that hurt her feelings?

His attitude indicates something is wrong with the relationship.

That’s the way it is with the Sabbath. When it’s coming to an end, don’t be watching the clock and saying, “Blow the horn! It’s over! Let’s do our own thing.” That’s the wrong attitude. It’s an insult to God.

Q11 How can we keep Sabbath holy and still have a good time on this day of rest and gladness? / What are some things that you enjoy to do on a Sabbath?

Sabbath is

  • Time of worship
  • Time to Study and Hear the word
  • Time for prayer
  • Buildign relationship with God
  • Time for Giving
  • A day for doing Good
  • A day not to waste – though I began the lesson with examples of rest, the day is not necessarily meant to be spent sleeping it away.

Most of all, it is a day to set aside distractions so that we can sit at the feet of Jesus. It is not a day full of rules that make it a burden. Sabbath is to be a delight because it draws us closer to the One we love, Jesus Christ.

 

— sources —

http://www.cbn.com/family/familyadvice/Colson_Sabbath.aspx

https://theweek.com/article/index/244771/americas-war-on-vacation-by-the-numbers

http://mcdonaldroad.org/bible/sabbath.html

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/28-god-and-the-nation-of-israel

http://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/inside-report/id/732/seize-the-day-keeping-the-sabbath-holypart-1.aspx

http://www.sermonnotebook.org/mark/Mark%2013%20-%20Mark%202_23-28.htm

http://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/inside-report/id/751/seize-the-day-keeping-the-sabbath-holypart-2.aspx

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