When Do We Worship?

Part 1 of 4

Text: Exodus 20:8-11, NLT

Old Testament

  • Exodus 20:8-11, NLT
    • 8“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, 10but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
  • What do we see in Exodus 20:8-11
    • Remember the order of events correctly. They speak volumes!
      • God set His people free.
      • Got set them apart for Himself with the Law.
    • The text is uncompromising. It says Keep the Sabbath.
      • BUT the importance of the Sabbath was keeping a day apart for the Lord.
      • The original Sabbath was the seventh day which is Saturday.
    • By observing it, the people would remember their covenant redeemer, Yahweh.
      • God made a promise to His people, and He kept it.
      • The Sabbath was the time set aside to honor His “covenant keeping”
    • The idea, even then, was not one of limitation, but one of liberation.
      • Although worship of a deity was common in the people groups around the people of God, this peculiar practice of taking a day of rest was unusual in their world.
      • God designed the Sabbath to make a distinction between His people and the other cultures around them.
      • “The way we remember the Lord’s Day is a testimony of our faith to unbelievers.” (Return to Worship, Ron Owens)
    • Even in the creation story (Genesis 1 and 2), the seventh day was special. God rested.
      • If God rested, it wasn’t because He was tired. He did it for two reasons
        • To teach us to rest
        • To set aside a day for worship of Him. (Sabbath and Jubilee, Richard H. Lowery)

“The Sabbath was to be observed by abstaining from all physical labor done by man or beast. But the Sabbath was not intended for selfish use in idleness; it was a divinely given opportunity, in freedom from one’s secular labors, to strengthen and refresh the whole person, physically and spiritually.” –Hobart E. Freeman in The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Volume 1: The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship. Robert Webber, Editor.

Next week: When do we worship? Part 2 of 4

Text: Hebrews 10:23-25