Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11 ESV) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Sabbath Why should we study about the Sabbath? Sabbath = most neglected commandment We don’t neglect worshipping God, honoring parents, not killing people. We are not even conscious of it. Sabbath is often misunderstood, followed legalistically (rules!), or treated as a burden. The keeping of Sabbath has important impact on our daily life, and for our future.
Our Relationship with “Time” Q: What is a typical answer for “How are you?” “Busy” is now the new “Fine”.
Our Relationship with “Time” Q: Do you tend to agree when people say “Twenty four hours a day is not enough”? Typical solution: Time management i.e. visualizing time as a sequence of little boxes, and determining what tasks go into which boxes. But... we still ﬁnd it hard to complete our tasks and our plans no matter how much time we have. Q: Why?
The problem with “Time Management” “Time management” doesn’t work because: Time cannot be possessed: it’s not static like money, but it’ll slip through like water. Time cannot be controlled: with our planners we pretend to live above time, but we actually live in time.
The problem with “Time Management” “Our problem with time is social, cultural, and economic, to be sure. But it is also a spiritual problem ... we come to believe that we, not God, are the masters of time. We come to believe that our worth must be proved by the way we spend our hours and that our ultimate safety depends on our own good management.” (Dorothy Bass)
The Lexicon of Time (Eph 5:15-17 ESV) Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph 5:15-17 NIV) Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
The Lexicon of Time There are two different Greek words for “time”: Chronos Kairos
Time: Chronos vs. Kairos Chronos (root of “chronological”) Chronos is a cruel god in Greek mythology who devours his children. Chronos time is deﬁned in measurable quantity, for example: 24 hours a day, 60 minutes an hour number of tasks accomplished Chronos time is a ration and a burden; it makes us slaves of the clock.
Time: Chronos vs. Kairos Kairos (used in Eph 5:16) Kairos means: the right moment, or an opportune moment. Kairos time is deﬁned in quality and purpose. We can receive Kairos time as a gift and as an abundance.
Time: Chronos vs. Kairos (Eph 5:15-17 ESV) Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. We can redeem Chronos time into Kairos time if we: Live carefully, paying attention. Make wise choices. Discern God’s will, and use our time accordingly.
Unit of Time in the Bible Q: What is the basic unit of time in the Bible? (Gen 1:5 ESV) God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the ﬁrst day. (Ps 90:12 ESV) So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Matt 6:34 ESV) Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufﬁcient for the day is its own trouble.
Receiving the Day as a Gift (Ps 118:24 ESV) This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Q: Do you ﬁnd it hard to obey this, that is, to rejoice every single day? We ﬁnd it hard to rejoice every day because: We focus on the circumstances. We fail to see each day as God’s gift. We don’t understand the rhythm of our days.
Receiving the Day as a Gift Q: When does a day begin? Is it: 00:00am? When alarm clock wakes you up? Other? According to Jewish reckoning, a day begins in the evening and lasts until the following evening. (Gen 1:5b,8b,13,19,23,31b ESV)there was evening and there was morning, the 1st/ 2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th day.
Receiving the Day as a Gift Evening = start of the day Therefore, we begin the day with sleep. Sleep is an act of self-abandonment: of control, of power. It is also an act of faith. (Ps 3:1,5 ESV) O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; ... I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. (Ps 4:8 ESV) In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Receiving the Day as a Gift Q: Do you go to sleep, out of sheer exhaustion, or out of complete conﬁdence in God? Also: Evening = God works while we sleep (Num 11:9 ESV) When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it. (Matt 6:11 ESV) Give us this day our daily bread
Receiving the Day as a Gift Morning = we join in the work that God has already begun without us. (Ps 90:14-17 ESV) Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afﬂicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
Receiving the Day as a Gift Q: When someone says “God’s work,” what comes to mind? It isn’t limited to the work of a pastor or a missionary. (Ps 127:1 ESV) Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Receiving the Day as a Gift In response to God’s work, we work, as an act of faith. (Eph 6:5-7 ESV) !Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man
Receiving the Day as a Gift “This Hebrew evening/morning sequence conditions us to the rhythms of grace. We go to sleep, and God begins his work. ...... We wake and are called to participate in God’s creative action. We respond in faith, in work. But always grace is previous. Grace is primary. We wake into a world we didn’t make, into a salvation we didn’t earn. Evening: God begins, without our help, his creative day. Morning: God calls us to enjoy and share and develop the work he initiated.” (Eugene Peterson) Q: How’d this daily rhythm change your life?
Sabbath: the anchor of our days In our busyness and stress, the rhythm of our days tend to drift out of whack. Sabbath is God’s gift of Kairos time to help us re-orient the proper rhythm of our days... ... like kids needing proper nap time ... like a piano needing occasional tuning
Sabbath: the anchor of our days The word “Sabbath” means: stop, rest (Ps 46:10 ESV) Be still, and know that I am God “God gave us the gift of Sabbath -- not just as a day, but as an orientation, a way of seeing and knowing.” (Mark Buchanan) (Isaiah 30:15 ESV) For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Those who keep the Sabbath live with more purpose, more resolve, more resiliency.
Sabbath: the anchor of our days (Isaiah 30:15-17a ESV) For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, and you said, “No! We will ﬂee upon horses”; therefore you shall ﬂee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift. A thousand shall ﬂee at the threat of one; at the threat of ﬁve you shall ﬂee
Sabbath: the anchor of our days In the face of troubles and burdens, our tendency is to ﬂee. But ﬂeeing is false safety. With each ﬂight, it gets harder and harder to avoid ﬂeeing. “God’s solution is surprising. He offers rest. But it’s a unique form of rest. It’s to rest in him in the midst of our threats and our burdens.” (Mark Buchanan) (Matt 11:28 ESV) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Examples of Sabbath Keepers: Jews The Jews kept Sabbath amidst hard times, in Hitler’s concentration camps. A saying goes: “more than the Jews have kept Sabbath, Sabbath has kept the Jews.”
Examples of Sabbath Keepers: Wilberforce William Wilberforce was famous for helping abolish slave trade. When he ﬁrst entered British parliament, he was intoxicated with political ambitions, and he struggled with it. After a Sabbath day of solitude and rest, he wrote, “Blessed be to God for the day of rest and religious occupation wherein earthly things assume their true size. Ambition is stunted.”
References Receiving the Day (Dorothy Bass) The Rest of God (Mark Buchanan) “The Pastor’s Sabbath” (Eugene Peterson) “A Biblical View of Time” (Loren Pinilis) “Wisdom and Sabbath Rest” (Tim Keller) “Your Most Important Conversation” (Gordon McDonald)