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Posts tagged ‘Mount Sinai’

Living Words.


For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Recommended Reading
Proverbs 4:20-22 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%204:20-22&version=NKJV )

Wildfires race up a mountainside like they are alive; the flames in our fireplace spread the same way. God compared His words to a fire (Jeremiah 23:29) and the disciples on the Emmaus road said Jesus’ words “burned” within them (Luke 24:32).

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

What sets God’s words apart from any other? Moses gave the first clue, telling the Israelites that the word of the covenant “is your life” (Deuteronomy 32:47). Stephen, in his speech to Jewish leaders, describes the words Moses received on Mount Sinai as “living oracles” (Acts 7:38). Finally, the writer to the Hebrews expands the idea of “living” words, saying the “word of God” is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). It’s not that God’s words seem to be alive like fire — they are alive. God is life, His words are life, and they create life in us as the Holy Spirit conforms us to  them.  Life begets life!

As you read the Word of God today, read it with expectancy and anticipation for the changes it will make in you.

The only true reformation is that which emanates from the Word of God.
J. H. Merle d’Aubigné

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Revelation 5-9

By David Jeremiah.

The Secret to Intimacy With God.


(Brandon Johnson/creationswap.com)

It is not hard to recognize someone who has spent extended time at a newsstand: His conversation overflows with the drama of current affairs. And it is not hard to discern a person who has come from a sporting event, as his face reveals the outcome of the game. Likewise, people can tell when an individual has spent extended time seeking God. An imperturbable calm guards his heart, and his countenance is radiant with light, as with the morning dew of heaven.

Beloved, to seek and find God is everything. It is to our shame that in our era church services do not focus more on actually seeking God. Yes, we do honor God and thank Him for what He has done. We hear a sermon and perhaps enjoy a time of fellowship with others. Yet only rarely do we depart a congregational meeting with the fire of eternity reflecting off our faces. Instead we fill up with information about God without actually drawing near to Him. Most of us are largely unaware of God’s presence.

While we rightly need church programs, fellowship and times for ministry training, we must not assume that religious indoctrination is the same thing as actually seeking God. And while I am often blessed listening to contemporary Christian music, even godly entertainment is no substitute for my own worship encounter with God.

Therefore let us ask ourselves: Is there a place and a time set apart in our spiritual lives where we can give ourselves to seeking God? What is the Spirit of God actually desired to manifest Himself during our worship service? Would the Lord have to wait until we finished our scheduled program? I respect and recognize the need for order; we need the scheduled times for announcements and the defined purposes that currently occupy Sunday mornings, but have we made room for God Himself?

When we first determine to draw near to God, it may seem we have little to show for our efforts. Yet be assured: Even the thought of seeking God is a step toward our transformation. Still, we often do not notice the early signs of our spiritual renewal—for as we grow increasingly more aware of God, we simultaneously grow increasingly less aware of ourselves. Though we may not see that we are changing, others certainly will.

Consider the experience of Moses. The Lord’s servant had ascended Mount Sinai and there stood before the living God. The eyes of Moses were actually filled with God’s sun-like glory; his ears actually heard the audible sound of the Lord’s voice. Yet when Moses returned to the people, the Bible says he “did not know that the skin of his face shone” (Ex. 34:29). When the Israelites saw the fire of God’s glory on the face of Moses, “they were afraid to come near him” (v. 30). They saw he had been with God.

The church needs more people who have, like Moses, climbed closer to the Almighty—people who have stood in the sacred fire of God’s presence. Instead we exhaust ourselves arguing over peripheral doctrines or styles of music in our song services. Perhaps there are benefits to constantly debating the nuances of our doctrines, but are we not more truly thirsting for the reality of God?

What happens when we seek God? The Bible says at the very moment we are drawing near to Him, the living presence of God Himself is drawing near to us (see James 4:8). Help is coming, redemption for our situation is on its way, strength will soon be arriving, and the powers of healing are activated.

But, we may argue, what if we seek Him and He does not come near? Fear not, He will. He may not manifest as we supposed, but He will come.

Our goal is to—day by day—draw nearer to God. He has commanded that we come boldly to His throne of grace. To receive the help we need, we must arrive at His throne. Remember also that our confidence comes from Christ Himself. He promises, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:8).

We are seeking a lifetime of increasing devotion, though it may certainly begin in a season of drawing near. In spite of natural and spiritual obstacles, as we persevere, the Lord assures us, “How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (v.11).

If we do not cease seeking and knocking, we will discover unfolding degrees of intimacy with God. Even now, He’s drawing near. The Lord promises, “Everyone who … seeks finds.”

I Will Be Found By YouAdapted from I Will Be Found by You by Francis Frangipane, copyright 2013, published by Passio from Charisma House. In forty-three years of seeking after God, the author has learned that it is in seeking God that we actually find Him. This book contains a collection of his best writings on the subject. It will encourage you to pursue the Lord and reap the reward of finding Him. To order your copy click here.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 10/28/13

This week make it a priority to seek God’s transforming presence with worship, meditation and prayer. Set a time and put aside all distractions that would divert your attention away from Him. Let Him speak to you from His Word and thank Him for the promise that if you seek Him you will find Him. Once you’ve spent time enjoying His presence and giving Him worship, expand your prayer to include those who need salvation, revival and provision. Ask Him to direct your steps where you can be a blessing to those in need. Continue to pray for global revival and for more laborers for His harvest fields. Lift up our government leaders and pray that they will seek the Lord’s guidance to govern. Remember Israel and the persecuted church. Matt. 7:7-8; Ps. 9:10

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

Three Surprising Ways to Grieve the Holy Spirit.


Three Surprising Ways to Grieve the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is often described as light. He shines into the dark places of the heart and convicts us of sin (John 16:7-11). He is a lamp to illumine God’s word, teaching what is true and showing the truth to be precious (1 Cor. 2:6-16). And the Spirit throws a spotlight on Christ so that we can see his glory and be changed (John 16:14). That’s why 2 Corinthians 3:18 speaks of becoming more like Christ by beholding the glory of Christ. Just as Moses had his face transfigured when he saw the Lord’s glory on Mount Sinai (Ex. 34:29; 2 Cor. 3:7), so will we be transformed when, by the Spirit, we behold God’s glory in the face of Christ.

The Spirit, then, is a light to us in three ways: by exposing our guilt, by illuminating the word of God, and by showing us Christ. Or to put it another way, as Divine Light, the Holy Spirit works to reveal sin, reveal the truth, and reveal glory. When we close our eyes to this light or disparage what we are meant to see by this brightness, we are guilty of resisting the Spirit (Acts 7:51), or quenching (1 Thess. 5:19) or grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). There may be slight nuances among the three terms, but they are all speak of the same basic reality: refusing to see and to savor what the Spirit means to show us.

There are, then, at least three ways to grieve the Holy Spirit—three ways that may be surprising because they correspond to the three ways in which the Spirit acts as light to expose our guilt, illumine the word, and show us Christ.

First, we grieve the Holy Spirit when we use him to excuse our sinfulness. The Spirit is meant to be the source of conviction in the human hearts. How sad it is, therefore, when Christianstry to use the Spirit to support ungodly behavior. We see it when people—whether genuinely deceived or purposeful charlatans—claim the leading of the Spirit as the reason for their unbiblical divorce, or for their financial impropriety, or for their new found sexual liberation. The Holy Spirit is always the Spirit of holiness. He means to show us our sin not to excuse it through subjective feelings, spontaneous impressions, and wish fulfillment disguised as enlightened spirituality. If the Holy Spirit is grieved when we turn from righteousness to sin, how doubly grieved he must be when we claim the Spirit’s authority for such deliberate rebellion.

Second, we grieve the Holy Spirit when we pit him against the Scriptures. The Spirit works to reveal the truth of the word of God, not to lead us away from it. There is no place in the Christian life for supposing or suggesting that careful attention to the Bible is somehow antithetical to earnest devotion to the Holy Spirit. Anyone wishing to honor the Spirit would do well to honor the Scriptures he inspired and means to illuminate.

Sometimes Christians will cite the promise in John 16:13 that the Spirit “will guide you into all the truth” as reason to expect that the third person of the Trinity will give us new insights not found in the Scripture. But the “truth” referred to in John 16 is the whole truth about everything bound up in Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. The Spirit will unpack the things that are to come, insofar as he will reveal to the apostles (see v. 12) the significance of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and exaltation. The Spirit, speaking for the Father and the Son, would help the apostles remember what Jesus said and understand the true meaning of who Jesus is and what he accomplished (John 14:26).

This means that the Spirit is responsible for the truths the apostles preached and that in turn were written down in what we now call the New Testament. We trust the Bible—and do not need to go beyond the Bible—because the apostles, and those under the umbrella of their authority, wrote the Bible by means of the Spirit’s revelation. The Bible is the Spirit’s book. To insist on exegetical precision, theological rigor, and careful attention to the word of God should never be denigrated as stuffing our heads full of knowledge, let alone as somehow opposed to the real work of the Spirit.

Third, we grieve the Holy Spirit when we suggest he is jealous of our focus on Christ. The Holy Spirit’s work is to serve. He speaks only what he hears (John 16:13). He declares what he is given; his mission is to glorify another (John 16:14). All three persons of the Trinity are fully God, yet in the divine economy the Son makes known the Father and the Spirit glorifies the Son. Yes, it is a terrible thing to be ignorant about the Spirit and unwise to overlook the indispensable role he plays in our lives. But we must not think we can focus on Christ too much, or that when we exalt Christ to the glory of God the Father that somehow the Spirit is sulking off in the corner. The Spirit means to shine a light on Christ; he is not envious to stand in the light himself.

Exulting in Christ, focusing on Christ, speaking much and singing often of Christ are not evidences of the Spirit’s dismissal but of the Spirit’s work. If the symbol of the church is the cross and not the dove, that’s because the Spirit would have it that way. As J. I. Packer puts it, “The Spirit’s message to us is never, ‘Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,’ but always, ‘Look at him, and see hisglory; listen to him, and hear his word; go to him, and have life; get to know him, and taste his gift of joy and peace.’”

Again, to know nothing of the Holy Spirit is a serious mistake (cf. Acts 19:2). But when Christians lament an over-attentiveness to Christ or moan about too much emphasis on the cross, such protestations grieve the Spirit himself. The Holy Spirit is not waiting in the wings to be noticed and lauded. His work is not to shine brightly before us, but to shine a light on the glory of Christ. To behold the glory of God the Father in the face of Jesus Christ the Son is not to sideline the Holy Spirit; it is to celebrate his gracious work among us.

Whether we are talking about holiness, the Bible, or Jesus Christ, let us never set the Spirit against the very thing he means to accomplish. We do not honor the Spirit by trying to diminish what he seeks to exalt. And we do not stay in his step by pushing others (or ourselves) in the direction of the very things that grieve him most.

Kevin DeYoung, Pastor, Author

Kevin DeYoung is Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is married to Trisha with five young children. This article originally appeared on Kevin DeYoung’s blog, “DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed,” at The Gospel Coalition website. Used with permission.

The Feet of Yeshua: A Fivefold Scriptural Meaning.


Feet of Jesus
(YouTube)

The expression “feet of Yeshua” has a fivefold meaning in the Scriptures, parts of it present, past and future.

1. Devotional intimacy. Perhaps the most well-known meaning today comes from the special, intimate, devotional expression we find in Miriam (Mary), one of Yeshua’s closest disciples.

  • Luke 10:39: Miriam sat at Yeshua’s feet and heard His word.
  • John 12:3: Miriam took very costly oil, anointed Yeshua’s feet and wiped His feet with her hair.

By positioning herself at Yeshua’s feet, Miriam serves as an exquisite model for us not only of devotion and intimacy but also of humility and vulnerability.

2. Physical resurrection. When Yeshua was crucified, His hands and feet were pierced. After He rose from the dead, He showed His disciples the scars remaining on His body (John 20:27).

  • Luke 24:39: “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Yeshua proved that He really was resurrected and that the resurrection was physical and not merely spiritual. It also shows that the resurrected body is a continuation and glorification of our current body and not a totally distinct entity altogether (1 Cor. 15:35-50).

3. Eternal divinity. There are appearances of Yeshua in His pre-birth, pre-incarnation form throughout the Law and the Prophets. Some two dozen of these mysterious appearances of YHVH in the form of a man are documented in my book Who Ate Lunch With Abraham?

  • Exodus 24:10: They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was the work of sapphire stone.

In this case, 74 people saw this divine-human figure on Mount Sinai. The fact that the God of Israel appeared repeatedly in this “down to earth” form prepares the way for understanding Yeshua as the eternal and divine Messiah, the manifestation of God in human form.

4. Literal return. As Yeshua was physically raised from the dead, so will He return to earth at the Second Coming in bodily form.

All the nations will attack Jerusalem. Yeshua will descend from heaven with a mighty army to destroy those nations.  As He ascended from the Mount of Olives, so will He return. He will not come halfway down and hover in the air, but He will come all the way back to touch the ground—once and for all.

5. Millennial glory. After Yeshua returns, He will set up His kingdom of peace over the whole earth. Ezekiel had a vision of a divine Man speaking to him from the Millennial Temple:

  • Ezekiel 43:6-7: “A man stood beside me. He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.'”

Yeshua will reign for 1,000 years in a glorified form with His spiritual and governmental capital in Jerusalem. The kingdom of God comes down to earth from heaven, and Yeshua’s glorified feet symbolize this reality.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ STANDING WITH ISRAEL.

Asher Intrater, along with his wife, Betty, is the director of Revive Israel Ministries, an apostolic ministry team dedicated to revival in Israel. The Intraters are committed to world evangelism, the power of the Holy Spirit, personal integrity, the lordship of Yeshua, the unity of the church and the restoration of the nation of Israel.

Is Your Church a Kingdom Colony or a Country Club?.


Trevin Wax

One of the oldest monasteries in the world is Saint Catherine’s. Built by Emperor Justinian to protect the monks in the region, St. Catherine’s sits at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. The walls are made of granite and are between 8 and 35 meters tall.

Up until last century, there was only one way into the monastery: a tiny door more than thirty feet above the ground. People entered the monastery through a system of pulleys and ropes. The monastery itself contains ancient icons and many treasures. But up until recently, it was largely inaccessible to the outside world.

Our churches naturally drift toward becoming like St. Catherine’s monastery: a fortified, doorless organization that focuses upon its own preservation rather than its specific mission.

Our hearts drift toward tribalism, the tendency to gather with people just like us and to reflect ourselves rather than the missionary heart of God. We’re always putting up mirrors around the light of the gospel when we should be putting up windows.

Kingdom Colony or Country Club

The church is intended to be a colony of heaven, living according to the gospel announcement. But too often we turn the kingdom colony into a country club. Our focus becomes the comfort and preservation of our tribe rather than the mission that accompanies the gospel announcement.

Battleship or Cruise Ship

I’ve heard it said that the people of God either have the mentality of a battleship or a cruise ship. Both may sail, but they have very different purposes. The battleship exists for others. It is on a rescue mission, set to penetrate the enemy’s territory and do battle for the commander. The cruise ship exists for the comfort of its passengers. Luxury and comfort are the core values, and everyone seeks to make the journey comfortable and memorable.

When we adopt a cruise ship mentality, the cross and resurrection of Christ will is reduced to a message of personal comfort. The core value of our worship services is to be memorable and entertaining. Our theological debates become about upholding doctrine for doctrine’s sake, rather than seeing theological reflection as an aid to fulfilling our mission. Instead of seeing our gatherings as a base from which individual Christians scatter into the world as salt and light, we wall ourselves off from the outside world and neglect the prophetic nature of our gospel announcement.

Missional or Tribal

Tullian Tchividjian explains the difference between a missional and a tribal people:

“The highest value of a community with a tribal mindset is self-preservation. A tribal community exists solely for itself, and those within it keep asking, “How can we protect ourselves from those who are different from us?

“A tribal mindset is marked by an unbalanced patriotism. It typically elevates personal and cultural preferences to absolute principles: If everybody were more like us, this world would be a better place.

“But in a missional minded community, the highest value isn’t self-preservation but self-sacrifice. A missional community exists not primarily for itself but for others. It’s a community that’s willing to be inconvenienced and discomforted, willing to expend itself for others on God’s behalf.”

This blog post is adapted from Counterfeit Gospels142-144.

What Pentecost Means to Both Christians and Jews.


Steve Strang on Mount Sinai in 1979
Steve Strang on Mount Sinai in 1979

Today, May 14, marks the 65th anniversary on the Gregorian calendar of Israel’s Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. It is also the beginning of Shavuot, also called Pentecost, in which Jews around the world celebrate as if they are standing at Sinai together. As one of my Jewish friends said, this is about “not just receiving the Torah, but accepting and embracing it.”

In many ways, there is no holiday we celebrate that is more evocative of the binding connection between Jews and Christians than this. At Shavuot (Pentecost), the Jews celebrate receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, which was literally the beginning of Judaism. For Christians, Pentecost, which we celebrate next Sunday, was literally the beginning of the church, when the Holy Spirit was outpoured and 3,000 were saved as Peter preached about the risen Christ.

My same Jewish friend pointed out that many of Israel’s neighbors and other detractors “mourn Israel’s rebirth as a catastrophe.” However, “this intolerance is all the more reason to celebrate this joyous occasion,” and this is why it is imperative that Christians and Jews stand together.

Thirty-four years ago today, I was in Jerusalem with Jamie Buckingham when Israel celebrated its independence. I remember it was difficult to sleep due to the Israelis celebrating all night long in the streets.

We went from Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to the Sinai Peninsula, controlled in 1979 by Israel (it is now part of Egypt). There we climbed Jebel Musa, which means the Mountain of Moses. There are actually three mountains that people think might have been the original Mount Sinai, but this is the one accepted by most Protestants.

It was a moving experience to be able to climb that mountain and spend time at the top with my friends, contemplating what happened on that spot and how God revealed himself to Moses in a way that has affected all of mankind to this day.

While in Jerusalem, we also visited “the Upper Room,” where the book of Acts says the Holy Spirit was outpoured. Our group of nine American pilgrims had a wonderful time of worship. I remember being overwhelmed with emotion as I prayed that day in my prayer language. It was from that experience on the Day of Pentecost that those of us who believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit call ourselves Pentecostals.

Cover-Holy-Spirit-Issue-SmallI am encouraging those who call themselves Pentecostals to celebrate Pentecost Sunday next week. Billy Wilson’s ministry, called Empowered21, is taking the lead and providing materials for your church. We are also posting information about the Holy Spirit online.

As you may know, we devoted our May issue of Charismato the work of the Holy Spirit. We have gotten a wonderful response, and now the printed issues are gone. So we are making that digital issue available free of charge during the month of May. You can get it by clicking here. It’s a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the digital issue. You can also share it with friends on social media.

Please leave your thoughts about Jewish independence, about the Jewish festival Shavuot (pronouncedShuhvote) and Pentecost Sunday. And let me know how you like our digital issue.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE

By STEVE STRANG


Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or on Facebook (stephenestrang).

Shavuot: Celebrating the Torah and the Holy Spirit.


Ron Cantor
Ron Cantor

From Tuesday evening until sundown on Wednesday, Israelis will celebrate the feast of Shavuot. Most Christians know this feast as Pentecost and some are not even aware that it is a Jewish Feast.

In this video, Israeli/American pastor Ron Cantor breaks down this holiday for us, sharing the biblical significance from both the Old and New Covenants. What do you think of these revelations? Please comment below.

 

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

RON CANTOR/MESSIAH’S MANDATE

The Old Covenant.


If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people. —Exodus 19:5

After four hundred years of bondage in a pagan nation, the Israelites did not understand God. Soon they returned to idol worship. From Mount Sinai, God gave them a set of laws (engraved on tablets of stone) to help them learn how to live holy lives. Yet, the first thing that Israel did was build a golden calf, breaking the first commandment. The Law reveals our sin but cannot empower us to be obedient or righteous.

Living under the old covenant clearly revealed the need for a new and improved covenant (Hebrews 8:7). The old covenant foreshadowed the greater one to come.

Jesus instituted a better and more perfect contract signed in His blood. God’s commandments no longer lie rigid and cold in stone, but now live and breathe inside us (2 Corinthians 3:3).

The new covenant fulfills the prophetic promise given in Jeremiah: “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (31:33). Is His new covenant written on your heart?

Lord Jesus, make my life a living letter written by
Your Spirit so that others may see You in me.
I desire to live a life empowered by Your
Spirit. May others always see You in
all that I say and do. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

Work and Leisure.


Remember the Sabbath day by keeping 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 if you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy(Exodus 20:8-11).

A few years ago a friend telephoned with an urgent request. “Phil,” he said, “I’m calling to ask a favor. I need the most precious thing you have.”

Can you guess what he needed?

He was asking for my time, of course. As the pastor of a large church – not to mention the father of a growing family – few things are more precious to me than my time. I need time to work, time to worship, time to rest, and time to play. I need time to spend with the Lord. I need time to prepare sermons and meet with people. I also need time to love my family. It all takes time, and there never seems to be quite enough.

Many people have the same frustration. We often feel rushed. We never seem to have time for work and leisure, for family and ministry. So we complain, “If only I had one extra day this week; then I could get all my work done.” Or we say, “You know, I could really use some time off.” Or, “If only I had more time to study the Bible and serve the Lord.” Thus, we grumble about being overtired and overworked. It is all part of the frustration of living as finite creatures in a fallen world.

Out of His great mercy, God has provided a remedy: one whole day out of seven to rest in His grace. He has given us a rhythm of work and rest, with six days for labor and one day for leisure. And He grants us our leisure specifically for the purpose of His praise. The Sabbath is a day for worship, a day for mercy, and a day for rest.

Keeping the Sabbath holy may not seem very productive. In fact, sometimes it keeps people away from Christ. They would rather do something else – anything else – than go to church on Sunday.

When billionaire Bill Gates was asked why he didn’t believe in God, he said, “Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.” 1

Remembering the Sabbath

Devoting a whole day to God may not seem very efficient, but it must be important, because God has commanded it:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Exodus 20:8-11).

This is the longest commandment, and it comes in three parts. Verse 8 tells us what to do, verses9 and 10 specify how we are to do it, and verse 11 explains why.

What God wants us to do is to “remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8). The word remember has a double meaning. For the Israelites, it was a reminder that they had heard about the Sabbath before. On their journey to Mount Sinai, God provided manna six days out of seven. The seventh day was meant to be “a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD” (Exodus 16:23a). So when they reached Mount Sinai, God commanded them to “remember” the Sabbath.

This was something they needed to remember not just once, but every week. It is something we need to remember, too, so the fourth commandment calls us to a weekly remembrance of the Sabbath. We are prone to forget. We forget the great work of God in creation and redemption. And when we forget, we fail to praise Him for making us and saving us. But the fourth commandment is a reminder. It is God’s memorandum to His people, reminding us to give Him glory for His grace.

Remembering involves more than our memories. It demands the total engagement of our whole person in the service of God. Remembering the Sabbath is like remembering your anniversary. It is not enough to say “Oh, yes, I remember: It’s our anniversary.” It takes dinner and flowers – maybe even jewelry – and a romantic evening for two. In much the same way, remembering the Sabbath means using the day to show our love for God in a special way. It means “keeping it holy.” Literally, we are to “sanctify it,” to set it apart for sacred use.

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly

How are we to do this? The fourth commandment gives explicit instructions for keeping the Sabbath holy. God begins by telling us what He wants us to do with the rest of our week: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work” (Exodus 20:9). Although this part of the fourth commandment is often overlooked, it is our duty to work. This does not mean that we have to work all day, every day. But it does mean that God governs our work as well as our rest. He has given us six whole days to fulfill our earthly calling.

People generally have a negative attitude about work. Work is treated as a necessary evil. In fact, it is sometimes thought that work is the result of sin. In a column for TIME magazine, Lance Morrow claimed that “When God foreclosed on Eden, he condemned Adam and Eve to go to work. From the beginning, the Lord’s word said that work was something bad: a punishment, the great stone of mortality and toil laid upon a human spirit that might otherwise soar in the infinite, weightless playfulness of grace.”2 This is false. Work is a divine gift that goes back before the Fall, when “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). We were made to work. The trouble is that our work has been cursed by our sin. It was only after Adam had sinned that God said, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:17b). But it was not that way from the beginning. The fourth commandment reminds us to honor God by doing an honest week’s worth of work. We find God’s blessing in doing what He has called us to do.

According to the Puritan Thomas Watson, having six days to work is a divine concession, and thus a sign of God’s favor. God would have been well within His rights to make every day a Sabbath. Instead, He has given us six days to do all our work. Watson thus imagined God saying, “I am not a hard master, I do not grudge thee time to look after thy calling, and to get an estate. I have given thee six days, to do all thy work in, and have taken but one day for myself. I might have reserved six days for myself, and allowed thee but one; but I have given thee six days for the works of thy calling, and have taken but one day for my own service. It is just and rational, therefore, that thou shouldest set this day in a special manner apart for my worship.” 3

Watson was right: six days are for work, but the seventh day is for worship. How do we keep the fourth commandment? By worshiping the Lord on His day. To “keep something holy” in the biblical sense is to dedicate it exclusively for worship. Whereas the other six days of the week are for us and our work, the Sabbath is for God and His worship. This is the positive aspect of the fourth commandment, as emphasized in verse 10: “the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:10a). Elsewhere God refers to the seventh day as His Sabbath – the day that belongs to Him: “You must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:3b). The commandment was worded this way to remind the Israelites that their relationship with God was special. No other nation could claim that the Lord was their God, so no other nation kept the Sabbath. There were some other ancient civilizations that divided their time into periods of seven days. However, they generally associated the seventh day with misfortune. 4 Only the Israelites kept the Sabbath as a day for worshiping the one true God as their Savior and Lord.

To keep a Sabbath “to the Lord” is to give the day over to God, setting it apart for Him and His glory (which, remember, was the whole point of the exodus). The book of Leviticus calls the Sabbath “a day of sacred assembly” (Leviticus 23:3), meaning corporate worship. Jesus endorsed this practice by attending weekly services at the synagogue (Luke 4:16). This focus on worship led the Puritans to refer to the Sabbath as “the market-day of the soul.” 5 Whereas the other six days of the week are for ordinary commerce, this is the day we transact our spiritual business, trading in the currency of heaven. “This day a Christian is in the altitudes,” wrote Thomas Watson. “He walks with God, and takes as it were a turn with Him in heaven.” 6

We meet with God by prayer and the ministry of the Word. We meet Him by singing His praises and presenting Him our offerings. We meet Him by celebrating the sacraments and sharing Christian fellowship. The result, according to Watson, is that “The heart, which all the week was frozen, on the Sabbath melts with the word.” 7

The Sabbath is not only a day for worship, but also a day of rest. It is a day for ceasing from work, and especially from common labor. Here we need to notice that the fourth commandment is stated both positively and negatively. It is the only commandment to do this explicitly. The positive requirement comes first: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Then there is the absolute prohibition: “On it you shall not do any work” (Exodus 20:10).

The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word meaning “to cease or to rest.” It is not a day for “business as usual.” It is a day for relaxation and recuperation. It is a day to step back from life’s ordinary routines in order to rediscover God’s goodness and grace. To quote again from Thomas Watson, “To do servile work on the Sabbath shows an irreligious heart, and greatly offends God. To do secular work on this day is to follow the devil’s plough; it is to debase the soul. God made this day on purpose to raise the heart to heaven, to converse with Him, to do angels’ work; and to be employed in earthly work is to degrade the soul of its honour.” 8

To see how strict this command was under the law of Moses, consider the man who gathered wood on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36). He was stoned. Or to take a positive example, consider the women who wanted to prepare the body of Christ for burial. “They went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment” (Luke 23:56b). Gathering wood was such a small thing to do. What was the harm in doing it on the Sabbath? Taking spices to the tomb of Christ was so noble. Why not go ahead and do it? The answer in both cases was because God has commanded a day of rest.

This rest was for everyone to enjoy: “On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates” (Exodus 20:10b). Here we see that the fourth commandment has profound implications for the whole community. When it comes to work and leisure, parents are to set the agenda by teaching their children how to worship and rest. The Sabbath really is a day to spend with the family. By including servants, the commandment also teaches that employers have a responsibility to care for their workers. Some commentators have thus described the fourth commandment as the first worker’s bill of rights. In the ancient world there was a sharp division between masters and slaves. But here is a new social order, in which work and leisure are not divided along class lines. Everyone should work, and everyone should rest, because everyone should be free to worship God. This law extended right to the gates of the city, including everyone in the whole community. It even applied to beasts of burden. God wanted all His creatures to get some relief from their labor. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone kept this commandment in the biblical way. Imagine the whole creation at rest. Once a week people all over the world would stop striving and turn back to God.

What are we commanded to do? To keep the Sabbath holy. How do we do this? By working six days and then by dedicating a day to the Lord for worship and rest. This is summarized in Leviticus: “There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:3).

God’s Work, God’s Rest

The reason for this commandment is very simple. We are called to work and rest because we serve a working, resting God. Why should we remember the Sabbath? Because “in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11). In a way, keeping the Sabbath is the oldest of the ten commandments, because it goes all the way back to the creation of the world.

There are many additional reasons for keeping the Lord’s Day holy. It promotes the worship of God. It restores us, both spiritually and physically, so it is for our benefit. As Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). It is good for children and workers; it can even be good for animals. But our fundamental reason for obeying the fourth commandment is not practical, but theological: God made the world in six days, and then He rested. His activity in creation thus sets the pattern for our own work and leisure.

We serve a working God, who has been at work from the beginning. The Scripture says that “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing” (Genesis 2:2a). Part of the dignity of our work comes from the fact that God is a worker. We work because we are made in the image of a working God.

We also serve a resting God. Once His creative work was done, God took His divine leisure. The Scripture says that “on the seventh day He rested from all His work” (Genesis 2:2b). To mark the occasion, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done” (Genesis 2:3). The first time that God blessed anything, He blessed a day for us to share in His rest. We keep the Sabbath because God made it holy. Like work, leisure is “something that God put into the very fabric of human well being in this world.” 9

There is one further reason for keeping a day of rest. Although it is not mentioned here in Exodus, it is mentioned in Deuteronomy, where the Ten Commandments are repeated. There the first part of the commandment is virtually identical (Deuteronomy 5:12-14), but the reason is different: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).

There is no contradiction here. The Sabbath looked back not only to creation, but also to redemption. It reminded God’s people that they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt. One of the benefits of their rescue was that now they didn’t have to work all the time. Back in Egypt they had to work seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, without ever getting a vacation. But now they were set free. The Sabbath was not a form of bondage to them, but a day of freedom. It was a day to celebrate their liberation by giving glory to God.

Business as Usual

Sadly, the Israelites often forgot to remember the Sabbath. And when they did, they inevitably fell back into spiritual bondage. There is a story about this in the book of Nehemiah – the story of the governor and the salesmen.

God’s people had returned from their captivity in Babylon to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Under Nehemiah’s leadership, the whole community was restored. They rebuilt the city walls. They reestablished their homes. They started gathering again for public worship, to read the law and keep the feasts. They repented of their sins and promised to keep covenant with God. They reestablished the priesthood. The Levites were serving, the choirs were singing, and God was blessing the city in every way. Then the governor went back to Babylon. When Nehemiah returned, he found that the Israelites were failing to keep God’s covenant. In particular, they were breaking the Sabbath by using it as a day to conduct commerce. They had promised, “When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day” (Nehemiah 10:31a). Yet here is what was happening:

In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah (Nehemiah 13:15-16).

These businessmen were not residents of Jerusalem. They were traveling salesmen. To them, one day was no different from the next, so they assumed that the Sabbath was a day for business as usual. This proved to be a source of temptation for the people of God. Many of the people in Jerusalem were genuine believers. They attended public worship. They supported God’s work with their tithes and offerings. They knew God’s law, including all ten of the commandments (seeNehemiah 9:14-15). Yet they were breaking the Sabbath. Frankly, they were like many Christians today. They were basically committed to following God, but under pressure from the surrounding culture, they treated the Sabbath pretty much like the rest of the week.

Nehemiah needed to take strong action. First he spoke out against their sin: “I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, ‘What is this wicked thing you are doing – desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath’ ” (Nehemiah 13:1 7-18). Nehemiah had a good point. When God explained why He sent His people into captivity, He often mentioned their failure to keep the Sabbath holy (see Jeremiah 17:19-27;Ezekiel 20:12-13). As the city’s governor, Nehemiah knew that keeping the fourth commandment was a matter of public safety.

Nehemiah did more than preach, however. The governor also enforced public laws for keeping the Sabbath special: “When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day” (Nehemiah 13:19). It didn’t take long for the salesmen to take the hint: “Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. But I warned them and said, ‘Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you.’ From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy” (Nehemiah 13:20-22).

We need to be careful how we follow Nehemiah’s example. God is not calling us to establish the Sabbath by force. However, there is a principle here that we can apply. In order to preserve a day of worship and rest, we need to bar the gates against the clamor of our culture. Otherwise, we will end up mixing the business of this world with the pleasure of spending time with God.

Rest Assured

What does the fourth commandment mean for the Christian? Like the Israelites, we are made in the image of a working, resting God. We still need to work, we still need our rest, and we can still receive the creation blessing of God’s holy day.

What has changed is that we have received a new and greater deliverance. We no longer look back to the old exodus for our salvation; we look to Jesus Christ, who accomplished a greater exodus by dying for our sins and rising again. Jesus is the fulfillment of the fourth commandment, as He is of all the rest. The Old Testament Sabbath pointed to the full and final rest that can only be found in Him.

Jesus gives a whole new meaning to work, and a whole new meaning to rest. He came into the world to finish the work of His Father (John 4:34), and on the basis of that work, He is able to give rest to our souls (Matthew 11:29). There is no need to strive for our salvation. All we need to do is repose in the finished work of Jesus Christ. David said, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him” (Psalm 62:1). The way for us to find that rest is by trusting in Christ alone for our salvation, depending on His work rather than our own. The Scripture assures us that in Christ, “There remains a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10). This is the primary fulfillment of the fourth commandment.

Christ’s saving work has transformed the weekly Sabbath. It is no longer the seventh day of the week, but the first. And it is no longer called the Sabbath, but the Lord’s Day. This is because the apostles observed their day of worship and rest on the day that Jesus rose from the dead (John 20:19Acts 20:71 Corinthians 16:2). Already by the end of the first century, Ignatius was able to write that Christians “no longer observe the Sabbath, but direct their lives toward the Lord’s day, on which our life is refreshed by Him and by His death.” 10 B. B. Warfield explained it like this: “Christ took the Sabbath into the grave with Him and brought the Lord’s Day out of the grave with Him on the resurrection morn.” 11

Keeping the Lord’s Day holy preserves the Sabbath principle of resting one whole day out of seven. Although the specific day was provisional – a sign of Israel’s coming salvation – the commandment is perpetual. Like the rest of the Ten Commandments, it was written in stone. We have drawn a distinction between three types of law: the moral, the civil, and the ceremonial. The Old Testament teaching on the Sabbath included aspects of all three. As a nation Israel executed strict civil penalties for Sabbath – breaking. Since these are no longer in effect, to a certain extent the fourth commandment has been made less strict, less severe. There was also a ceremonial aspect to the Sabbath. The rest it provided was a sign pointing to salvation, and its observance on the seventh day was part of the whole Old Testament system that found its fulfillment in Christ (seeColossians 2:17). But even if the fourth commandment has found its primary fulfillment in Christ, there remains an obligation—based on the eternal standard of God’s law – to rest one whole day in seven. The civil aspect of the command has expired, the ceremonial aspect has been fulfilled, but the moral aspect remains. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, keeping the Sabbath holy is “a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment” (XXI.vii). God is honored when Christians celebrate the Lord’s Day. However, we need to be on our guard against legalism in all its forms. We do not base our standing before God on how well we keep the Sabbath. We do not judge others for the way they keep – or fail to keep – the Lord’s Day holy (see Romans 14:5-6a;Colossians 2:16). And we do not have a set of man – made regulations for keeping the Sabbath. This is what the Pharisees did, and Jesus condemned them for doing it. When they heard that they couldn’t work on the Sabbath, the Pharisees wanted to know exactly what counted as work and what didn’t, so they developed their own guidelines. These became so elaborate that the true purpose of the Sabbath was lost entirely.

The way to avoid all this legalism is to remember that the Lord’s Day is for celebrating the freedom that we have in Christ. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). This does not mean that anything goes. A call to freedom, like the one we are given in the fourth commandment, is never an excuse for seeking our own pleasure (see Isaiah 8:13). However, the freedom we have in Christ does mean that for the Christian, the Sabbath is not a strait jacket.

Keeping the Lord’s Day holy begins with working hard the rest of the week. In America we usually work at our play and play at our work, but God has given us six days for the ordinary business of life, and we are called to use them for His glory. Christians ought to be the most faithful and diligent workers. Our industry is an important part of our piety, while sloth is a very great sin. To waste our time is to squander one of the most precious resources that God has given us.

The duty to work is for everyone, not just for people who get paid. It is for housewives, for retired people, for the disabled and the unemployed – all of us are called to do something useful with our time. Even if we don’t need to earn an income, we need to glorify God in whatever work we do. Today many Americans assume that they will work for the sixty years of their lives, and then take the rest of their lives off. That’s not the biblical view of work and leisure, because the Bible calls all of us to maintain the rhythm of work and rest that is essential to our humanity.

The work week begins with the Lord’s Day. This is not a day for inactivity, but a day for worship, mercy, and rest. One of the best summaries of how to keep the day holy comes from the Westminster Confession of Faith: “This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs before-hand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy” (XXI.8). The choice of the wordrecreation is unfortunate, because one purpose of the Lord’s Day is to refresh us in the joy of our Creator. It is a day to “catch our breath,” which can include God-centered recreation. But the Confession is right that this is not a day for worldly recreations.

The Lord’s Day is for worship. It is a day for attending corporate worship, for enjoying fellowship with the people of God, for catching up on our spiritual reading, and for spending the whole day in ways that really make it the Lord’s Day. In order to worship well, we need to be prepared. Thus keeping the Lord’s Day holy also means getting ready the night before. Thomas Watson wrote, “When Saturday evening approaches, sound a retreat; call your minds off from the world and summon your thoughts together, to think of the great work of the approaching day…. Evening preparation will be like the tuning of an instrument, it will fit the heart better for the duties of the ensuing Sabbath.” 12

The Lord’s Day is for mercy. This was one of the things the Pharisees failed to understand. Some rabbis maintained “that if a wall fell on top of someone on the Sabbath, only enough rubble could be removed to find out how badly the person was injured. If he was not injured too badly, then he must be left until the Sabbath ended, when the rescue could be completed.” 13 But Jesus said it was a day for mercy, which is why He performed so many miracles on the Sabbath. He was not violating the fourth commandment – as the Pharisees thought – but fulfilling its true purpose. We follow His example whenever we use the Lord’s Day to welcome the stranger, feed the poor, or visit the sick.

Finally, the Lord’s Day is for rest, for stopping from our labor. The fourth commandment teaches us to have a leisure ethic as well as a work ethic.” The businessman should rest from his business, the housewife from her housework, the student from his studies. Of course, Christians have always recognized that some work is necessary. Workers that provide medical care or preserve public safety need to do their jobs, as do ministers and various workers in the church. There are also some basic daily chores need to be done. But this is a day to close the calendar, go off the clock, and put away the “to do” list. It is a day to step out of the frenzy, stop buying and selling, and quit worrying about the profit margin. In a culture that increasingly treats Sunday like any other day of the week, thereby turning what is sacred into something secular, we need to resist the tendency to let our work enslave us. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is the biblical answer to workaholism. 14

At this point many Christians still want to know what they can and cannot do on the Sabbath. Can I watch TV? Can I play frisbee? Can I go to a restaurant? Can I catch a flight back home? Can I play Monopoly, or do I have to stick to Bible trivia games? The danger in making universal applications is that we are prone to Pharisaism, so it is easy for us to slip back into legalism. In keeping the fourth commandment there is room for Christian freedom, the wise exercise of godly judgment. For example, even the Puritans recognized that there were times when it might be appropriate or even necessary to dine at a public inn. 15

However, when we start asking these kinds of questions, it is usually because we want to know what we can get away with. We want to know how far we can go without actually breaking the fourth commandment. But if we are looking for a loophole in the Lord’s Day, then we are missing the whole point of the fourth commandment, God is calling us away from our own business to transact the most important business of all, which is to glorify Him in our worship. And when we try to make as much room as we can for our own pleasures, then we miss the greatest pleasure of all, which is fellowship with the living God.

Our problem is that we find it so hard to take genuine delight in the sanctified pleasures of God. Dare I say it? God bores us. We are willing to spend some of our time worshiping Him, but then we feel like we need a break, and so we go right back to the world’s lesser pleasures. But the more we learn to delight in God, the more willing we are to keep His day holy. And then we discover that we are able to answer the questions that once seemed so vexing: Can I take a job that will require me to work on Sundays? Is it okay for me to catch up on my work? Should we let our kids play Little League on Sunday? Is it a good day for watching commercials? Most of the practical applications are easy when we want to honor the Lord on His day. The strain and struggle come when we want to use it to do our own thing.

Dr. Robert Rayburn once told the story of a man who was approached by a beggar on the street.16 The man reached into his pocket to see what he had. Finding seven dollars and feeling somewhat sorry for the beggar, he held out six bills and said, “Here you go.” Not only did the beggar take the six dollars, but with his other hand he struck his benefactor across the face and grabbed the seventh dollar, too. What do you think of the beggar? Don’t you think he was a scoundrel? Then what do you think of a sinner, saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, who insists on taking seven days a week – or even six and a half – for himself?

Remember the Lord’s Day by keeping it holy.

Notes 
1 Bill Gates, quoted by Walter Isaacson, “In Search of the Real Bill Gates,” TIME (January 13, 1997)7.
2 Lance Morrow, quoted in Mark E. Dever, “The Call to Work and Worship,” Regeneration Quarterly (Spring, 1996),5.
3 Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments (1890; repr. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1965),93.
4 Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the book of Exodus, trans. By Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1967),244.
5 See James T. Dennison, Jr. The Market Day of the Soul: The Puritan Doctrine of the Sabbath in England, 1532-1700 (New York: University press of America, 1983).
6 Watson, 97.
7 Watson, 95.
8 Watson, 99.
9 Leland Ryken, Redeeming the Time: A Christian Approach to Work and Leisure (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2995), 178.
10 Ignatius, Letters to the Magnesians, quoted in Douma, 139.
11 Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, Selected Shorter Writings (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1970),319.
12 Watson, 101.
13 David C. Searle, And Then There Were Nine (Fearn, Ross-Shire: Christian Focus, 2000), 67.
14 The best book on this subject is Leland Ryken’s Redeeming the Time, previously cited.
15 See Dennison, 94.
16 Roberts G. Rayburn, “Should Christians observe the Sabbath?”, quoted in a sermon by George W. Robertson at Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

© Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals Inc, 1716 Spruce St. Philadelphia, PA 19103
This article may be printed and distributed with this notice attached for personal use such as small groups and local Bible study groups. This article may not be reproduced in any other fashion without the expressed written permission of the Alliance.

By Philip Ryken/Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

 

Carved in Stone.


And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.
Exodus 31:18

Recommended Reading
Exodus 20:1-17 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2020:1-17&version=NKJV )

Remember when you first drew pictures with an Etch A Sketch? If you wanted to change your mind, you could simply shake it. Everything would disappear, and you could start all over again. It’s one of the most popular toys in history. Unfortunately, too often our society writes its moral standards on its own Etch A Sketch. Our cultural sense of right and wrong is based on societal consensus, not on the unchanging Word of God. In abandoning the absolute standards of a holy God, we’ve become a world in which morality is relative; it’s whatever people want it to be.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

Christians take a different view. The Lord didn’t write His Commandments on an Etch A Sketch. They were carved in stone, indicating their durable and permanent value.

The commands of God flow from His character and establish the moral baseline of the universe.

No matter how hard it tries, this world can never erase the truth of God’s Word or the demands of His Ten Commandments.

They are rock solid, and we can base our moral codes on the tablets of His holiness.

If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments.
Zig Ziglar

*evolutionnews.org/2012/03/mathematician_a057741.html

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Luke 10:1-11:54

By David Jeremiah.

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