christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 15:1-16:17, honor the sabbath day

Read Deuteronomy 15:1-16:17 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: ezekiel 36 and the third commandment

(Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic.)

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr 7:14

We are studying the roadmap to national restoration, and so, we are studying the Ten Commandments, the summary of God’s definition of righteousness and wickedness. By studying the Ten, we are learning what God considers wicked ways, that He is asking His people to turn from. (Here is the summary.)

The Ten Commandments are given in Deu 5. The First Commandment, Have no other gods before YHVH, is explained in Deu 6:4-11:25these are our detailed study notes.

The Second Commandment, You shall not make idols to worship, is explained in Deu 11:26-14:29; these are our detailed study notes.

The Third Commandment, Do not profane the name of YHVH, is explained in Deu 11:26-14:29; these are our detailed study notes.

The Fourth Commandment, Honor the Sabbath day, is explained in Deu 15:1-16:17.

The paragraph divisions are:

Deu 15:1-6 {s} Seventh (Sabbath) year release of debts
Deu 15:7-11 {s} Lend generously to the poor even when the Sabbath year approaches
Deu 15:12-18 {p} Seventh (Sabbath) year release of servants
Deu 15:19-23 {p} Firstborn are holy to YHVH
Deu 16:1-8 {s} Passover is holy to YHVH
Deu 16:9-12 {p} Weeks is holy to YHVH
Deu 16:13-17 {s} Tabernacles is holy to YHVH

In the giving of the Ten Commandments, the command to honor the Sabbath day has more instruction associated with it than any of the other commandments.

“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh 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 ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.” Deu 5:12-15

The Sabbath day of rest is picture of the gospel of grace. Painful labor in order to provide for needs was the result of the fall of man (Gen 3:16-19). But God set aside a day of rest from labor even before the fall, as a gift of grace. On that day we do not labor, but we simply rest and place our trust in Him.

When God delivered His people from slavery in Egypt, He taught them to observe the Sabbath day in the giving of the manna, the bread from heaven (Exo 16). Every day they were to go out and gather their manna, enough for that day. On the sixth day, God gave enough for two days, and they were to gather enough for two days, because no manna was provided on the seventh day. On the seventh day, they were to rest and trust in Him.

When His people were slaves in Egypt, they did not observe a day of rest. They were slaves, they were not free; they were forced by their oppressors to labor every day of their existence! Therefore, because God delivered them from slavery and set them free, His people are commanded to keep the Sabbath day set apart as a day of rest. His people are now free to rest and enjoy His gift of grace! When we do not honor the Sabbath day, not only is it simple disobedience to God’s word, but we are living as if we were yet slaves and not free!

In other words, as soon as God’s people were delivered from slavery and from their oppressors, He began teaching them how to live as free men of His kingdom! When we do not live as the free men we are, we dishonor His gift of grace!

When we honor the seventh day, we proclaim the gospel of grace by the actions of our life, not just by the words of our mouth.

Continued: deuteronomy 15:1-18, release from debt and bondage

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