총 게시물 610건, 최근 2 건

The invisible aspects of the Sabbath

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2019-07-29 (월) 06:34 조회 : 151
설교일 : 2019.07.28
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
본문말씀 : Matthew 12:1-8

July 28, 2019

 

The invisible aspects of the Sabbath

Matthew 12:1-8

 

Rev. Eungyong Kim’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

In Exodus 20:8, God commanded, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Since then, the Israelites did their best to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy, because it reminded them that God had sanctified them. They dedicated to God the time from the sunset on Friday till the sunset of Saturday in order to preserve their identity. A Jew should observe the Sabbath, and if he does not, he is not a good-standing Jew.

 

We are wondering why God commanded the Israelites to observe the Sabbath. Was it because God wanted His people to keep the Sabbath holy by worshiping all day?

 

As Christians, we have grown up on the concept of ‘Keeping the Sundays holy’, which our parents observed without fail. Like the Jews, we were told by our faithful parents that if we didn’t observe the Sabbath, we would not be good Christians.

 

We have been interested in how to observe the Sabbath and today’s passage deals with this concern of what we are supposed to do on the Sabbath day. When the disciples of Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath, they were hungry and began to pick some heads and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they criticized them for doing unlawful thing on the Sabbath.

 

But the more important issue than how to observe the Sabbath is the meaning of the Sabbath and the invisible aspects of the Sabbath.

 

Let us look into the three reasons why God provided the Sabbath for us.

 

1.  The Sabbath day means ‘rest’.

 

The Hebrew word ‘Shabbat’ has the meaning of ‘rest’. The chapter 2 of Genesis has the description of God resting on the seventh day after completing the Creation. Even God rested from all the work, but it does not mean that God needed the rest because He was tired from His work. In general, the people of the world do not understand why we Christians work for 6 days and then on Sundays we go to church to worship.

 

The meaning of ‘rest’ in observing the Sabbath is that after our exhaustive work for 6 days, we are restored to the original body and soul on the 7th day. That was the reason why God rested on the 7thday, after finishing the work of Creation in 6 days.

 

This is the pattern God wants us to have, instead of continuing to be exhausted after 6 days of work. God doesn’t want us to be dragged by the regular pattern of our lives. Therefore, God is providing the rest for us and asking us to live as the people who take the rest. This is the pattern for the people of God.

 

God wants His people to have this pattern of 6 + 1 days, and this is also applied to the Jubilee year. We work for 6 days and take rest on the 7th day, and we use the farmland for 6 years of farming and give rest on the 7th year. And on the 49th year, everything is restored to the original state. Everything is restored according to the original order of God. In other words, every enslaved person will be freed and all the debts will be forgiven and all the lands taken will be returned. The Sabbath day, the Sabbatical year and the Jubilee year are required from the people of God by the order of God. Where do we come from and where do we go from here? We came from God and we will go back to God in the end. That is the order of God. The people of God were expected to keep this pattern of life, which included the Sabbath.

 

But the humans have lost the rest, as we don’t know how to take rest. Even when we take rest, we don’t realize the real meaning of the rest. We just think we deserve rest after 6 days of work. There are many believers who don’t experience the true rest on Sundays and don’t even know the meaning of it. On Sundays (the Sabbath) we are expected to experience the God-given rest.

 

What is the God-given rest?

1)  Making a pause

2)  Having reflection

3)  Asking questions

 

Making a pause – Laying down all the things in your life before God, after halting your race.

 

Having reflection – Reflecting upon your life after coming to a standstill, and then looking at your life with the eyes of God.

 

Asking questions – Asking God what He thinks of your past 6 days and then asking Him how you should live the next 6 days.

 

With these three things, Sunday will be the day of rest and worship for us, whom God calls His people.

 

How about you? Are you doing these invisible things for the Sabbath day?

 

2.  The Sabbath day is for restoration

 

Right after today’s passage about the Sabbath, Jesus healed a man with a shriveled hand and the Jews were really upset that Jesus violated the law on the Sabbath by His healing work.

 

The Pharisees really believed that they should not work on the Sabbath day to keep it holy. They made 39 rules of what they shouldn’t do and what they could do on the Sabbath, and then added 391 detailed regulations for the rules. They believed they were observing the Sabbath correctly by not working. They were not allowed to do anything more than moving the lamps, lifting the babies and writing 2 letters.

 

The issue of ‘how to observe the Sabbath’ has become the issue of ‘how not to violate the law on the Sabbath’.

 

 “Pastor, you are not supposed to eat out on a Sunday. You seem to be too liberal,” I was once criticized by a member who had come to our church from the Presbyterian Church. Hearing his criticism, I realized two things.

    1)  Having grown up in the Methodist Church, I had never heard that eating out on Sundays was not allowed.

    2)  I want to emphasize the importance of the fellowship we share with other members after the worship service and the preciousness of the time we spend with our family on Sundays, whether eating out or not.

 

The Pharisees wanted to pick a quarrel with Jesus by asking Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” They meant that Jesus did unlawful thing on the Sabbath.

 

But instead of answering that question, Jesus said to them, “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Jesus wanted them to reflect upon the reason why God provided them the Sabbath day. To Jesus, the Sabbath was a working day, not a day of rest. His work was the restoration and salvation of the souls, and Jesus is teaching us that the Sabbath should be such a day of restoration and salvation for us. The keyword for the Sabbath is ‘restoration’. So, Jesus wants us to work for restoration on Sundays.

 

After working for 6 days, what should we do on the Sabbath day? We should work for the restoration of ourselves, our families and our neighbors, so that all of us will be raised up as the people of God again.

 

After the Exodus, in order to give the Promised Land of Canaan to the Israelites, God selected each leader of the twelve tribes at Kadesh Barnea and sent the twelve of them to Canaan as scouts. Afterwards, the report of those scouts was shocking; “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, compared to those people in Canaan.” Their fortified cities, their weaponry and their huge size made them feel miserable. After the report, the Israelites blamed God.

 

Then, God did not let them enter Canaan and sent them back to the wilderness to live there for the next 40 years. The reason why God kept them in the wilderness was to teach them their own identity, and that was how their life in the wilderness began.

 

There are some church members who have not been successful in the world and are very disappointed with themselves. When they ask me what they should do, am I supposed to tell them the secret of success?

 

What did God do with those disappointed Israelites? During their 40 years in the wilderness, God taught them two things.

1)  The Word and the Commandments – God wanted them to use the Word as their standards.

2)  The worship and the tabernacle – God wanted them to worship together and have fellowship with God.

 

God kept them in the wilderness in order to teach these two things, and the Israelites learned them well.

 

Then, God distinguished the Israelites as the people of the Word and the worship, different from the natives of Canaan. After they learned who they were through their hard life in the wilderness, God allowed them to enter the Promised Land of Canaan.

 

When we work for our restoration on the Sabbath and we learn who we are through the restoration, God’s purpose in providing the Sabbath will be fulfilled.

 

What kind of work are you doing on the Sabbath day?

 

3.  Our Lord is the Lord of the Sabbath

 

We have shared that the Sabbath day is for ‘the rest’ and for ‘the restoration’. The third concept for us to share is who ‘the Lord of the Sabbath’ is. Jesus declared that “the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”.

 

What does He mean? He means that the Sabbath belongs to God. Therefore, on the Sabbath day, we should do according to the wishes of our Lord. Not according to our own wishes, but the wishes of our Lord. As Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, we should do our best to fulfill the wishes of Jesus.

 

What is the wish of Jesus? In verse 7, He said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” 

 

    1)  He doesn’t desire sacrifice.

 

In the chapter 2 of Malachi, God says to the priests, “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will spread on your faces the offal from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it” (verse 3).

Why is God saying this?

“My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.” (verse 5-6)

 

What God says is that the priests did not live their lives in the way God wanted, but they thought they were observing the Sabbath by offering dead sacrifices to God.

 

< Once I met someone who suggested that as a church tradition, on the anniversary of the Independence Movement of March 1st, we should sing our national anthem at church. When I answered that we could sing the anthem after the benediction, he insisted that it should be sung during the worship. How could we do that, when our worship service is being offered to God? Some people complain about the gospel songs being sung at the worship service, but they are forgetting that all the hymns we sing now had been gospel songs at first. Our worship at church cannot reflect each member’s likings.

 

What we should reflect upon is whether or not our worship service is giving glory to God, and we should pay attention to see if any souls are being saved, our lives are being renewed while sins are disappearing, love and fellowship are being solidified through our service. >

 

What is the wish of the Lord for the Sabbath? Why doesn’t He desire sacrifice? Doesn’t the sacrifice mean a dead or superficial worship service?

 

What is a superficial worship by dead faith? It is a worship service that is offered only according to your own wishes. Then, what is a life-giving worship by living faith? It is a service that is offered to God only according to the wishes of the Lord.

 

< I just came back from the KUMC Mission Conference held in Mexico last week. On mission fields, we come across some members who complain a lot about various things and about the insufficient preparations. They complain because they see things with their own eyes, instead of seeing with the eyes of God. >

 

While attending the Mexico Conference, I gave lectures on two subjects at the Seminary there; 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. During my lectures, I couldn’t help noticing a young woman with the name of Mariana, who couldn’t afford to go to college and now works at a Korean restaurant. I kept hearing God’s message to help her, but lost the opportunity to get some help for her. I couldn’t even give her $100 in my pocket, and I felt really bad about it on my way home. I should have given her that money, as it could have helped her. My heart was heavy with regrets, knowing that I didn’t obey the will of God because I was just concentrating on my own thoughts and my will. >

 

    2)  ‘I desire mercy’.

 

Hosea 6:6 says, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” God wants His people to fear Him and to get to know Him, so that His people will live according to His commandments of loving God and loving each other. This is the true worship that God wants. But the Pharisees lost the heart of God by observing the Sabbath with visible means of festivals, exorbitant offerings and luxurious worship.

 

The worship that God wants is not that kind. Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, does not want those visible aspects of the Sabbath. How did our Lord live on earth? Even though He was the king of kings and the Creator of all things in universe, He didn’t exercise any authority over the world, but died on the cross for our salvation. He used His time on earth for meeting with the prostitutes, the fallen people and the sinners. Because of His Gospel, countless people have been raised up and saved for the eternity.

 

How do we spend our time on the Sabbath day? Are we doing things to please God on the Lord’s day? What are we teaching our children about the Sabbath? We should teach them about the invisible aspects of the Sabbath, about who the Lord of the Sabbath is and the wishes of our Lord.

 

After this sermon, I hope that you will never be satisfied with a superficial worship on Sundays. We should add substance to the formality. I hope you don’t say, “Now that I know the true meanings of the Sabbath, I think observing the Sabbath with formality is meaningless.” We should be obedient to God’s commandment of remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy. We should just add the invisible aspects of the Sabbath to our observation of the Sabbath to make it complete.

 

I hope and pray that you will be filled with the three kinds of rest, the restoration and the Lord’s blessings on the Sabbath day. 

 

 


   

총 게시물 610건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
610 2019.11.17  This is the Christianity 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 Rev. Eungyong Kim
609 2019.11.17  이것이 기독교 입니다. 고린도 후서 2:5-11 김응용 목사
608 2019.11.10  The Two Boats Luke 5:1-8 Rev. Eungyong Kim
607 2019.11.10  두 배 누가 복음 5:1-8 김응용 목사
606 2019.11.03  Serve the Lord with passionate zeal! Romans 12:3-13 Rev. Hoon Kyoung Lee
605 2019.11.03  열심을 품고 주를 섬기십시요 로마서 12:3-13 이훈경 목사
604 2019.10.27  보고 따라가고 믿는 삶 창세기 18:1-15 김응용 목사
603 2019.10.20  The Ideal of Abram, the Ideal of God Genesis 15:1-21 Rev. Eungyong Kim
602 2019.10.20  아브람의 이상, 하나님의 이상 창세기 15:1-21 김응용 목사
601 2019.10.13  'Divine Yes' Genesis 13:1-13 Rev. Eungyong Kim
600 2019.10.13  Divine Yes 창세기 13:1-13 김응용 목사
599 2019.10.06  From Haran to Canaan Genesis 12:1-9 Rev. Eungyong Kim
598 2019.10.06  하란에서 가나안으로 창세기 12:1-9 김응용 목사
597 2019.09.29  The Life-giving Authority (5) Luke 20:19-26 Rev. Eungyong Kim
596 2019.09.29  생명 권세 (5) 누가 복음 20:19-26 김응용 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : This is the Christianity
설교일 : 2019.11.17
본문말씀 : 2 Corinthians 2:5-11
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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