A TIME TO FIND FREEDOM

Reflect

Genesis 1 “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”

21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that ]moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Exodus 20:8-11 “8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 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 cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Exodus 16:14-31 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’ ”

17 Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. 18 So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need. 19 And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.”

20 Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
22 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.

23 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’ ”

24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”

27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?

29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. 31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 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.

15 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.

Psalm 92 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. 5 How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!

6 Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand, 7 that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.

8 But you, Lord, are forever exalted. 9 For surely your enemies, Lord, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered. 10 You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured on me.

11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes. 12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.

Isaiah 58:13“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day,if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

Discuss

What surprises you from the Bible verses?

What do they teach you about people?

What do they teach you about God?

Is there a command to obey?

Who do I need to share this message with?

Study Notes

The awesome wonder of space speaks of an all-powerful God who is the Creator of the universe. Frank Borman was commander of the first space crew to travel beyond the Earth’s orbit.

Looking down on the earth from 250,000 miles away, Borman radioed a message, quoting Genesis 1:1, “ ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’ ”As he later explained: “I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us—that there was a God, that there was indeed a beginning.

Many of the world’s greatest thinkers have been so moved by the incredible design, complexity, order, and vastness of the universe that they have developed a bedrock faith in God.

Genesis 1:1 is the foundation for all of Scripture – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (NKJV). These few words identify the designer and author of all things including our freedom.

The Hebrew word for “create” in this passage is bara’. It refers to something God did. This Hebrew verb is always linked to God’s creative activity.

God has the ability, the awesome power, to create something from nothing. God speaks, and the earth came into existence. He speaks, and the earth is carpeted with living green. He speaks, and trees and flowers flourish. He speaks, and the sun, moon, and stars instantly exist as does the science that governs their movements.

To get just a small idea of how unlimited God’s power is, consider just one object in the heavens: the sun. Genesis 1:14–16 tells the story of God creating two lights to rule the heavens: the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night.

We exist on one of the planets that revolve around the sun. The sun produces more energy in one second than humans have produced in all their history.

Take all the electrical power and all the energy produced by solar or coal or gas since the beginning of time, and the sun produces more in one second.

The sun has a diameter of approximately 860,000 miles and could hold a million planets the size of earth. But the sun is just one of at least 100 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. One star called the Pistol Star gives off ten million times the power generated by our sun.

One million stars the size of our sun can easily fit within the sphere of the Pistol Star. Some scientists estimate that there are ten billion trillion stars in the universe.

Someone has said that there are about the same number of stars as there are grains of sand on the seashore.

At the conclusion of Creation week, Genesis 2:1–3 declares, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. On the seventh day, God ended His work and rested on the seventh day. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (NKJV).

God rested, but not because He was tired. He rested refreshed in the beauty and majesty of the world He had made. He rested as an example to us.

The Sabbath is a weekly pause to recognise the One who made us. Worship on the Sabbath brings us into a special relationship. God set the Sabbath apart from the other days of the week among other things to reminds us that we are not cosmic orphans on some spinning globe of rock.

The Sabbath points us to a Creator who formed us to live within a covenant relationship. The Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20:8–11 begins with the word “remember.” It points to a powerful God who created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. If, as some people believe, God set this world in motion and it evolved over millions of years, there would be absolutely no need for the Sabbath and nothing to remember.

The Sabbath is an eternal symbol of our rest and freedom in God. It is a special sign of loyalty to the Creator (Ezek. 20:12, 20). Rather than being an arbitrary, legalistic requirement, it reveals that true rest is found in Him.

There is another important aspect of the Sabbath command. Deuteronomy 5 restates the Sabbath command to a new generation about to enter the Promised Land. Rather than recalling the powerful deeds of God at creation as reasons for observing the Sabbath, on the boarders of the promise land, they were reminded that they were slaves in Egypt, and their almighty Creator saved them – He was the one who brought them to freedom.

God is the only One who can deliver us from the slavery of sin. He is the only One who can break the chains that have bound our lives. God is the only One who can deliver us from the clutches of sin and Satan.

This is the message of the Sabbath—an almighty Creator wants to re-create our hearts and transform our lives.

When you reflect on Sabbath rest, what do you think of?

How is the concept of Sabbath rest as outlined in this study relate to you?

Why is the Bible truth about Creation important in your life? What practical difference does it make if we were created or we evolved over millions of years?

How does your belief in either of these two views impact your view on life?

Have you ever thought of the Sabbath being a sign of deliverance?

The Sabbath reminds us that we were rescued from slavery to sin

How does this idea of the Sabbath make a difference in your life?

 “The Sabbath is a golden clasp that unites God and His people.”

Maranatha: The Lord Is Coming p244

FINDING FREEDOM IN REST