Actually the command has changed a few times. If you look at the command as it was given originally in Exodus 20:8-11, the reason God gave for resting on this day was because of CREATION, God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. When God gives this command again in the Book of Deuteronomy He changes it. In Deuteronomy 5 no mention is made at all of resting because of creation, but rather because God had saved His people from slavery in Egypt. He gives that as the new reason for observing this command, it was creation but it changed to redemption. Hebrews 4:1-11 speaks of “rest” rest on the seventh day, rest because of entering the promised land, but it says there was also another REST that Old Testament believers were looking forward to, the ultimate REST that is found only in Jesus Christ, He is our REST! So now because the focus is no longer on a day but on a PERSON – CHRIST we can understand why the day changed yet again. In the Old Testament they were always looking forward to the REST they would have in Christ, the REDEMPTION He would bring, that is why they worshiped on the seventh day. But in our day we look back on what has already been accomplished by Christ and we know He accomplished our redemption because He rose from the dead. That is why we worship on the first day of the week. This we see in Acts 20:7; Paul met with God’s people on the First Day of the week (Sunday). If you read more in the Book of Acts you will see he (Paul) evangelized unbelieving Jews on Saturdays, the old Jewish Sabbath. It is now the day unbelievers worship, because Christ is LORD of the Sabbath and He and His redemption is the Focus of our rest.
“Them that honour me I will honour.” (1 Samuel 2:30)
Do I make the honor of God the great object of my life and the rule of my conduct? If so, He will honor me. I may for a while receive no honor from man, but God will Himself put honor upon me in the most effectual manner. In the end it will be found the surest way to honor to be willing to be put to shame for conscience’ sake.
Eli had not honored the Lord by ruling his household well, and his sons had not honored the Lord by behavior worthy of their sacred office, and therefore the Lord did not honor them but took the high priesthood out of their family and made young Samuel to be ruler in the land instead of any of their tine. If I would have my family ennobled, I must honor the Lord in all things. God may allow the wicked to win worldly honors; but the dignity which He Himself gives, even glory, honor, and immortality, He reserves for those who by holy obedience take care to honor Him.
What can I do this day to honor the Lord? I will promote His glory by my spoken testimony and by my practical obedience, I will also honor Him with my substance and by offering to Him some special service. Let me sit down and think how I can honor Him, since He will honor me.
from C.H. Spurgeon’s Faith’s Check Book
I put together notes for tonight’s Bible study on Genesis 18, and they almost look like a sermon outline, tempted to preach it …
“God’s Favor or Fire”
In Genesis 18, God presents us with a stark contrast. First, we see Abraham, preferred and loved by God. In sharp contrast, we see the Sodomites, in this chapter, almost ripe for God’s furious fiery wrath! Would you rather have favor than fire? Let us contemplate Abraham’s faithful example:
I. Abraham is characterized by faith – Genesis 15:6
6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6 NKJ)
1. He is the father of Faith –
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (Romans 4:16 NKJ)
2. Faith is the key to the treasure chest of God –Hebrews 11:1
NKJ Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NKJ)
3. Faith is essential in our relationship with God – Hebrews 11:6
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJ)
II. Abraham is known also as one who found favor with God – Genesis 18:3; Genesis 12:2-3
3 and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. (Genesis 18:3 NKJ)
1. I have listed favor here second, after faith but it actually precedes faith, even in Abraham’s story – Genesis 12:2-3; Isaiah 51:1-2; Jeremiah 31:3
NKJ Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3 NKJ)
NKJ Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him.” (Isaiah 51:1-2 NKJ)
3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jeremiah 31:3 NKJ)
2. Yet, God’s favor also should be sought after –
A. Through faith – Hebrews 11:6
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrewws 11:6 NKJ)
B. Through study -2 Timothy 2:15
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Timothy 2:15 NKJ)
C. Through obedience –Genesis 17:1 & :23-27
NKJ Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. (Genesis 17:1 NKJ)
23 So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; 27 and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him. (Genesis 17:23-27 NKJ)
III. Abraham parleys this favor into sweet fellowship –Genesis 18:3 -8; Revelation 3:20
20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20 NKJ)
IV. Abraham maximizes his opportunity of fellowship –
1. He prepares for it enthusiastically, enlisting the help of Sarah and others – Genesis 18:6-8
2. He listens and rejoices in God’s good plans, which involve him and his wife Sarah, who also listens, rejoicing – Genesis 18:9
V. Abraham’s sweet fellowship with God leads next to friendship with God, even then fervent prayer
1. Jesus defines friendship – John 15:15
15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15 NKJ)
2. Here God is sharing His specific plans of judgment with Abraham, because:
A. Abraham will become a great nation – Genesis 18:18
B. All nations will be blessed in him – Genesis 18:18
C. Abraham is known – “chosen him in love” – for a purpose – Genesis 18:19
VI. God knows Abraham will seek to bring his FAMILY into fellowship and friendship with God –
Genesis 18:19 “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
VII. A description of Sodom and Gomorrah –Genesis 18:20-22
1. The outcry against them is great –:20
A. In spite of the fact they were blessed to live in a luxurious land – Genesis 13:10
10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. (Genesis 13:10 NKJ)
B. In spite of the fact they had been saved in battle by Abraham – Genesis 14:8-24
Abraham went to save Lot, he ended up saving Sodom and its king as well. Providence favored them for a time, perhaps because of that they felt God would not judge them later?
4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4 NKJ)
2.Their sin was grave / serious – :20
3. The impending judgment was enough to set Abraham to prayer, probably more for Lot than for the people of Sodom – Genesis 18:22-33 (This is the first recorded prayer in Scripture)
4. Their judgment was great – Genesis 19:23-25
5. Yet, there will be greater judgments – Matthew 11:23-24
23 “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:23-24 NKJ)
1. Draw near to God, make your calling and election sure, seek His favor – 2 Peter 1:10
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (2Peter 1:10 NKJ)
2. Pray for your friends, relatives (and their lands / states, countries) that they might escape the wrath to come / teach your children – Genesis 18:19; 22-33
3. Fear God, whoever you are – Psalm 111:10
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. (Psalm 111:10 NKJ)
It has been a while since I have added anything to this blog. I have excuses! I got busy! I was on vacation! Yet, I can blog about these things can’t I? I can include a picture of my family –
My daughter, with her husband Seth, were with me from March 10th through March 25th!
Earlier in March, Dominic Aquila was also at my home, as he spoke at our church …
It was a great joy, not only hearing him preach, but getting personal time with him. Not to mention seeing Carolyn again after quite a few years.
In the picture above, left to right: Carolyn Lee, Francie Brevick (my mom), Arnold Brevick (me), John Grady (in plaid, pastor of Faith Sarasota) and Dominic Aquila.
I also had the privilege in March of attending the Ligonier Conference, participating in a pastoral installation (John Grady’s reinstallation & Christopher Knaebel’s – Faith Sarasota), and regular pastoral duties … I have had the flu and also hurt my knee, while bowling.
I am still catching up now, but we had a wonderful Resurrection Day at First Presbyterian to start April!
Watch online for free – Ligonier Conference