December 6, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, FAITH Series
Holding On to Principles
Background Text: Exodus 16:23; 20:8-11; 31:12-18; Leviticus 23:3-8; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Matthew 12:1-14; Acts 13:42
Highlighted Text – Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-16
Key Verse – “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20:8, NIV
We live in a world and society of busyness. Busy with work schedules. Busy with social schedules. Busy with church schedules. Busy with family schedules. The daily demands are indeed great. In the midst of it all, our physical bodies, mental states and relevant priorities suffer. Often times we are so busy doing things that we are accomplishing little to nothing. We have gotten away from those traditional beliefs and priorities that keep us grounded. In many instances, it has caused us lose focus on our purpose.
Remembering and Reverencing (Exodus 20:8-11)
The Ten Commandments is probably the most prominent Bible passage that sparks controversy and relevancy to modern day usage. Whereas, it is significant to understand and respect such customs, it is just as vitally important to understand how the passages speak to today’s believers. We are instructed in the highlighted passage to “remember” as we are throughout the Bible. Unlike the Greek meaning for the word, the Hebrew connotation in this verse simply means to take rest, relax and focus on Me. It is not the day that we are to remember and make holy, but it is our God who we are to remember and respect in our busy lives. New Covenant believers are able to remember and reverence God everyday, instead of just one day out of the week.
Point to Ponder: Do you intentionally schedule time to rest in the LORD?
Reverencing and Resting (Exodus 31:12-16)
In the natural, when we take time to rest from our daily schedules we want to share the down time with family or think of ourselves and sleep in for a day. These are important to God that we do them. However, we must not prioritize them over our reverence to God himself. When we do, we will still feel depleted or burn out because we have not rejuvenated our bodies. God wants us to set aside time in our days that we have uninterrupted time with Him. In verse 15, He says that death is the punishment for those that do not rest. Today we are not punished by execution, but we suffer the consequences of a spiritual death by not focusing on our spiritual relationship and ultimately it does affect our natural relationships and physical bodies. We must respect God enough to rest in Him.
Point to Ponder: Do you respect God enough to prioritize time to rest with Him?
Remembering the “Sabbath day” is still a necessary tradition and commandment. Today, God wants more than just a day. He desires to spend time with us everyday. We respect our employers enough to give them an average of eight hours a day. We respect our family and friends enough to meet their obligations. We respect our social statuses enough to attend functions and sporting events. This era of enhanced technology fights for our attention and time every minute of the day and we do find ourselves yielding to its demands. Is it too much to give time to the God who is our sovereign Creator? To the One who supplies and provides for us. The Wonderful Counselor who intercedes and interjects on our behalf? Choose to rest with God and not only will He replenish you, but you will find order to your daily chaos. Remember this in your discussions about those traditions or principles that are not relevant: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).
Commentary by, Evangelist Shulanda Hastings