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Rest: Resistance to Egypt

Exodus 20:8-12; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Matthew 11:28-29 | Trey VanCamp | February 19, 2023

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The idea of rest seems simple enough. We all want rest, but never seem to get it. Always just outside of our reach, rest seems either something to laugh at, or something to buy. But one of the most radical things Jesus teaches us is that he is able to offer us true rest without requiring us to work more, do more, or have more.

When we practice Sabbath, we stop all of our work and worry so that we’re able to become people of true rest. Like Israel, we remember that we’ve been saved from the oppressive yolk of productivity, and instead we’ve taken on Jesus’ yolk of ease. We reject that lie that our worth and value come from what we do, and that rest is a commodity we have to earn. In this way, rest is a countercultural rebellion against the powers and systems at war against God and his kingdom.

To practice Sabbath is to accept the invitation to rest while living in a world of hurry.


You can take interactive notes here. At the end of the message, you can email the notes to yourself.


 Before you hear the message, I would love to provide an overview of what we learned about the idea of rest. Seems simple enough, we all want rest, but never seem to get it. Always just outside of our reach. Rest seems either something to laugh at or something to buy, but one of the most radical things Jesus teaches is that he is able to offer us true rest without requiring us to work more, do more, or have more.

When we practice Sabbath, we stop all our work and our. So that we’re able to become people of true rest like Israel, we remember that we’ve been saved from the oppressive yoke productivity, and instead we’ve taken on Jesus’ yoke of ease. We reject that lie that our worth and value come from what we do, and that rest is a commodity we have to earn in this way.

Rest is a countercultural rebellion against the powers and systems at War against God and his kingdom. To practice Sabbath is to accept the invitation to rest while living in a world of hurry. Enjoy today’s message. 

A fourth century theologian and philosopher is famous for the following phrase. Our hearts are restless.

This theologian is St. Augustine of Hippo, and a modern biographer of his life has written a few years ago, which I really loved. He described Augustine as one who traveled the wilderness of once trying desperately to map the geography of desire. Now to Augustine’s dismay and like the rest of us, he discovered that this wilderness of want.

Ends. It only provides yet another mirage for us to chase after only to lead to more disappointment. And so after exploring everything under the sun, much like the teacher in Ecclesiastes that we talked about just a year ago in our faith family, Augustine concluded that we are restless mainly because, one, we are strangers in the world, and two, we are strangers to ourselves.

Strangers to ourselves is pretty interesting. He says How our desires are complicated. They actually contradict each other. Maybe you notice that in your own life you wanna do something, but the very thing you wanna do goes against the other thing you very much wanna do, and they change like the wind.

And so our desires shift typically the moment we get the thing we wanted. And now we want something all together different. And so because of that, our heart. Are restless. Not only that, we feel this sense of strangeness in the world. This is not our home. No matter how far away you journey into the planet, it never feels like home, which leads to CS Lewis, he asserts one of my favorite quotes.

He says, well, because of this, we must be made for another. Amen. And this is what we talk about today. We are made for the Kingdom of God. Now, 1600 years later from when Augustine wrote this, society still hasn’t figured out how to actually get rest today. Rest is either a comedy or a commodity comedy.

Rest is something we assume is not reachable. So instead we just joke about it. Anybody else? I actually saw a meme this week. It was perfect. It says I finally got eight hours of sleep. It only took four days to get it, but whatever. , right? Or that great coffee cup where it says, don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.

Right? And why do we do this? I think we laugh so that we don’t cry, right? Because rest seems so unattainable. It’s just something we’ll never get, especially if you are poor. Rest really seems unattainable because rest today is packaged as a commodity, something that you buy or sell. So you see this all the time.

You can have the week of your life, it will just cost you $10,000, right? Or every ad on tv, it’s essentially like this truck. It’s like a picture of Sabbath. Get this truck and you will have every desire in your soul and you’re gonna rest, and you’re gonna even have a cat. Act like a dog. It’s gonna be amazing.

Amen. Amen. Yeah, it’ll never happen. All right. Now, um, super Bowl right? That was last week. Did you guys see the Farmer’s Dog Co. Do you see? It was like the saddest thing ever. It was this, this, this daughter who has this puppy and then they grow through life together through every stage. And he like goes to high school and college and comes back.

And now the dog’s all old and the the line says nothing matters more than being together. And in 30 seconds you’re just bawling. But then it says, so now buy our dog. So that your dog can survive and you can have this beautiful moment, right? You can have this rest, but this dog food is pretty expensive, but if you buy it, it’ll be with you for the rest of your life, right?

Come to the happiest place on earth. Just sell your organ and you’ll get there. Right? This is what we believe. This is. Rest. See, we, we all kind of agree. We all want rest. I don’t have to spend much time convincing you. You need to. But rest is always just out of reach. And so we just keep on joking and we keep on spending.

We keep on taking our tax returns and going to the happiest, most expensive, but happiest place on earth. And we are exhausted, but we gather here every week because our rabbi has says something altogether different. Jesus of Nazareth made a promise that we don’t have to keep wandering the wilderness of once only to come up empty.

And over and over again. Matthew 11. Jesus says the following, it should be on the screen. It says, come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me. This is discipleship because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

It’s takes so much comfort because we actually believe the Bible is true. Jesus is not a liar, and so this is possible for you and it’s possible for me. I love how Pastor Eugene Peterson, he paraphrased this line for his congregation. He said the following. He says, are you tired, worn out, burned out on religion?

Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover your. I’ll show you how to take a real rest, walk with me and work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. And that’s why we’re doing the Sabbath series for four weeks. We’re talking about what does it mean to Sabbath. It’s this Hebrew word Shabbat, which has two interpretations, but four kind of meanings and purposes.

One last week we talked about stopping. I don’t wanna raise your, I don’t want to ask you to raise your hand, but I’d be so overjoyed if I’m like, who stop for 24 hours and over half of you raise your hand. But I’m just too scared to ask that. So we’re not gonna. But I hope that you stopped for 24 hours today.

We’re also adding this next phrase on what Shabbat means, which is literally to rest. , what is rest and how can we do it? And so maybe your Sabbath wasn’t that fulfilling this last, like yesterday, or maybe you’re doing it right now, but we are adding to the Sabbath we first need to take away. And so you had to stop.

And now we’re talking about rest. See, here’s what we believe about rest. Rest is possible through the person of Jesus. And we experience his rests through the practice of Sabbath, right? So Sabbath in and of itself is not the magical. . Without Jesus, it’s pretty pointless. But when we understand this gift is from Jesus, we can access it through a bodily practice like the Sabbath.

And we believe rest is not just a New Testament idea, which is why we’re actually gonna stay in the Old Testament. Last week we ended at Exodus 16. We now want you to turn your Bibles to Exodus chapter. This is the reason why we as a faith family went through the life of Moses, uh, in the last few weeks because we kind of wanted to set up context that would make these passages make a little more sense.

If you weren’t here, don’t worry. I hope that this will still make sense Anyways, uh, and so last week we covered the first two times that were Shabbat comes, which is in Genesis two and Exodus 16. Now we’re gonna look at the third instance, which is here in Exodus chapter 20, verse one. Then God spoke all these.

I’m the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow and worship to them and do not serve them for I the Lord your God, and may jealous God bringing the consequences of the father’s iniquity on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate.

But, and I love this line showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name. Verse eight. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.

You must not do any work. You, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your live. Or the resident alien who is within your city Gates for the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the, and the sea and everything in them in six days, and then he rested on the seventh day. This is pointing to the reason why we Sabbath.

Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day declared Holy now. Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor. Do not cover your ne neighbor’s house.

Do not cover your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Now, what did we just. It’s called the 10 Commandments, right? If you want to be a little bit more Hebrew, you can call it the Decalogue. Now, I’ll never forget this. When I was in college, we were learning about, it was my Hebrew Old Testament professor, and he talked about, it’s very popular today in our culture to complain that schools, as we’re in right now, schools, the reason they’re so bad is what we removed the tin commands.

You ever heard that phrase before? Right? That’s the whole reason we have removed the Tin Commandments. Apparently they used to be on the walls and stuff. Now what I love to do, this is what my professor said, and I’m sorry, this, here’s what he said. He said, okay, when somebody says that, great. Ask them, okay, cool.

Name me five of them,

Can you name five? Right. We know it’s so important and we talk about it, and yet we can’t even probably name five. But I say all that to say. The one we certainly forget the most is the fourth command, which is to. Now, here’s the irony. What is verse eight? What’s the first word in verse eight? Remember, remember the Sabbath?

I wonder if God knew it’d be the one command you and I would be most prone to forget, which is why he says, remember this one. If you put the com, uh, 10 commandments in the, uh, in a pie chart to figure out the word count. Did you know looking at it all Sabbath. We’ll take up 37% of the pie. It is the longest one.

It is saying, this is important. Do not forget it. I’m gonna explain it. And yet again, it’s the one you and I forget the most. . This fourth command also serves as a transition. The first three commands are about loving God. The last six commands are about loving others, and this is why we’re starting with Sabbath because it’s a beautiful practice when done correctly because it empowers you to love God and to love others.

Matthew Slee and his book 24 6. If you’re interested in this concept of Sabbath, I would suggest to you starting there. It’s a pretty light read. I believe it’s also medical, so I always skip that part cuz that stuff gives me, I’m a hypochondriac and I just don. They talk about and I’m like, I’m out, but skip the intros if you’re like me and the rest is great.

Now he has this quote, he says, the first three commandments concern themselves with our relationship with God. The last six have to do with our dealings with each other. We cannot steal from lie to or kill God, but we can do these things to one another. Now, the fourth commandment is the longest and most inclusive of all 10.

Its placement is not by accident. The first three commands are about God. The last six are about humanity. The fourth acts as a fulcrum. It’s a bridge between the. Sections now, before we go any further, I must address the elephant in the room and it’s a question you’ve probably been wrestling with. Have you’ve been here last week, and even if you just came in here today for the first time, should Christians even still practice the Sabbath?

Anyone thought that? Come on. Raise your hand this time. Nobody. All right. I’ll skip this whole section. No. Should we, as New Testament Believers Practice Sabbath? If you’re anything like me, you grew up, when I heard somebody taking a Sabbath, my first label on them was legalistic, religious, stuffy. That’s how I was raised.

and yet as I learn about the Sabbath, it’s the total opposite of those things. Now there are people and other religions who Sabbath and I think all of those definitions can fit right. You can take any good thing and make it bad if you have the wrong perspective. Now, after all too. For me, Sabbath sounds like a lot of rules.

I’m supposed to stop something. Whoa, whoa, whoa. It’s not about rules, it’s about relationship. We like to say a lot, but this kind of misses the whole point cuz I think we actually only have one minor. , should we still practice a Sabbath? Gee, I don’t know. It’s in the 10 Commandments, right? Like Jesus is our savior, but I don’t think it permits us to commit adultery, to steal and to covet.

Do you like the argument is because we have Jesus, we don’t have to worry about the law. And it’s true we don’t have to worry about it, but we can still practice it. What of those 10 commandments are we allowed? Not do anymore. Most people would point to Sabbath like Jesus is our substitute. He is our hope.

But I don’t think that allows us to dishonor our parents. I don’t think it gives us permission to worship other gods or to lie. So why do we leave out the Sabbath? To be clear, I think there are great Christians theologians on both sides of the argument. So if you look up the debate, I’m comfortable at admitting there’s amazing people who say, you don’t have to.

And I think the key here is you don’t have to Sabbath. And I’m okay with that. You guys don’t have to do it, but it’s dumb. It’s not good for you. In Christ. We’re free. Jesus is our ultimate Sabbath. Rest. Yes and amen. But even if it’s not a binding command that we have to do, and if we don’t do, we’re gonna be held accountable.

Even if that’s not true, I still believe Sabbath is a wise practic. At Passion Creek, you hear that phrase practice a lot if you’re around here for any length of time. And what we’re saying is Jesus lived his life a certain way. And so when we read the gospels, Matthew, mark, Luke, and John, we don’t just skip to the cross in the resurrection, which we think is of course utterly crucial.

We also look at his life and we say, okay, what did he do? What did he not do? How did he operate? And so what we’re saying is, You’ll see it all over our, our our signs. We want to be formed by the lifestyle of Jesus. And so that means whatever he did, he’s the best human to have ever lived. We want to embody everything that he did.

Now, I think Dallas Willard, he’s a huge influence to me, uh, and our church leadership. He puts it best. He says the following, he says, quote, my central claim is that we can become like Christ by doing. By following him in the overall style of life he chose for himself. If we have faith in Christ, we must believe that he knows how to live so we can, through faith and grace, don’t miss that part.

We can, through faith and grace, become like Christ by practicing the types of activities he engaged in by arranging our whole lives around the. He himself practiced in order to remain constantly at home in the fellowship of his father. So why should we practice Sabbath? Because we think Jesus did, and that’s enough of a reason for me.

Let me give you some examples of what Jesus did on the Sabbath. Now, he was with a group of people who Sabbath too hard. They had too many rules, so they missed the whole point of Sabbath. That’s why Jesus often says, uh, Sabbath was made for man, not the man made for Sabbath, right? The Sabbath’s supposed to serve us, so they missed the whole plot line.

But I think if you were with us today, the way he would confront us is totally different cuz we just don’t Sabbath at all. And so he would call. But here’s some examples of what Jesus did on the Sabbath, which is the whole purpose I believe of Sabbath. On the Sabbath, he casts out demons. Look at Mark one and Luke four.

He heals scoliosis. Look at Luke 13. He shrinks peripheral edema, which, uh, edema, which is Luke 14. He cures blindness, blindness in John nine. He feeds the hungry in Mark two. He unlocks paralysis of a hand in Matthew 12, mark three in Luke six, and he lowers a high fever in Mark one. In Luke four. He does all of these things.

He knows the purpose of the Sabbath is to bring about rest and to make us whole, and to experience a taste of the kingdom of God, and he invites us to do the same. So for me, the lifestyle of Jesus is enough. We should do it because Jesus did it. But the Old Testament also points to reasons why you and I should still rest.

Last week we looked at Exodus. Also here in Exodus 20, God is really pointing to why do we Sabbath? It’s the rhythm of creation. Remember that last week? If we go against the rhythm of creation, we’re gonna get burnt for it, right? It’s leads to stress and depression. All the data’s out there if you don’t rest, if you work 90 hours a week, it’s not any different of productivity than working 50 hours a week, right?

There’s data over and over again that says, when we take a day off, it’s best for everyone, including our. , but also Deuteronomy five. Turn your Bibles to Deuteronomy five. We see another reason why you and I should rest. So one is the rhythm of creation, which we looked at LA last week. Let’s look at the second one.

Now. Let me point this out. Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy five are very similar. They’re both to 10 Commandments and Exodus 20 Israel, the people of God are at the foot of Mount Sinai just after leaving Egypt, Deuteronomy five. They’re at the feet of the edge of the Jordan.  and they’re about to take over the Promised Land.

So there’s different context here. XOs 20 was written to the first generation that was delivered from Egypt. So they are very much thinking about what happened in Egypt. Deuteronomy five is the next generation, the generation that was born during the wilderness phase. Okay, so the Sabbath command, we’re just gonna.

Is similar, but there are a few key differences that I think are really helpful for us. Look at verse 12. Deuteronomy chapter five. It says, be careful to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, which means set apart as the Lord your God has commanded you. You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.

Do not do any. You, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or donkey, any of your livestock or the resident alien who lives within your city gates so that your male and female slaves may rest as you do. The key is the next verse. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God brought you out of there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.

That is why the Lord your God has commanded. To keep the Sabbath day. So there’s two differences here. One, it starts out by saying, just remember in Exodus 20, here in Deuteronomy five, the csb, which is a translation we preach from, it says, be careful to remember other translations you may have says, observe.

So there’s a little bit of a difference here to observe. A lot of, uh, old Testament commentators are saying it, it’s kind of related to a holiday, right? You do something really special to observe the holidays, right? It’s not just like any other day. So he is saying, okay, what you need to do is to observe.

And so actually we, if you didn’t get a Sabbath box yet, get one on your way out. Today we provided one candle. Technically the Jews, what they would do is have two candles. They would light one and say, remember, and they would light the second one, and they would say, Slight difference there. Kind of minor.

It’s not a big deal. But the next thing that’s different is in Exodus 20, he points to creation. Here’s why you should rest cuz God created this world in six days and on the seventh day rested. So if we’re gonna be like God, we also must stop Deuteronomy five. It’s not pointing to creation, it’s actually pointing to liberation.

He says, remember that you were a. So we are remembering on Sabbath who we once were and we are declaring and remembering that is not who we are anymore. During the Moses series we talked about this, right? Egypt represents what sin, Satan death. The Red Sea represents baptism. Going into the wilderness, actually represented the Christian journey, and the promised land is the kingdom of heaven.

We now, if you are a believer in Jesus, Egypt is not your story. You have a new way of life, and so last week, why do we rest? Why do we stop? It’s the rhythm of creation. This week, it’s about resistance. Here’s the key idea for today, Sabbath rest is a form of resistance against the system of death. This is one way you and I resist the system of death.

Egypt created a system of death, an oppression for just the sake of the. It’s actually why you have the pyramid. You know, you hear pyramid scheme, it’s all about the, just for those on the top, literally Egypt’s symbol is the pyramid cuz it’s always best to be on top, but it’s a lot of pressure and it’s heartache for everybody on the bottom.

Let me give you a few examples just in Exodus five to show like the mantra of Egypt, and I wonder if you hear that also being shared today. Uh, chapter five, verse four says, the Kingdom of Egypt said to them, Moses and Aaron, why are you causing the people to neglect their work? Get to your. Verse nine, impose heavier work on the men.

Then they will be occupied with it and not pay attention to deceptive words, which we, those aren’t deceptive words. What they want is not to pay attention to the word of God. So make them work even more 17 and 18. But he said, you are slackers, slackers. That is why you are saying, let us sacrifice to the Lord.

Now get to. What’s happening here? Pharaoh was a cruel tyrant that always demanded more, and Egypt was a cruel system that convinced you the Pharaoh was correct. Now, does this sound familiar? Friends Egypt and Pharaoh are alive and well today, and we don’t do much to resist. , take a look at America. We actually work more than ever before.

Americans actually work more than any other country in the world. 137 more hours per year than Japan. Take that, I’m just kidding. 260 more years than the Brits 499 more hours than France, but it’s France. So . Michael Sandell. He actually spoke at Harvard and has done a bunch of Ted talks. He actually argues, and this has been fascinating for me recently, we have shifted from a market economy to a market society in the last 30 years.

Everything’s the market. There is no distinction anymore, and so he says, as a result, everything is negotiated by and sold, including your value and the love that people have for you. I will love you if we negoti. If you sell this to me, I will give you that. The way that we look at people. I will listen to you if you have a certain net worth or a certain following, everything.

We are now a market society. Not only that, we look a lot like Egypt because we actually have more slaves than ever before. The most conservative estimates is that we have 28 million slaves in the world. Other estimates say it’s up to 40. This is slave labor. This is actually why I think we should be more conscious of what we buy if something’s cheap, start to ask questions.

Why is this so cheap? And also sex trafficking, people being enslaved with their bodies. And as a result, we do have more than ever before. America is the wealthiest country in the world and in the history of the world. Did you know this? This is fascinating. The second richest part of the world is actually western.

But here’s what I didn’t know until this week. Their average wealth is on par with our porous of states being Louisiana and Mississippi. If you drive through Louisiana and Mississippi, you feel like, okay, there’s some poverty here that is the richest in Western Europe. Also, we have more than ever before.

In Exodus one 11, it talked about how Egypt had supply cities, literally entire cities, just to carry supplies. We have supply cities, they’re just called storage units. They’re everywhere. Have you seen ’em? It’s like, why didn’t I think of this? You just get a plot of land and just hold your stuff. It actually shows, we have in America, 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage space in America.

That is 7.3 square feet for every person. We can house every person in a storage unit today in America. But here’s the thing. We work more than ever before. We have more slaves than ever before, which we turn a blind eye to. We have more than ever. And we are unhappier than ever before. Cue the data about suicide rates, depression, lack of friendships, social awkwardness, all of these things.

We are not healthy. And yet we hear Pharaoh and we think more more. Moore Moore. Walter Brueggeman, another book. Uh, this is a short book, isn’t it? Short. Thanks, Caleb. A short book, uh, and it is phenomenal. It’s up on formed by He has this book entitled Sabbath as Resistance, which is really the key idea we’re wrestling with today.

He said the following, he says, those who live by the death system, right? The system of Egypt. The system of our world today are bound to dishonor. Parents and all non-productive kin are bound to engage in killing violence because the others are a threat. Are bound to reduce sexual interaction to exploitative commodity are bound to assert from others if it is something they want.

Are bound to engage in distortion and euphemism to gain advantage and are bound to be committed to inquisitiveness. Yes, friends, Pharaoh and Egypt are alive and well, but they have been lying to you and on. Our community declares Enough is enough. We don’t need more. This system of death is robbing our joy and it’s killing our neighbor, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

And so we rest. We resist by resting for 24 ather hour, 24 hours every single week. Sabbath is an invitation to the way of rest, in a world of hurry, Pharaoh wants us to hurry so we don’t pause long enough to see what’s really going on. We don’t pause long enough to feel the ache in our hearts that we want something different.

We don’t. We’re too in a much, in a rush to see the pain of our neighbor who’s getting crushed by the system. The Pharaoh wants you to hurry so that you don’t hear the voice. The tender, loving voice of God read the scriptures. He is not found in the lightning or the thunder. Most often, he is found in the gentle whisper and too many of us are going too fast to even notice.

I literally wrote that light, that line down on a Thursday this week. I thought, that’s good. I’m gonna write that down. We’re gonna preach that. And I had to go meet with a pastor and so we had a, uh, a lunch with another pastor. So I was on my way. Now, the day before, it was the weirdest thing. Uh, salek, my, my middle child got out of the car, we were done for the day, and she closed the door and it wouldn’t shut.

Right. So that little like thing right here, you know, just kept. And so I couldn’t figure it out, so I took a screwdriver and was trying to just prop it open. It would not work. And so I had two options. Call dad or look up YouTube. I decided to do call dad and I assumed he wouldn’t get it, so I was gonna look up YouTube.

I was getting both at the same time. So I called Padre and he’s like, oh, that’s really easy. You just grabbed the door handle. And then you take the screwdriver and it’ll work, and ta-da. It worked. All right, so no YouTube today, right? And so it worked. I thought, huh, that I’ve never happened before. I’ll never forget that rule.

One day my kids will call me and I’ll say, oh, this is easy. Open the door handle, lift it up, right? So the next day, going to lunch on my way, and I see this guy on the side of the road and what’s he doing? Trying to slam his door. And it kept not. Now I just wrote the line. We’re too much in a hurry. Pharaoh y you know, he’s drowning out the God moments and I see him, but I’m late and Van camps are never late.

All right. So I just, I left him, I just went right past him and went to lunch. Terrible human. I unknown the whole lunch. I was thinking, Lord. Don’t make this food like poisoned to me, cuz I know what I did was wrong and oh my gosh, I’m not practicing what I preach. I’m like a Pharisee. Like all of these things were in my mind, no idea what the conversation was with that pastor.

I was just distraught. So I was kind of hoping the man after an hour of lunch is still sitting there doing this number  so I can help him and share a good story with you. He wasn’t there, so either someone else helped or he’s driving somewhere right now with that door just flapping. Either way, my apologies.

Right. So actually I’m trying to get Sabbath into my own rhythm. So the theory here is that as we Sabbath, it actually empowers us to be slower even throughout the week, and to recognize those God moments. Here’s what the Pharaoh knows. You block the Holy Spirit when you walk in a hurried spirit. How often are we in a hurry late for lunch and miss out on a conversation that God could have used?

We hurry when you and I have been duped that the answer is more, we hurry when we listen to the Pharaoh more than to the father. Work more hours, make more money, achieve more accolades, accumulate more things. But for 24 hours, God teaches us this lesson to resist those lies by. resting We have an invitation to rest from the burden of accomplishment.

Hear me. In Christ on Sabbath, we declare I am not defined by what I produce, and Sabbath is a tangible picture of that. Also, on Sabbath, we rest from the burden of accumulation, right? No more storage units, right in Christ. I am not defined by what I possess. And so on Sabbath day, I’m not hoarding. In fact, I am giving things away.

The twin gods of accomplishment and accumulation are embedded into the way of Egypt, and I wonder how often it is embedded in my heart and in yours. . So we encourage you at You’ll see the practice for your together groups this week. If you’re not in a group, it’s a great time to join. And even if you can’t this week, we still suggest you go to that website.

Last week we had a great, uh, lesson on how we stop this week. We’re gonna learn how to rest. Now, let me offer you, there’s a few different ways that we rest on Sabbath. Number one is, Sabbath offers rest for the mind. And so for me, when I need mental rest, I go on a hike or on a walk. I tinker around the garage with my hands, right?

It is a great way just to rest my mind. Also, on Sabbath, it can be a physical rest. You can offer rest for your body. So if you’ve worked with your body all week, use the Sabbath to read a novel. To read your Bible, to talk about the Bible with somebody, listen to jazz music. Something that gives your body a rest and at ease.

Also, on Sabbath, we’re hoping that you guys actually do it in community, that you guys pick people in our church and say, Hey, let’s Sabbath together on Saturday night, are Friday night, let’s have a dinner. And one thing it does is it gives you emotional rest. Sabbath offers rest from the. For my wife, her emotional rest is to jam out to country music.

It ain’t Christian, but I allow it. You know, , it’s just to forget the hard things of life. Like I know our community, there’s a lot that all of us are dealing with right now, and we have to find a way to not think about those worries for a day. They’ll be there tomorrow, but for today, we’re just gonna love each.

And think about all the great things for me. It’s not country for me, it’s Paul Simon, ain’t he? Paul Simon fans. Amen. Praise the Lord. I just found out about him. Where have I been? Right? Emotional rest. Last one is social rest. Again, this very much is practice and community Sabbath offers rest for the broken.

So I would encourage you to look around. Who’s lonely in our church? Have them over every week. Who’s the. Or the orphan. What about the person? And this is really challenging, but what about the person in our church that has to work seven days a week because they’re in so much poverty, maybe a single mom, whatever situation.

What if we get together and say, no, no, no, no. We’re gonna pay you not to work one day. We’re getting our group together. How much do you make on this day? You’re not working anymore and come rest with. This is what we’re called to do. Even on Sabbath. We’re supposed to befriend the enemy friends. It is a outpost of the kingdom.

This is declaring what God has done. Abraham Joshua Heschel. He describes Sabbath this way. He says The Sabbath is an example of the world to come. Are you experiencing that kind of rest practice Sabbath, AJ Swoboda, which I really hope he’s right. He says the Bible is silent on vacations. Because if we kept a weekly Sabbath, hear me, we would not need vacations.

I haven’t experienced that kind of rest. I want it. What if we resist the Pharaoh in Egypt and we step into it? And let me end with this. Rest is a form of resistance. But hear me, let us not forget, we’re always resisting if we aren’t resisting. Envy. You and I are resisting contentment if we are not resisting.

You and I are resisting humility. If we are not resisting hate, you and I are resisting love. If we are not resisting the Pharaoh, you and I are resisting the Father. You will resist to live as to resist, but who will you resist? AJ Swoboda. I’ll end with this quote. He says, do you find yourself resisting the Sabbath?

You very well. May I certain? At their core, most Western people are deeply pragmatic. We will do something if it’s practical and the result happens immediately. We rarely do things simply because God has invited us to do them, but the Sabbath is one of those things that we must enter into in obedience and the results of which will come down the road.

Instead of thinking in terms of production, the day becomes about present. Why are we a church talking about Sabbath? Because in a world that’s obsessed with production, we know there’s a better promise in his presence. We wanna invite you into it. Saint Augustine, as I started, talked about how our hearts are restless, but the full quote is more powerful.

He says, you have made us for yourself. And our hearts are restless until they find rest in you. If your heart is restless this morning, it’s because it is not resting in God, and that takes time. But one way we can habituate his rest into our souls to center our hearts on him is for 24. Once a week, we declare enough is enough and we enter into the rest that only God can give.

Group Guide

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Meal & Conversation

Open the night with a quick prayer over your time together. As your Group shares a meal, use the following question to check in with everyone:

1. What’s been the best and worst parts of your week?

Overview of Teaching

The idea of rest seems simple enough. We all want rest, but never seem to get it. Always just outside of our reach, rest seems either something to laugh at, or something to buy. But one of the most radical things Jesus teaches us is that he is able to offer us true rest without requiring us to work more, do more, or have more.

When we practice Sabbath, we stop all of our work and worry so that we’re able to become people of true rest. Like Israel, we remember that we’ve been saved from the oppressive yolk of productivity, and instead we’ve taken on Jesus’ yolk of ease. We reject that lie that our worth and value come from what we do, and that rest is a commodity we have to earn. In this way, rest is a countercultural rebellion against the powers and systems at war against God and his kingdom.

To practice Sabbath is to accept the invitation to rest while living in a world of hurry.


  1. How did Sabbath go for you this past week? Where did you feel resistance? Where did you feel delight?
  2. When you typically think about getting rest, what do you think about doing? Do you usually feel rested after these activities?


Read Exodus 20:8-11 and Matthew 11:28-30. Then discuss the following questions:

  1. Do you think Christians in general should still live by the 10 Commandments? Should Christians still observe the Sabbath? Why or why not?
  2. Where do you feel the most tired? Physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually? What in your life is currently draining your energy the most?
  3. What are the hardest things to say “no” to during your Sabbath?
  4. Imagine hearing Jesus’ words in Matthew 11 for the first time, in person. What comes to mind when you hear Jesus say, “you will find rest for your soul”?


This week you’ll continue to practice Sabbath, but with an emphasis on resting. Where the goal last week was simply to stop for 24 hours, the goal this week is to begin introducing practices that help you find true rest.

  1. As a Group, read the “Rest” section on page 12 in your Sabbath Guide.
  2. Before Sabbath, take a moment to write out the things you’ve left undone, the things you’re anxious about, and the things tempting you to get sucked back into the way of Egypt. Pray through these things, offering them to God, and then put them in your Sabbath Box for the rest of the Sabbath as a tangible way to cast your cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7).
  3. During the Sabbath, plan some activities that feel truly restful for you. Consider where you feel the most exhaustion (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or socially), and plan to engage in things that bring you rest in that area.
    1. If you’re exhausted physically, do some activities to engage your mind like reading a novel, playing a game, or spending time with close friends.
    2. If you’re exhausted emotionally, try journaling and praying through your burdens, redirecting your attention to things that bring you joy, or finding ways to serve your friends and family.
    3. If you’re exhausted mentally, do some activities to engage your physical body like going on a walk, doing a quick workout, or making something with your hands.
    4. If you’re exhausted socially, reach out to some friends who give you life rather than drain your life, or spend some time alone in solitude. Consider ways to reach out to those who are neglected in your community.
    5. If you’re exhausted spiritually, try starting your Sabbath with a time of lamenting prayer, journaling, or worship.
  4. With your group, discuss which activities and practices you plan to try out during Sabbath this week.


As you end your night, spend some time praying for and encouraging one another.

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