Introduction: Last week we started our series of three lessons on the
Sabbath. We studied the issue of which day is the Sabbath and why it
is important. We concluded that “to walk humbly with our God” means
that we should just obey Him when He tells us what He expects. This
week we further explore the idea of how the Sabbath reflects our
relationship with God. Let’s dive in!

  1. Release From the Slavery of Egypt

    1. Read Deuteronomy 5:12-15. This is another recitation of
      the 10 Commandments. To what does God key Sabbath-keeping
      in this text? (His rescue of the Israelites from Egypt.)

      1. Last week we looked at the critically important link
        between the Sabbath and Creation. Why would God link
        His Sabbath to rescuing the Israelites from Egypt?

      2. Does this text tend to show that the Sabbath was
        instituted at Sinai? That it is a “Jews only”
        command? (We know from our study last week that the
        Sabbath was instituted at Creation. However, this
        does link the Sabbath to the Jewish experience.)

      3. Do you see a common thread between Creation and the
        Exodus from Egypt? (Yes! In Creation, God gave us our
        life. In the rescue from Egypt, He gave His people
        their life back. The New Testament reinforces the tie
        between these two ideas. The Passover meal, which
        celebrated the rescue from Egypt, is also symbolic of
        the promise of the coming Savior – the Messiah. Jesus
        took the Passover meal and used it to institute the
        “Lord’s Supper” ( Matthew 26:17-30) Thus, Jesus linked
        the rescue of His people from Egypt with His rescue
        of His people from their sin. In all of this we have
        God giving us life! The Sabbath is therefore a
        memorial to life for all His people – not just the

    2. If the Sabbath is a memorial to God giving us life, how
      does Sabbath-keeping improve our relationship with God?

      1. What similarities do you see between the Sabbath and
        your birthday? (Both are a celebration of life. The
        birthday focuses on you. The Sabbath focuses on what
        God has done for you.)

  2. Release From the Slavery of Sin

    1. Read Hebrews 3:15-19. This text also refers to the Exodus
      from Egypt. Why were God’s people not able to enter into
      the Promised land (Canaan) the first time they approached
      Canaan?(For a fuller account of this see Numbers 14.)
      ( Hebrews 3:19 says they could not enter because of

      1. Why does this text ( Hebrews 3:18)refer to Canaan as a
        rest? (They had come from slavery in Egypt, they had
        been in the wilderness heading towards Canaan, and so
        when they reached their destination you could say
        they were “at rest.”)

    2. Let’s read on. Read Hebrews 4:1-3. What promise of rest is
      the writer of Hebrews talking about here? God’s people
      made it to Canaan long before this! (Hebrews is talking
      (v.2) about the gospel of Jesus. Rest is not simply
      hearing the gospel of Jesus, it is having faith in the
      gospel. Entering into God’s rest is faith in Jesus.)

      1. Why does verse 3 refer to rest and the Creation of
        the world? (We know from last week that the “rest” of
        Creation is the Sabbath.)

      2. My favorite kinds of glues are those that require you
        to mix two different elements together before they
        work. What two elements does Hebrews advise we put
        together? (Verse 2 tells us that we must combine the
        gospel message with faith if we want the gospel to

    3. Read Hebrews 4:4-8. When does God call us to enter into
      the rest of faith in Jesus? (Verse 7–today!)

      1. When verse 8 speaks of “another day” what is it
        talking about? (There was the “day” of “rest” when
        God’s people (under Joshua) entered into Canaan.
        But, we have a new “day” of “rest” when we entered
        (by faith) into belief in Jesus. This rest is the
        power of the gospel to save us from sin.)

      2. Notice that verse 4 specifically refers to the
        seventh-day Sabbath. Why do you think Hebrews links
        the Sabbath to this idea of gospel rest?

    4. Read Hebrews 4:9-11. Here the writer of Hebrews goes into
      much greater detail in linking the Sabbath to the gospel
      rest. What relationship is there between keeping Sabbath
      holy and accepting Jesus’ invitation to enter into His
      rest? (The Sabbath symbolizes the “rest” that Jesus gives
      us when we believe in Him! The problem with the people
      who died in the wilderness is that they did not combine
      the message of a home in Canaan with faith. They did not
      believe in God’s message and enter into Canaan. Because of
      their failure to act on the message, they died in the
      wilderness. God calls on us today to act on His gospel
      message by believing Him and entering into the rest of the
      weekly Sabbath.)

      1. Some argue, as mentioned last week, that Hebrews 4 is
        the basis for arguing that the weekly Sabbath no
        longer has any significance. Does your reading of
        these verses suggest this to you? (No! That seems to
        be such a forced interpretation. A careful study of
        this chapter shows that it re-emphasizes the
        importance of the weekly Sabbath and Sabbath keeping.
        There would be no reason for the writer of Hebrews to
        repeatedly link the Sabbath to gospel rest if he no
        longer thought it important. Instead, he takes the
        weekly institution and uses it as an illustration of
        faith in Jesus work for us.)

  3. Release From the Second Death

    1. Read Revelation 14:6-7. What is the most important part of
      this angel’s message? If you were listening to this
      message, and had to pass it on to others, what part would
      you emphasize? (That “the hour” of God’s final judgment is
      NOW! It has come)

      1. How does this angel describe God? (As the Creator.)

        1. Of all the ways the angel could describe God,
          why do you think it chooses this way? (The angel
          is a messenger from God. I don’t think it chose
          the message. Instead, God is linking the idea
          (v.7) of fearing Him and giving Him glory to His
          act as the Creator.)

      2. If you knew the hour of God’s judgment was here, and
        you were serious about wanting to give Him glory
        (v.7) because He is the Creator, how would you do it?
        (Keep the Sabbath!)

    2. Friend, God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, He
      saves us from the slavery of sin, and He will save us from
      the final judgment. Will you celebrate what He has done
      for you by keeping the Sabbath holy? Will you show your
      belief in Him by entering into His weekly rest? It is a
      rest that He offers to each one of us!

  4. Next Week: Keeping the Sabbath Holy