under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
under a special agreement with
Lesson 6 (Part 1)
Would you like to work 50 days without a break? I am sure that all of us would say, "No, I would not like that. I would need some time off for rest."
The great Creator, the wise and loving God who created us, provided for the needs of our bodies. God commanded that one day in the week be set aside as a day of rest and worship. This is for man's benefit. The Lord Jesus said,
"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27
The word "Sabbath" means "rest." God created the heavens and the earth in six days, and He rested on the seventh day. When we speak of God resting, we do not mean that He was tired or needed rest. We mean that He rested in the perfection and completion of His work of creation.
God blessed the seventh day and set it apart as a day of rest for us. God says to us, "Remember the rest-day, to keep it holy." God means for this day to be a day when we lay aside our work, and we rest and worship Him. It should be a holy day, not a holiday. We should avoid doing anything that may keep others from worshiping God on this day.
The Lord Jesus taught that works of necessity and emergency could be done on the Sabbath. The religious leaders found fault with the Lord Jesus because He healed people on the Sabbath, but Jesus said, "It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days." (Matthew 12:12)
In the Old Testament, God's people kept Saturday, the seventh day, as the day of rest. In the New Testament, the disciples set aside Sunday, the first day of the week, as the day of rest. The Bible says,
"Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread [to observe the Lord's Supper], Paul preached unto them..." Acts 20:7
The first day of the week suggests an entirely new beginning. Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week as the Beginning and Head of God's new creation.
It was on Sunday, the first day of the week, that Jesus appeared to His disciples for the first time after His resurrection. Think what that day meant to Him!
Let us regard the first day of the week as holy in our hearts, that it may be to us what it was to Christ.
God is concerned about the way we treat our parents. He commands us to honor our father and mother. To "honor" your parents means to love them, to respect them, and to obey them.
Why should we honor our parents? We should honor our parents because God has commanded it.
Parents represent God's authority in the home. God's arrangement for the family is for the father to be the head of the family under God. The wife is to be subject to her husband, and the children are to be subject to their parents.
God says to us, "Honor your father and your mother." You must do this while they are living. When your mother and father die, what bitter feelings you will have if you failed to show them the love and respect that was due them while they were living.
God takes very great notice of how children treat their parents. This commandment to honor our parents is repeated in the New Testament. In both places a promise is connected with it. God promises a long life to those who honor their parents. A long life to serve the Lord is a great privilege. It is a privilege that we should greatly desire.
First, let us see what this commandment does not mean. It does not forbid the killing of animals for food. It does not forbid killing someone in self-defense. It does not forbid lawfully putting a man to death for murdering someone. God Himself set the death penalty for those who kill others. He said, "Whoso sheds man's blood [kills a man], by man shall his blood be shed…" (Genesis 9:6)
This commandment means, "You shall not commit murder." Very few people have actually murdered another person, but God says that if we hate someone, we are guilty of breaking this commandment.
The Bible says that the sin of murder begins in the heart. Jesus said, "From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders…" (Mark 7:21)
God knows what is in our heart. To hold hatred in our heart is a terrible sin. The Bible says, "Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer…" (1 John 3:15)
Christ commanded those who believe in Him to love one another. He said,
"By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another." John 13:35