Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We here at “Word For Life Says” want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons. May God bless you!
December 6, 2015
“The Lord’s Day”
Our Time with God
Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-16
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited.
You are always encouraged to do your own personal studies as well. These lessons are written to reflect my personal style of writing; my voice (if you will) in a more devotional sense and format and is not to be the final say or authority on the matter. There are oodles of other resources that identify the specifics (who, what, where, when, how) of each lesson that I may or may not cover. These writings are simply from my heart to yours. God bless you!
Making God priority. Notice I didn’t say, “Making God a Priority.” For me to say that would be to insinuate that He comes, in regard to the time I put toward Him, just as anything else on my to-do list to be itemized, categorized and strategized for how I work Him in to be checked off later.
God is not a priority. He is priority. He is to take precedence over all else in every area of our lives. But, how good are we through the daily routines that clutter our week at making time for Him? There are 168 hours allotted to us each and every week. How much is that used to focus on God?
Trust me. I know about our daily chores, homes, jobs and children to shuffle. Routines, if you will, that will eat up an incredible amount of our time. God knows this. He ordained work, home, and family. But, He also knows the need for a time of refreshing.
Therefore, God Himself, designed a remedy for the chaotic pull of our lives through worship and rest. He specially marked out and ordained a day in that weekly bustle of things that was to be protected and upheld; a day set apart from the rest to restore mind, body, and spirit. It was called the Sabbath.
Today’s lesson invites us to come close to this day; to learn of it and to apply its restorative properties to our personal and spiritual lives.
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Exodus 20 is nothing new to most Bible students. In it we find the very familiar Ten Commandments; God’s basic instructions for life and relationship toward Him and others. Today’s lesson is a spin-off of one of those commandments.
“Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.” Those words “remember” and “keep” are words that speak of the responsibility of the hearer as a memorial that is to be maintained. God’s instructive purposes for the lives of His people are not soon to be tossed aside and forgotten. Rather, there is a strict diligence in carrying one’s life in the specified manner.
The object of “remember” and “keep” in this lesson is “the Sabbath day;” a day with a lot of history and purpose behind it. If one does a quick, general study of “the Sabbath day” we find: 1) It is a memorial of the day God rested from His creative works in the beginning (see Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:11; Heb. 4:4), and 2) It is a day of rest for His people as well that is to be done unto the Lord (see Ex. 16:23; 34:21; Lev. 23:3).
The general idea behind “the Sabbath day” is rest and worship; a day our lesson marks as “holy.” “Holy” means it is set apart from the rest; a day not to be like other days. It is sanctified. Therefore, God issued this edict that His people are obligated to keep as law under the Old Testament.
“The Sabbath day” is a focusing agent that directs anything and everyone back to the main center of all life – God! And that, my friends, is never a wrong place to be.
Exodus 20:9-11 “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
God issued the edict and here He lays out the specifics and reasons for this commandment. He said, “Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God.” There is a definite mark of separation between when and what is to be done or not. Out of the seven days of the week six of those days are what we would deem as ordinary or regular. It was on these days that the “ordinary” and “regular” things of life were to be taken care of such as “work.”
Before reaching the point of this commandment in today’s lesson, God gave the children of Israel a real life demonstration of this when they were delivered from the land of Egypt and murmured in the wilderness due to hunger. In that, God issued manna from heaven that would only come on six days of the week (on the sixth day they were to gather twice as much). This would be what we consider as those “ordinary, regular” days (see Exodus 16).
Then, we see the separation from the ordinary and the holy; the regular to that which is set apart for God. In Exodus 16:26 and here in our lesson in Exodus 20:9 both show a delineation of days by the use of the word “but.”
At the word “but” is where God draws the line. It shows that there is a stand-out time for God. In our day we may hear people say something to the effect of “I worship God everyday!” And, to that I say, “Yes, and you should.” However, God is showing His desire for a time when He can have His people all to Himself outside of the ordinary and regular distractions and routines of life.
That day for His people the Israelites was marked as “the Sabbath day.” This day was to be “of the LORD thy God” and all the regular was to cease.
He said, “In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” With the word “not” we see the separation once again along with the specifics of the condition of God’s command.
For the Israelites, as demonstrated before, the condition of this commandment was there was to be no “work” on this special day. When one mixes the cares of this life with worship it chokes out that intimacy with His people that God is looking for (see Mark 4:19). Therefore, God is protective of this day and His time with His people.
And, why shouldn’t He be? Time with God is restoring to mind, body and spirit (as noted in our introduction). As a side note we must ask ourselves today if we have it wrong. Do we have our priorities and values mixed up to the point of misplacing God and His time in our lives? Are our lives running around in a pattern of chaos and confusion because we have deprioritized the priority? Even on our “set apart days” of worship (the Lord’s Day), are we more consumed with the goings on of the day and the service without being wholly and holy focused on worship of God?
So, God protected this day for His people and His relationship with His people.
It was set aside and protected individually, as well as corporately. No one was to work: not born to the people or a stranger; not slave or free; not man, woman or child. God protected and set aside time for everybody to rest and worship. Even the animals, “the cattle” were covered this rest edict (after all, what good would they be if you worked them into the hole?) This shows how amazingly and lovingly God operates toward all His creation. Everything and everybody “within thy gates” is under the care of God’s commandment.
The history behind the reasoning being “for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day . . .” God’s people were to follow His pattern. David A. Bednar states, “A pattern is a guide or a model. Patterns are used in sewing and knitting, in wood and metalworking, and in a wide variety of other productive pursuits, activities, and jobs. Patterns help to avoid waste and unwanted deviations and facilitate uniformity that is appropriate and beneficial,” (Quote Source: Brainy Quote). And, what better of a “productive pursuit” to pattern oneself after than God? He wants to transform our behavior to His; He wants us to be like Him. After all, did He not say, “Be ye holy; for I am holy,” (Lev. 11:44 and 1 Pt. 1:16)? One way of getting His people to do this is through assigned time of rest, reflection, and worship.
“Wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” We’ve already discussed this special day as being set apart: “holy,” “hallowed.” But, we have yet to discuss that it is a “blessed” day.
Now are ears are perked up. Anytime anyone discusses being “blessed” or blessings of any sort people want to know because people want to be blessed as well.
There is favor associated with the keeping of this protected time, this day unto the Lord. Isaiah 58:13-14 of the NIV tells us, “‘If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.’ The mouth of the Lord has spoken.’”
This day is a “blessed” day because God ordained it to be so and all who adhere in obedience to the day will receive of that day’s blessings. There is always blessings in obedience to the Lord in all His commands (see Deut. 28:1-14 and Lev. 26:1-13); especially when it comes to our time with Him.
Exodus 31:12-13 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.”
In these verses we see a reiteration of the importance of the keeping of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was more than a set aside time to worship God and to rest the body. The Sabbath, for the Israelites, stood as a “sign” between the people and God. The keeping of the Sabbath became an enduring, identifying mark for the Jewish people. This was God’s special day observed by God’s special people, and the keeping of it was the set apart symbol that showed the world they belonged to Him. This was a covenant covering that made known His people to the nations – separating them from all else.
God was making a move to come even closer in relationship with His people. Between the giving of the original commandment on Mount Sinai and the verses above instructions have been given to Moses on the constructing and erecting of the tabernacle (their designated place for worship). This was the place where God said, “I will dwell among them,” (Exodus 25:8). This sanctuary was coming together per His instructions and the people needed to be reminded to align their hearts as well and pass it on to those coming after them. Even the construction of the tabernacle itself wasn’t to infer with this special time with the Lord.
Therefore, God mandated “my Sabbaths ye shall keep.” Going back to our original discussion in Exodus 20:8 this directive was repeated for the posterity of the people and their worship as well. It is His dedicated day “throughout your generations” not to be disregarded; but to be upheld.
This stands as a testimony to them as well as us of the importance of passing our faith and the edicts of our faith down to those coming after us. In an article I previously published titled “Be a Teacher,” I wrote:
“’Shewing to the generation to come,’ [coming from Psalms 78:4]. What can you show them? Are there pitfalls that one can avoid if they follow your advice? Are there mountains another can summit by walking in your example? You, yourself, have learned some stuff along the way. Why not leave something along the pathway of this journey (Hansel and Gretel), for another to follow? Don’t hide it, show it! Don’t keep it all for yourself, mentor another. Give them a good foundation to start off on.
Don’t think within yourself, “I have nothing to offer.” You have lessons learned from your whole life. God saw value in you, to bring you through this far. Let your life lead those who are coming behind you. Breadcrumbs, if you will, on the road to help another find their direction. Each of us has within us the ability to be a teacher. To live a life others will want to follow. To teach others the lessons learned. You have a voice, literal or not, let it be heard. Don’t shake your head at the generation coming after you. Show them there is something better.
Let them know why you praise God the way you do. Let them know of “His strength, and His wonderful works that He has done!” Let them know! “Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,” (Isaiah 62:6). We are losing a generation of believers – NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE QUIET! Let the truth of your faith ring loud. If you don’t do it, then who will?” (Word For Life Says).
They have to be shown the importance of maintaining a holy relationship with God that can only be achieved by spending quality time with Him and honoring the sanctity of His day.
For those who do, God says, “I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.” Just as He set apart the day, so He does the people who keep the day. They are special in His eyes.
Exodus 31:14-16 “Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.”
Once again God announces the importance of the Sabbath and the nature of it: “holy.” That means it was not a day to play with, as we would say. It was to be revered at the highest possible degree. So much so that it was declared, “every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death.”
When one thinks of the word “defile” it brings to mind contamination and pollution. This is very contrary to the holiness of God and was taken as seriously to the point of “death.”
Think of it this way, with the human body any infections, viruses, or such that attempt to attack the body are met head on with the white blood cells. Their main focus is to defend the body against these foreign contaminates in order for the body to stay whole and healthy. I think of God’s protection of the Sabbath in this regard the same way. To prevent growth of contaminates of the faith [things contrary to what He commanded] and to keep one’s spiritual health well “every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.”
In essence, disobedience always brings with it consequences. God wants to maintain holiness, wholeness, and purity among His people.
“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” Their allotted time with God was to always be protected and upheld under this “covenant” for “generations” to come. What greater gift to pass down than one’s faith.
Someone once said, “If you don’t have time for God, nothing is going to work out right in your life,” (Author Unknown). He is the center of all and we need time to focus on our Center.
Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. . . We need silence to be able to touch souls.” When we bring ourselves to Him in rest and worship we silence all other voices to draw near to Him and be strengthened by Him for the work He has given us. We won’t find God in adding more “things” to our schedules. We find Him by drawing nigh unto Him and making Him priority over all the “things” on our schedules.
Our time with God today should be just as treasured and protected as when God issued the commandment of the Sabbath for the Jewish people. As Christians today, we celebrate the Lord’s Day on Sunday (the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection; the day we remember Christ – see Colossians 2:16-17) – yet, the same principle applies. God wants to come closer to His people. That can only happen if they honor time committed for that purpose. We all need dedicated time of rest, reflection, and worship before God uninterrupted by the cares of this life.
(Click here for PDF: The Lord’s Day Sunday School Lesson, or click print button below. Enjoy!)
Below you will find activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: The Lord’s Day Draw the Scene
How Many Words: The Lord’s Day How Many Words
Make Time For God Clock Craft: Make Time For God Clock Craft (Use this PDF for accurate printing) In keeping with theme from Draw the Scene, students can easily assemble and decorate one of these clocks out of paper plates as a gentle reminder of today’s lesson. Cardstock works best. Enjoy! (The example below is from a different craft with a different verse but the same principle applies. Enjoy!)
Make Time For God Coloring Clock: Make Time For God Coloring Clock Craft 2 (Print on cardstock and you can use to make a clock craft without the paper plate. Have students draw hands or use the ones provided above. Enjoy!)
Below you will find more Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“Time for God” (Here you will find an activity chart to print out to calculate how much time is spent on various activities as opposed to our time spent on God. This is an eye-opener for most students. This could also be turned into a poster sized project for the class to do as a whole. Enjoy!)
“Remember the Sabbath, Keep it Holy” Coloring Page from Church House Collection
“Exodus 20:8 Memory Verse” Coloring from Mssscrafts.com
“Ten Commandment” Coloring and Activities from Mssscrafts.com (Since our lesson deals with keeping the Sabbath Day holy as was commanded in Exodus 20:8 (one of the Ten Commandments) this would be a good idea to explore. Enjoy!)
“Invite a Friend to Church” Craft from Sunday School Crafts
“Stained Glass Window” Craft from Sunday School Crafts (Many churches we enter on the Lord’s Day have Stained Glass Windows.” This simple craft can be made with leftover wrapping paper, magazines, cellophane or anything. These following template of windows may be useful in your design: Storyboardstoys.com; Sandra’s Handmade Crafts. Enjoy!)
“Ten Commandments Stained Glass Coloring Page” from Miniturechurch.co.uk
“Easy Stained Glass Craft” from DLTK
“Matching Pieces Church” Activity from Mssscrafts.com
“Family Going to Church” Coloring Page from Raindrop.org
“Going to Church/The Sabbath” Activities from Mssscrafts.com
“Online Games for Sabbath” from Sabbathkids.com
“Keeping the Sabbath” Activity from Christianitycove.com
“Shabbat/Sabbath Crafts for Kids” from Ehow.com
“Circle the Church That’s Different” from Church House Collection
“How Many Words Can You Make Out of Sabbath” Activity from Church House Collection
“Easy Exodus 20:8 Craft” from Church House Collection