Sabbath School Daily Summary – July 1

Sabbath School Daily Summary – July 1

3rd Quarter: REST IN CHRIST
Lesson 1 *Living in a 24-7 Society*
Thursday: A Restless Wanderer

Text: [[Gen 4:12]] BSB
When you till the ground, it will no longer yield its produce to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

Message
What is the cause of restlessness? Is it Poverty, riches, or greed? We find in scripture a man who became a restless wanderer, and his story offers us a great lesson. Cain was his name, the son of our first parents. As a result of his disregard for God’s word, his sacrifice wasn’t accepted, and the bitterness led him to kill his brother Abel. God told him what’ll become of him – a wanderer.

“Cain came before God with murmuring and infidelity in his heart in regard to the promised sacrifice and the necessity of the sacrificial offerings. His gift expressed no penitence for sin. He felt, as many now feel, that it would be an acknowledgment of weakness to follow the exact plan marked out by God, of trusting his salvation wholly to the atonement of the promised Saviour. He chose the course of self-dependence. He would come in his own merits.”

Of course Cain made great achievements. He built cities and established himself. He was industrious and lacked nothing, yet, he had no peace of mind – no rest. Here, we have a secret about rest. There’s a poor man who is satisfied in life and at peace with himself, and there’s a rich man with material possessions but has no rest. With all we’ve explored so far, we find that there’s a rest only God can give the soul, and until we surrender to his will, we’ll never experience it. But when one surrenders to God and accepts his pardon, the soul will enjoy heavenly rest even if suffering the greatest consequence of his sin. Neither poverty nor riches is a key to enjoying this rest. Whatever our lot, may we find joy and rest as we submit to our heavenly Father.

Reflection
Like Cain, there are many today who have built estates but still can’t boast of this true rest. Even if we end up suffering the consequences of our sins as we usually do, how can we learn to accept the forgiveness for them, offered us through the Cross?

Sabbath School Daily Summary – July 1

Sabbath School Daily Summary

3rd Quarter: REST IN CHRIST
Lesson 1 Living in a 24-7 Society
Wednesday: Defining Rest in the New Testament

Text: [[Mar 6:31]] ASV
And he saith unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while. For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Message
As we saw yesterday, the old testament Hebrew text had several words which explained the various types of rests. This isn’t peculiar to the OT alone, the NT also used different words to describe different forms of rest. One of such verbs is _anapauō_, which means to “rest, relax, refresh.” It is used in one of Jesus’ most famous statements on rest, Matt 11:28: “ ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. It can refer to physical rest (Matt. 26:45). Another verb used to indicate rest is hēsychazō. It describes the Sabbath rest of the disciples as Jesus rested in the grave (Luke 23:56). But it also is used to describe living a quiet life (1 Thess. 4:11).

Just as in the Hebrew language where not all the rests needed were as a result of physical exhaustion, the Greek shares similar idea. The Greek verb _katapauō,_ which means to “cause to cease, bring to rest, rest,” points to the creation Sabbath in which the rest instituted was not because of tiredness. But it’s important to note that, God is so much interested in our rest from physical labor too. Our bodies weren’t designed to work continuously without break, and so irrespective of how important your work is, there must be time for rest.

The disciples came back to Christ from a missionary journey excited to share their stories. They were willing to go back to the fields and work again for their master. Note that this was the work Christ was much passionate about, but having seen the load of work already covered, Christ bid them retreat and get some rest. Working for God isn’t a reason not to rest. We can’t excuse ourselves with church work while we breakdown physically. God is a God of order, and even in our work for him, he expects us to rest.

Reflection
What are ways of helping and relieving your local church pastor or elder or anyone you know who could be burned out from doing the Lord’s work? What could you do to express your appreciation and help this person find rest?

Sabbath School Daily Summary – July 1

Sabbath School Daily Summary – June 29

3rd Quarter: REST IN CHRIST
Lesson 1 Living in a 24-7 Society
Tuesday: Defining Rest in the Old Testament

Text: [[2Sa 7:12]] BSB
_And when your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom._

Message
The concept of rest, for some strange reason appears to be offensive to some today. In the corporate world, to rest is almost synonymous to being lazy. It’s misconstrued that you can’t stop working and be successful. In the religious context, some Christians aren’t much comfortable with the same idea because it comes with the natural thought that one is pointing to the Sabbath (Saturday), which they are to observe. Though this is an important rest instituted by God, the old testament presents the idea of rest in a more broader range.

The OT defines or uses the term to describe several aspects of human existence. At the end of the creation week, God instituted _shabbat_, which means “to cease work, to rest, to take a holiday,” this is the verb form of the noun “Sabbath.” In Exodus 5:5, the same verb is varied to denote “making someone rest” from their work. In the Sabbath law, the term used is _nuakh_ (Exod. 20:11, Deut. 5:14) which means “rest” or figuratively “settled,” as used in Job 3:13. Another variation of the term is _”shaqat”_, which means to “be at rest, grant relief, be quiet.” The verb _”shakab”_ means “to lie down, sleep.” This is use in the Bible to describe the rest that God’s people find in death (this in no way teaches consciousness after death).

The OT uses different Hebrew words to describe rest that captures not just one traditional idea. According to the OT, there are rests that were required not because one is tired but because you are done (to cease), there are those that come naturally because you have peace of mind (to be at rest even while working), there are those that describe a state of being, and there are those that are necessary because of exhaustion (rejuvenation). All these are important and help us to have a broader view of the concept. This sets the tone for this quarter’s lesson. We’re not to limit ourselves to one type of rest, but to explore all the avenues which God has given for us to REST IN HIM.

*Reflection*
Death is certainly an enemy and will one day be abolished. And however much we mourn and miss our dead, why is it comforting to know that, at least for now, they are at rest?

Sabbath School Daily Summary – July 1

Sabbath School Daily Summary – June 28

3rd Quarter: REST IN CHRIST
Lesson 1 *Living in a 24-7 Society*
Monday: Running on Empty

Text: [[Jer 45:3]] BSB
_You have said, ‘Woe is me, because the LORD has added sorrow to my pain! I am worn out with groaning and have found no rest.’”_

*Message*
The world has become a really busy place, and it appears if one stops moving, he’ll become extinct. Humans have become destructive and so we often have to do more to fix what we spoilt. This leaves us restless, sometimes by the close of day, super exhausted. Added to all these is the emotional trauma we go through, which sometimes we can’t even attribute to anything particular. Have you ever worked yourself out, felt so emotionally down, and yet cannot sleep? This is unfortunately the situation of many today, but there’s a message for us.

Just before the destruction of Jerusalem, this was the state of many residents, including Baruch – Jeremiah’s scribe. What many cause such a noble man to sink deep into such emotional stress? The whole nation was to be destroyed, and he was much concerned about it. But more to it, because of his relationship with the prophet Jeremiah, he had put himself into trouble. Now Jeremiah’s enemies had become his own. He was hated and pursued to be killed too (36:26). He felt his live and everything were in danger. He became restless, emotionally down, and exclaimed, the Lord has added sorrow to him.

These were legitimate claims, given the circumstances. But God was ready to strengthen him. He was given assurance that though things will fall apart, he should be calm because his life will be spared. *Even to us today, most times we get carried away by the happenings around us so much that we get anxious. The Lord speaks directly to you too. Be calm and know that he is God! He’ll preserve and keep you. Only trust him*

*Reflection*
_Though a thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, no harm will come near you. (Psa 91:7)_ How can we find consolation in promises such as these in this troublous world?

Sabbath School Daily Summary

Sabbath School Daily Summary

2nd Quarter: The Promise: God’s Everlasting Covenant
Lesson 9 : Covenant Sign
Tuesday: Covenant Sign

Text: [[Exo 31:16,17]] BSB
The Israelites must observe the Sabbath, celebrating it as a lasting covenant for the generations to come. It is a sign between Me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

Message
The Sabbath was a great memorial for Israel for several reasons. Before Sinai, God used the Sabbath (which they knew already) as a test of their obedience and faithfulness. Their failure left them with a great lesson of how particular God is about his laws. From Sinai and beyond, the Sabbath became the covenant sign between God and Israel. Remember that at Sinai, God made a covenant with Israel to be their God. Also, it was through the covenant that He promised redemption.

In the Bible, the Sabbath as a “sign” functioned as an outward mark or object or condition intended to convey a distinctive message. Nothing in the sign itself particularly linked it to the covenant. The Sabbath was a covenant sign “between me and you throughout your generations” (Exod. 31:13). In Ezekiel, He reminded them that *the Sabbath was a sign that He was their God, and that He sanctifies them* (20:12,20). These 2 relations were established within the covenant. Notice that the Sabbath wasn’t the covenant, it was a sign – an expression of who/what God is to them.

Israel saw in the Sabbath a foretaste of salvation in the Messiah. Because we understand redemption as coming only from grace, and because we understand the covenant to be a covenant of grace, the link between the Sabbath, redemption, and the covenant is made clear (see Deut. 5:13–15). Thus, contrary to common opinion, the Sabbath is a sign of God’s saving grace; it’s not a sign of salvation by works. The Sabbath isn’t kept to be saved, it’s kept as a sign that we have salvation only through God’s grace. This message must be evident in our Sabbath observance.

Reflection
How do you understand what it means to “rest” on the Sabbath? How do you rest on the Sabbath? What do you do differently on that day that makes it a “sign”? Could someone who knows you look at your life and see that the Sabbath really is a special day for you?

Sabbath School Daily Summary – April 25

Sabbath School Daily Summary – April 25

2nd Quarter: The Promise: God’s Everlasting Covenant
Lesson 5 *Children of the Promise*
Sunday: Thy Shield

*Text: [[Gen 15:1]] BSB*
_After these events, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward”

Message
Last week we saw how God introduced himself to Abram whenever He approached him. The covenant relationship with Abram wasn’t a casual, distant one. God sought to be, and actually became intimate with Abram through the covenant. Aside being an eternal and all-powerful God, he was a personal God to Abram. *How’s your relationship with God like? Does God see you as one who has opened up for a relationship, or He’s still struggling to get your attention?* This week, we’ll continue with God’s covenant relationship with Abram, and how it affects us.

Sometimes when we talk about Abraham’s walk with God, few spend time to think how long it took for the promise to be fulfilled. Years after the promise, there was no child for Abram. His hopes were gone, and he thought his servant was going to inherit everything. At the time he was about giving up, God came to him and strengthened him saying “do not fear… I am your shield” Abram felt his defenses had fallen, and nothing to rely on, but God came in a personal way again introducing himself as _his shield_. *God being his shield didn’t mean all was well physically, in fact, that was the toughest part of his life. How then should we understand this concept?*

“Christ has not a casual interest in us but an interest stronger than a mother for her child… Our Saviour has purchased us by human suffering and sorrow, by insult, reproach, abuse, mockery, rejection and death. He is watching over you, trembling child of God. He will make you secure under His protection… Our weakness in human nature will not bar our access to the heavenly Father, for He [Christ] died to make intercession for us.”

Reflection
We have great comfort from the life of Abram. How are we to understand the pains we go through today though we’re faithful to God, having in mind that God is a personal shield to every child of His?