Exodus 20:8-11 SUNDAY IS STILL A HOLY DAY!
Intro: Ill. George Hatch raised a large family of seven boys and five
girls in the sandhills of northwestern Nebraska. One Sunday morning a neighbor rushed over
to help the Hatches get the new-mown hay into the barn; clouds were rolling up in the
West, and it was quite apparent that a rainstorm was imminent.
"Let's get your hay up before the storm hits!" exclaimed the
"Thank you for your kind offer," said Mr. Hatch, "but
this is Sunday, and I am going to take my family to church."
"But you'll lose your hay," pleaded the neighbor.
Yet the Hatches went to church, and the rainstorm did spoil the hay.
"See, I told you that you would lose your hay," said the
"Yes, " replied Mr. Hatch, "I lost my hay, but I saved
my family." It is doubtful that the neighbor fully understood.
George Hatch did save his family. Today, down into the third and fourth
generations, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are workers in the kingdom.
Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).
I grew up with the notion that Sunday was the only day people had left
to enjoy themselves. Therefore, it was OK to take Sunday and do all the things on that day
that there hadnt been time to do during the week. It was OK to forego church and do
as one pleased, (mow the lawn, take a short trip, visit relatives, sleep late, wash the
car, etc.) However, when God saved me, He also changed my perception of Sunday. It became
the Lords Day, a special day set apart for His glory and His worship. Tonight, we
are going to look into the 4th Commandment and preach for a while on Sunday Is
Still A Holy Day.
Of the 10 Commandments given to mankind, only this one is not repeated
in the New Testament. Many have concluded that since we are no longer under the
restrictions of the Sabbath, and we aren't. we are also under no obligation to respect the Lords
Day. This just isnt so! We are going to see that Sunday is
the Lords Day. As such, it is a day when Gods people should dedicate themselves to the Lord and to His worship. There are some aspects of this 4th Commandment
that I feel are relevant to us today. Lets notice these things as we think on the
thought, Sunday Is Still A Holy Day!
I. SUNDAY IS A DAY OF REST
A. Mans Labor Is Crucial v. 9 Contrary to popular
belief, work is not a part of the curse! Before man sinned, he was given work to do, Gen.
2:15. (Ill. Sweat during labor is part of the curse Gen. 3:19.) Gods
intention is that man should work to earn his livelihood. This intention is clearly stated
in 1 Thes. 3:10-12 and 1 Tim. 5:8. Man is called upon to get to work and to be busy! (Ill.
"Thou shalt" In the midst of all these "Thou shalt nots"
is a pretty significant "Thou shalt." So, work is not a curse, it is a
privilege! Work and the ability to work, are blessings from the hand of the Heavenly
B. Mans Lull Is Commanded v. 10 Just as man is
expected to work, man is also expected to rest! Our bodies were never designed to work
constantly, but we were made to have a season of rest. The purpose in Gods command
is to allow man time to refresh his body for the 6 days of work that are ahead.
(Ill. T. Dewitt Talmadge "Our bodies are seven day clocks and they need to
be wound up, and if they are not wound up, they will run down into the grave.")
God didnt give this Commandment to interfere with our pleasure, but to insure our
(Ill. What is permitted on Sunday? Anything that refreshes and rests the body for the
upcoming work week. What is forbidden? Anything that does not allow one to be rested and
C. Ill. Today, we are not under the bondage of the Law, but under the liberty of grace!
However, God still expects us to maintain that one day out of every seven to rest for His
glory and your health.
II. SUNDAY IS A DAY OF REFLECTION
A. Reflection On Gods Pattern v. 8, 11 Ill.
"Remember" The Israelites are challenged to "bring to mind" the
pattern God Himself set forth for them regarding the rest of the Sabbath. Ill.
"Sabbath = Rest, cessation. When God finished His great work in Creation. He paused
to rest and reflect upon all that He had done, Gen. 2:2. We know He didnt need the
rest, yet He knows we do! Therefore He Himself set the pattern that we are to follow.
B. Reflection On Gods Provisions Sunday is a great day for
us to step back from life and look at all the blessings we have enjoyed over the last 6
days. This practice will keep us current in our praise and in our thanksgiving 1
Thes 5:18; Eph. 5:20.
C. Reflection On Gods Promises As we contemplate the coming
work week, we need to call to mind Gods promises for our lives. Remembering that
regardless of where we go, He will be with us Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5. That no
matter what we face, He will constantly be meeting our needs Phil. 4:19. That in
every task, He will continually strengthen us for the job Phil. 4:13. Sunday is an
excellent day to begin preparing our spirit, heart and mind for the week ahead!
III. SUNDAY IS A DAY OF RENEWAL
A. Renewal Of Commitment (v. 8, 11) God has declared this day to be a
holy day. He expected man to keep this day holy. God hasnt changed His mind! He
still expects man to keep 1 out of 7 for His glory and honor! (Ill. Rom. 14:5-8)
(Ill. The Jews too this Commandment very seriously. Dr. Ken Trivette
shares the following insights concerning the Jewish mindset "The observance of
the Sabbath was strictly observed and strictly enforced. Whereas, they took God's command
to rest on the Sabbath seriously, as the years passed they added their own rules and
regulations about the Sabbath. There were approximately 1,521 things that were not
permissible on the Sabbath. For example: you could not rescue a drowning person on the
Sabbath. Untying knots that needed only one hand was permissible, but if two hands were
required, it was forbidden. If a man's ox fell into the ditch, he could pull it out, but
if the man fell in, he had to stay there. One could take a sup of vinegar for food, but if
he took a sup in order to help his aching toothache, he had broken the Sabbath. If a man
was bitten by a flea on the Sabbath, he had to allow the flea to keep on biting. If he
tried to stop the flea from biting or killed it, he was guilty of hunting on the
Through the years, there have been those who observed the Sabbath (or
Sunday) in a very strict manner. Some people would not sweep or dust the house, make the
beds, or allow any food to be cooked on the Lord's Day. Some of the restrictions that have
been observed and enforced concerning the Lord's Day, are somewhat humorous. In Scotland
in the 17th century, one poor fellow was hailed into court for smiling on the Sabbath.)
(Ill. In the history of our own country, men once held a high regard
for the Lords Day
(Ill. When the Mayflower reached Plymouth Harbor it was Saturday
afternoon. How eager the Pilgrims must have been to set foot on solid land after exile in
Holland, thirteen weeks of tossing on a rough Atlantic, homesickness, seasickness, and
Despite their longing to go ashore and make a new home, they spent
Saturday afternoon in preparation for Sunday, and then all day Sunday in worship.
On Monday morning, when they disembarked, they had been here forty-two hours.)
(Ill. A sea captain returned to his home in Massachusetts after an absence of two
years. His wife met him at the gate, and he kissed her. Yet it was not lawful to kiss
one's wife on the Sabbath. Therefore, this 'wicked" captain was put into stocks for
his lack of reverence of the holy day.)
(Ill. Jonathon Edwards - once resolved never to utter anything humorous on the Lord's
(Ill. Zachary Taylor - President-elect Zachary Taylor was scheduled
according to the Constitution to take office on March 4, but he refused to be inaugurated
because the day was a Sunday. Politicians pleaded in vain for the devoutly religious
Taylor to change his mind.
The Constitution forbade President James K. Polk from staying on
another day. There was no alternative but for the Senate to elect a president to serve
from Sunday noon to Monday noon, the time rescheduled for Zachary Taylor to take office.
The senators chose David Rice Atchison, the head of the Senate.
But the last week of the Polk administration was so hectic for Senator,
Atchison that he retired late Saturday evening after instructing his landlady "not to
awaken him for any reason."
She followed his orders. Senator Atchison slept through Sunday and on into Monday, past
the time his twenty-four-hour ended. The startling truth is that he slept through his
entire term of office.)
(Ill. The history of the "Sundae" Around 1875, the leaders of the town
of Evanston, Illinois passed a law forbidding the sale of ice cream sodas on Sunday. Some
enterprising person devised a plan for selling ice cream covered with syrup instead of
mixing it with soda water. This new dish became so popular that people began asking for a
"Sunday." When people objected to the dessert being named after the Lords
Day, they changed the spelling to "Sundae" and thats what its been
called ever since. So, next time you eat one, remember that the delicious dessert you are
eating resulted from some people who wanted to respect Gods day and others who were
looking for a loophole.)
The Lords Day is a wonderful time for His people to renew their commitment to
follow Him and to follow His commandments. Are you keeping His day holy?
(Ill. Voltaire "I can
never hope to destroy Christianity until I first destroy the Christian Sabbath."
(Ill. Gladstone "Tell me what the young men of England are doing on Sunday,
and I will tell you what the future of England will be.")
Too many in our day are not interested in keeping the Lords Day holy, but only in
getting in their recreation, bed rest, visiting, shopping, work, etc. finished.
(Ill. Our great-grandfathers called it the holy Sabbath; our grandfathers, the Sabbath;
our fathers, Sunday; but today we call it the week-end.)
Folks, I love Sunday! Imagine a week without it!
(Ill. "A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like a
summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden. It is the joyous day of the
week." Henry Ward Beecher)
B. Renewal Of Conscience All week, the world, the flesh and the devil
battle against the spirit. Sunday affords us the privilege of coming apart and refreshing
our lives through 2
1. Worship (Ill. Sunday became the primary meeting day of the early
church. Acts 20:7 finds the early church gathering together for worship on Sunday. The
practice began to commemorate the Christs resurrection from the dead. Some may try
to criticize us for not worshipping on Saturday, but we are right in maintaining Sunday
worship Col. 2:15-16.)
(Ill. Man needs this time of refreshment and worship - Once when mules were used in
great numbers in the coal mines, a visitor passing through the coal-mining area of
Pennsylvania noticed that there were great numbers of these animals in pastures along the
way, and asked the reason for this. "To keep them from going blind," he was
told. "If they are not brought up from underground at least one day in the week they
will eventually lose their eyesight. So they are brought up each Sunday to keep them from
(Ill. Man is commanded to observe this time or worship Heb. 10:25!)
(Ill. Many seem to have "Morbus Sabbaticus" - The symptoms may vary, but
there is never a loss of appetite. The illness lasts no more than 24 hours, and a
physician is never called. While it always strikes on Sunday morning, its onset is never
felt on Saturday night. The patient sleeps well and wakes the next day feeling in the best
of condition. He'll eat a hearty breakfast, but about church time an attack comes on which
keeps him from attending the service. By 12:30 he is greatly relieved and is able to enjoy
his dinner. In the afternoon he is so much better that he'll take a walk or go for a long
ride. Returning, he reads the Sunday newspaper and has a good supper. Just before the
evening service, however, he is hit with another attack, and he thinks it best to stay
home. Surprisingly, on Monday morning he is refreshed and ready to go to work, and none of
the symptoms reoccur until the following Sunday.)
(Ill. Many only miss occasionally. However, do you break the other nine
"Occasionally?" Do you murder "occasionally?" Do you steal
"occasionally?", etc. Ill. James 2:10!)
(Ill. Ox in the ditch syndrome - Jesus spoke about the ox in the ditch on the Sabbath.
But if your ox gets in the ditch every Sabbath, you should either get rid of the ox or
fill up the ditch. Billy Graham)
2. Fellowship Sunday is time for believers to come together as they have
for 2,000 years.
a. Adoration Of a risen Lord 1 Cor. 11:20-25) (Ill. These verses
are a glimpse at the heart of the early church!)
b. Celebration Of a returning Lord 1 Cor. 11:26
c. Examination Of a rebellious heart 1 Cor. 11:28
There is something special about getting together with the saints and attending
worship. (Ill. King David knew this Psa. 122:1) Anyone who doesnt like the
company of God children must not like the company of God Himself Matt. 18:20!
Conc: Are you keeping His day as a day holy unto the Lord? Does this poem reflect your
The Lords Day
Whatever else I ponder
And wherever I may plod,
I must remember in my heart
This day belongs to God.
This day is meant to honor
Him who understands my cares,
And who is not too occupied
To listen to my prayers.
And so I try to live my life
According to His way,
Because I know that Sunday
Is His very special day.
These four and twenty hours
Are the least that I can give,
To say my thanks because
He has enabled me to live.
And that is why when Sunday comes,
I set the day apart
And offer God the gratitude
That fills my humble heart.
If not, then perhaps it is time for a renewal of your commitment to the Lord.
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Sunday Is Still A Holy