Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, August 31, 2013


     It was a wet September morning, with nothing to do outside so Barney Lee decided to do what he likes doing best, Bible study. To do so, Barney invited Louie Blackwood over, not only because he liked to study the Bible too but because Barney thought Louie might be know something about Sunday's sermon.

     “Hey, Louie!” Barney called out when Louie arrived, I heard that Randy is going to preach on the 8th commandment next week. Do you know what it is?” “I sure do.” Louie replied coming over to sit at the table next to Barney. “Well,” Barney said, “What is it? I want to be prepared for the next sermon ahead of time.”

     “You should already know that the 8th commandment is the pitcher's commandment.” Louie told Barney. “What!?” Barney exclaimed when he heard that, “The pitcher's commandment? There's no such thing as the pitcher's commandment and baseball isn't even in the Bible.” “Of course it is.” Louie giggled, “Haven't you ever heard of the 'Big Inning'” “Oh brother's” Barney moaned.

     “I got that one from Randy's notes for Sunday.” Barney said. “So, then,” Barney smiled, “Did you see what the sermon was about?” “Of course I did.” Louie exclaimed, “It's the pitcher’s commandment. “Thou shalt not steal.” You don’t steal first, you don’t steal second, you don’t steal third and you don’t steal home.”

     “What?!” Barney exclaimed, “You can’t steal first! Besides, that's a different kind of stealing.” “Well,” Louie replied, “That might be, bust someone still stole all the base.” “But you can't steal first base.” Barney protested. “Then where is it?” Louie asked. “Where is what?” Barney asked. “First Base!” Louie exclaimed, “Somebody stole it. Literally.”

     “Well,” Barney said a bit puzzled, “Who would have done that?” “I don't think so.” Came Louie reply, “He's out of town?” “Who's out of town?” Barney questioned. “That's right.” Louie answered. “What?” Barney said a bit puzzled. “No.” Louie replied, “He's been playing second.” “Who's been playing second?” Barney asked still puzzled. “Couldn't be.” Louie said. “I told you he's out of town. What's playing second.”

     “I don't know.” Barney exclaimed. “No Louie shouted back, “He's over on third.” “Who's on third?” Barney asked still puzzled. “Couldn't be!” Louie shouted back, “I told you Who is out of town.” Who's out of town?” Barney asked still not getting it. “That's right.” Louie said with a big smile and then Barney finally got it.

     “You had me going.” Barney said and then told Louie, “I've got a not from Yesterday for you.” “So, what does the pitcher want?” Louie asked. “He wanted you to know that he put all the bases away for the season.” Barney said. “So,” Louie giggled, They weren't stolen after all.”

      Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, "Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth." And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” Genesis 31:1-3 (ESV)

     When God tells you to do something what do you do?

     Jacob had been living with Laban many years and Laban had continued to be unfair toward Jacob. God knew this and made Jacob rich and Laban became unfriendly toward him. It was time for Jacob to go.

     Jacob tells his wives the plan to leave and they agree. Laban goes to sheer and Jacob flees but wait. Rachel has plans of her own plans that almost get her killed.

      ... Rachel stole her father's household gods. … When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. ... And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.' And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you steal my gods?" Jacob answered and said to Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me." So he searched but did not find the household gods.
Genesis 31:19-35 (ESV)

     The 8th commandment simply states - You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15 (ESV) Rachel stoled her father's gods – idols – thankfully, out God can not be stolen but that's another story. Rachel stole and God has no like for thieves.
  • Exodus 22:1 - If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. (ESV)
  • Exodus 22:7 - If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man's house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)
  • Ephesians 4:28 - Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (ESV)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • What is it that you might steal?
  • Why would you steal it?

Saturday, August 24, 2013


     Daisy Smith was hosting a scrap booking party and had invited the moms in the congregation along with their daughter to join her in the fellowship hall of the church to work on their pictures. To her delight there was a rather large turn out and they spent hours pouring over pictures, drinking coffee, eating various deserts, and laughing at family stories.

      One such story involved Bernadette Henderson and how she managed to mix things up on another of the ten commandments. It all started, according to Martha Peterson, when Bernadette stopped by to play with Stella, or at least that what she thought she was doing there but in Bernadette's words, she had come to warn her.

     “Warn me?” Martha said, “Warn me of what? I asked her.” “Weren't you listening to the sermon on Sunday?” Bernadette asked me and that started rambling on about how I was breaking the seventh commandment. And if she was here today she would have probably told us that most of us were.” When the ladies heard that several of them gasped in horror for they knew what the seventh commandment was.

     “'WHAT?' I gasped, I never broke that commandment.” Martha said she told Bernadette. “'Yes you did.' Bernadette insisted, 'You grew up.' 'Well, yeah', I told her 'But what does that have to do with the seventh commandment? And here is what she said, 'It says “Thou shalt not commit adultery and you became an adult.”

     After a bit of laughter, Martha continued her story, “'I think you’re a little mixed up.' I told her, 'I didn't brake the seventh commandment.' 'Are you telling me you never grew up? Bernadette asked when I said that, 'You sure look older than 18.' I am older than 18 I assured her. ' Than that means your an adult and if you’re an adult you broke the seventh commandment.' Bernadette insisted to me.”

     “It took me nearly half an hour,” Martha continued, “Before I was able to convince her that becoming an adult doesn't mean you commit adultery. 'You mean it’s safe to grow up?' She finally asked. 'Yes, I told her, She could grow up and become an adult.' Still she said she didn't want to become an adult but stay a kids forever. When I asked her how she was going to keep from growing up, she said she was just going to quit having birthdays.”

     “Sounds like all of us.” someone piped in when they heard that. “I quit having birthdays years ago.” someone else added and then everybody laughed. Once the laughter settled down, Martha finished her story telling them how Bernadette said she had to go tell a whole bunch of people, including her mom, that they had not committed adultery.

     When I think of adultery there are two things that immediately come to mind – the seventh commandment - Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery. (NASB) and the story of David and Bathsheba. What doesn't come to mind is growing up / becoming an adult.

     The story of David and Bathsheba can be found in 2 Samuel 1. Here is a part of that story - Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, "I am pregnant." (NASB)

     So, what is adultery? The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary describes it as follows: An act of unfaithfulness in marriage that occurs when one of the marriage partners voluntarily engages in sexual intercourse with a person other than the marriage partner.

     When you read through the Bible, you can find many stories of adultery besides that of David and Bathsheba. You can also read that God is serious when it comes to keeping the 7th commandment.
  • Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. (NASB)
  • Leviticus 20:10 'If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (NASB)
     Remember the woman in the New Testament that was brought before Jesus. She had committed adultery – not sure why they didn't bring the man – and her accusers wanted Jesus to say she deserved to be executed for they knew what the law said. Jesus agreed but showed her mercy after the accusers walked away.

     Jesus lets us know in the New Testament that adultery goes beyond the physical act in Matthew 5:27-28 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NASB)

     Of course, this doesn't mean all sex is out, after all God created it. I don't quote from the Message paraphrase very often but here Hebrews 13:4 Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex. (MSG)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • How serious are you willing to take the 7th commandment?
  • How guilty are you in light of Jesus word's in Matthew?

Saturday, August 17, 2013


     “What a storm.” Randy said as he looked over the church lawn. One of the big trees had been blown down by the parking lot, there were branches every where you looked and even some of the shingles were strewn about the lawn. “We'll never get this cleaned up in time for Sunday.” Randy said shaking his head. “At least not without help.”

     As Randy started picking up branches and dragging them to the fire pit, he heard a load commotion coming from somewhere inside the church. Forgetting where he was going, Randy walked towards the building so he could hear what was going on. “HAROLD!! HAROLD!!” he heard someone yelling, “WHERE ARE YOU HAROLD!!” It was Martha Peterson.

     Not wanting to get involved Randy turned to go back to cleaning up the yard but he didn't get very far. “HAROLD, ARE YOU OUT THERE?” Martha yelled out the door and then headed towards Randy. “I'm not Harold” Randy called back. “I know that.” Martha snorted, “But have you seen him?” “No. I haven’t.” Randy told her, “But I sure could use his help. Look at this mess.”

     “I'm sure I saw him come this way!” Martha snapped. “Did you need him for something?” Randy asked as he grabbed at a pile of branches. “I sure did.” Martha stated. “Well, I would ask if I could help.” Randy said, “But I'm very busy.” “That's alright.” Martha growled, “It's Harold I want to kill, not you.”

     “WHAT???!!!” Randy exclaimed when he heard that, “You don’t mean that do you?” “Let’s just hope the Police find him before I do.” Martha growled, “He tied to burn down our garage.” “Now, calm down, Martha.” Randy told her, “When did he try to do it?” “Last night during the big thunderstorm.” Martha said, “And if it hadn’t been raining we wouldn’t have a house now.”

     “No wonder your upset.” Randy said, “What was he doing playing with matches?” “Who knows.” Martha said, “All I know is he came running down the stairs screaming fire.” “I didn't know your garage has stairs?” Randy interrupted. “It doesn't.” Martha told him, “He was in the house. “Huh?” Randy said with a puzzled look on his face. “If Harold was in the house how could he have set your garage on fire?”

     After thinking about that for a moment, Martha finally said “I don’t know. But if it happened it must have been Harold. And now I can't find him.” “Didn’t you say it happened during a big Thunderstorm?” Randy asked, “And did it ever occur to you that maybe lightning set your garage on fire?”

     After thinking about it some more, Martha said “Now that you mention it there was a bright flash and loud thunder just before he hollered fire. And there was a big hole in the roof like it had been struck by lightning.” “And you wanted to kill Harold for that?” Randy asked. “Well,” Martha said calmly, I guess he can live for now. I better get going though, I'm afraid if I stay any longer you'll put me to work. See you Sunday.”

      So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. - Genesis 3:6-7 (ESV)
      Adam and Eve had just committed the first sin – one result of that sin was the expulsion from their home, the Garden of Eden. On their own they started having children, the first two being Cain and Able. As time elapsed and the boys grew up, Cain became a gardener and Able became a shepherd and …. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth."
Genesis 4:3-12 (ESV)

     Both Cain and Able brought offerings to God. Abel's was accepted while Cains was rejected. Anger filled Cain and Able was killed. Cain was caught by God and punished to be a wanderer and the ground was cursed as well.

     Somebody once asked if any of the commandments applied to family. The answer was found in the 6th commandment - Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder. (ESV) Have you ever felt like killing a family member?

     Mark 7:21 tells us that murder originates in the heart - For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, (ESV)

     1 John 3:15 takes things a bit farther and says Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (ESV)

     Revelation 21:8 adds even more to the last part of 1 John 3:15 in that it says But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (ESV)

     In Romans 13:9 Paul gives us an easy way to keep the 6th commandment and any others he said The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (ESV)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • If hating a brother makes you a murderer, are you a murderer?
  • Do you value life the way God values life?

Saturday, August 10, 2013


     Doctor Henderson was enjoying his afternoon cleaning out his garage. Both of his boys were off to summer camps and his wife was off visiting her sister so he knew no one would bother him and no one would miss anything he decided to throw out. Of course, working out in the garage meant friends would stop by to chat like Robert Grey.

     “Hey! Joe!” Robert hollered out as he wandered up the driveway to the garage, “You got a minute?” “Joe?” Tim asked, “Joe who?” And just so you know, when Doctor Henderson isn't at work, he likes to be called Tim. “Joe you, that's who” Robert answered. “I'm not Joe” Tim said. “You're not?” Robert said a bit puzzled, “I’ve got to find my glasses.”

     “Gramps,” That's what Tim likes to call Robert, “Your glasses are right on top...” “Well, if you're not Joe,” Robert interrupted, “You must be Pete the guy with smelly feet.” “I'm not Pete!” Tim grunted, “And me feet don't stink.” “Well whoever you are.” Robert interrupted again, “can I borrow some furniture polish?”

     “No!” Tim answered, “Besides, I'm cleaning my garage right now.” “Okay” Robert sighed, “Just thought I'd ask.” “What do you need Furniture Polish for any way?” Tim asked out of curiosity. “I'm just heading out to the cemetery” Robert answered. Now time was confused. “What do you need furniture polish for at the cemetery?” “It's my Mom's birthday!” Robert answered as if Tim should have known.

     “I think I' missing something.” Tim said shaking his head, “Why do you want to take a can of furniture polish to the cemetery for your Mom’s birthday?” “I thought I would spend some time polishing her headstone.” Robert answered, “She died ten years ago.” “Wouldn't flowers be easier.” Tim had to ask.

     Now it was Robert's turn to look confused, “Have YOU ever tried polishing flowers?” he asked. “No, No, No.” Tim replied, “ I don’t mean polish flowers. I mean give flowers.” “Anybody can do that.” Robert said with a smile, “Besides every time I go out there somebodies covered the entire grave sight with flowers.”

     “She must have been loved.” Tim said with a smile. “She sure was.” Robert said in agreement, “And that’s why I want to honor her with a clean, polished headstone.” “Sounds like you were listening to last Sunday's sermon.” Tim said. “Last Sunday's Sermon?” Robert questioned, “I couldn't hear it. My ….. Never mind. See you later”

     Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?" says the LORD. - Jeremiah 35:12-13(NKJV)

     Have you ever had problems with obedience? Judah was. Judah was having problems with obeying God and it was time for God to use an object lesson to teach the people of Judah. To do so Jeremiah was sent to the Rechabites.

      The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, "Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink." Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites, and I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door. Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, "Drink wine." But they said, "We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, 'You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever. 'You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.' "Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, "nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed. "But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. "But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, 'Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians.' So we dwell at Jerusalem." Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?" says the LORD. "The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father's commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me. "I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, 'Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.' But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me. "Surely the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them, but this people has not obeyed Me." ' "Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them but they have not heard, and I have called to them but they have not answered.' " And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, 'therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever." ' "
Jeremiah 35:1-19 (NKJV)

     Look at the promise that comes with the 5th commandment. - "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. - Exodus 20:12 (ESV) The Rechabites kept the commandment and God saw too it that they were taken care of. Israel on the other hand refused to keep God's commands.

     Believe it or not, to dishonor our parents and to not obey them is to dishonor God and not obey Him for He is the one that gave the command to begin with. And we can learn that God was very serious about honoring and obeying parents.

      "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (ESV)
Are you glad this doesn't happen now? Here are a few more verses of encouragement.
  • Proverbs 23:22 - Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. (ESV)
  • Colossians 3:20 - Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. (ESV)
  • Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (ESV)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • How do you honor and obey your parents today?
  • How do you honor and obey God today

Saturday, August 3, 2013


     It was Saturday morning and Bill Peterson was getting ready to take a group of kids to the McDonald Farm for a tour. Most of the kids he was taking were city kids who had never been to a farm. He knew John would be busy but he also knew that he loved showing off his farm and telling corny farm jokes.

     By 10:00 the kids had all arrived and Bill was ready to head to the farm. Unfortunately, it seemed the only song the kids knew how to sing was Old McDonald Had A Farm. Twenty minutes later, he pulled in to the farm yard. As the kids were unloading themselves, Bill went looking for John but was having trouble finding him.

     After searching for nearly half an hour through the yard, the house and the barn, Bill finally found John laying back on a tractor snoring. “Hey, John.” Bill called out but John kept right on snoring.
“Hey, John.” Bill called again this time loudly but John still didn't respond. Finally Bill walked over to him and started shaking him while calling out his name.

     Startled, John woke up with a scream. “It's me, Bill Peterson” Bill said trying to calm John down, I'm here with the kids for the farm tour.” “What?!” John stuttered, “Go away and leave me alone.” “But you said you would take the kids on a tour.” Bill reminded him. “And I will.” John snapped, “But this is Friday. Now let me finish my little nap.” and with those words he started snoring again.

     “JOHN!” Bill yelled out. “I said let me finish my nap this is... is..” John started to say but then all the kids walked in. “What are all those people doing in my bedroom?” John asked instead. “First.” Bill stated firmly, “This is Saturday. Second this isn't your bedroom it's the barn and your sitting on a tractor and third these kids are the ones you promised to give a tour to.”

     Without a word, John slowly got off his tractor. “Have you been getting enough rest?” Bill asked him as he got down. “Of course I am” John said, “Why do you ask?” “When we got here,” Bill replied, “You were snoring up a storm.” “Snoring” John laughed, “Now that’s a good one. Only Pigs snore.”

     “What time do you get up in the morning?” Bill asked. “I’d say I’ve been getting up about 2:00.” John answered, “After all there is lots to do out in the fields.” “And what time have you been going to bed?” Bill asked next. “Oh. I’d say about midnight.” John replied. “Midnight!” Bill exclaimed in disbelief. “Well,” John said in defense “There’s all the clean up and chores to do.”

     “No wonder. You’re not getting enough rest.” Bill stated. “Now wait a minute.” Bill protested, “I get plenty of....” Bill never finished his sentence,. He laid back in a hay bail and started snoring again. “Oh, well.” Bill said shaking his head, “I guess I'll have to give the tour myself. I just hope I remember enough from last year's tour.”

     Do you ever get hungry and go looking for food? What do you do if you're not at home? At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. - Matthew 12:1 (ESV) They were hungry, they were not at home, God provided for them through an old testament law - If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag. If you go into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain. - Deuteronomy 23:24-25 (ESV) But wait, it was the Sabbath. Let's pick up the story in Mark.

      And the Pharisees were saying to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath." Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, "Come here." And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Mark 2:24-3:5 (ESV)

     Do we really understand the Sabbath? The Pharisees claimed it was unlawful for the Disciples to pick and eat Jesus said otherwise. After reminding them of what David did, He told them that the Sabbath was made for man and then he taught them a lesson by healing a man.

     Part of the reason the Pharisees got worked up was because of the 4th commandment. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. - Exodus 20:8-11 (ESV)

     So, what is a sabbath? From the commandment we can learn that it took place on the seventh day, we can learn that it was to be remembered, we can learn that it was to be kept holy and that it was a day to cease from work or in other words to take a rest. We also can learn from other versus that God was serious in that he commanded the death penalty for breaking this command.

     Rest is something that we all need.
  • We need Physical rest - The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. - Mark 6:30-31 (ESV)
  • We need spiritual rest - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. - Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • Are you getting enough physical rest?
  • Are you getting enough spiritual rest?