Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
I. Aligning With God's Moral Order: The Ten Commandments
1. The First Five Commandments: Loving God With All Of One's Being
d. Commandment Four: Holding To Scripture's God As The Sole True Creator
(Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-17)
  1. Introduction
    1. Many people today claim they believe and worship God, but only some claim that their God was the God of Genesis 1 Who created the universe in six solar days solely by the power of His spoken Word!
    2. Yet, it is precisely this fact that God wanted Israel to uphold in her keeping of the Sabbath Day, a fact that we who are not under the Law are still to hold forth though we do not keep the original Sabbath itself:
  2. Commandment Four: Holding To Scripture's God As The Sole True Creator, Ex. 20:8-11; 31:12-17.
    1. By way of review, we recall that we Christians are no longer under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law's Ten Commandments, for we are dead to that law in our position in Christ, Romans 7:4a with 3:23. That is why we no longer keep the fourth commandment regarding the Sabbath Day observance, Col. 2:13-17.
    2. Conversely, that Law is intrinsically holy, just and good (Rom. 7:12), so believers will live up to the righteous standard of that Law as they are filled with the Holy Spirit, Rom. 8:3-4! Thus, we view the Ten Commandments to note the standard of righteousness we will reach in life as Spirit-controlled believers.
    3. Accordingly, we view Commandment Four: Holding To Scripture's God As The Sole True Creator:
      1. God's call for Israel to keep the Sabbath Day holy by ceasing all servile work (Ex. 20:8-10) was given based on God's own creative conduct, 20:11a: as He had made the whole universe in 6 days and rested from His creative work on the 7th day, Israel was to work 6 days but rest on the 7th, Ex. 20:11b.
      2. From Exodus 31:17, we know this observance was to be a sign between God and Israel that made her unique from the Gentile nations. Viewing the historical context reveals God's purpose behind this rule was for Israel to testify via this observance that her Biblical God was the Sole True Creative Cause:
        1. John Boslough (National Geographic, "The Enigma of Time", 3/90, p. 127) noted "the seven-day week as a unit of time . . . [is] the only calendar unit that does not trace its origins to astronomy."
        2. This uniqueness of the solar week is explained in Exodus 20:8-11: there the Bible's God required Israel to align herself with Himself as He had created the whole universe in 6 consecutive solar days only to rest on the seventh day: each "day" was composed of an "evening" and a "morning," and the ordinal numerical adjectives qualifying the word, "day" in each case signal solar days in the Pentateuch, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Genesis 1:5. (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31.
        3. Now, this Genesis account of origins differs sharply from the ancient pagan accounts: (1) All other ancient Near Eastern peoples thought the universe originated by forces of nature embodied as gods and goddesses that were interrelated and often in conflict with each other. These peoples thought that they could sustain the current creation by retelling or reenacting their stories of origins. (2) In deep contrast, the creation account in Scripture "is diametrically opposed to these degraded notions about God . . . No one begot God; God created all . . . The Spirit of God does not contend with a living hostile chaotic force but hovers over the primordial mass awaiting the appropriate time for history to begin . . . " (Bruce K. Waltke, Creation and Chaos, p. 43, 48, emphases ours).
      3. As many hold evolutionary forces in nature caused the present universe over a long period of time, a view countered by the Genesis 1 account in view of the solar week Sabbath rule in Ex. 20:8-11, God calls us TODAY to hold to Him and not evolution as the universe's Creative Cause, for evolution is a competing, FALSE CREATOR that many today uphold much like the ancient pagans did!
Lesson: May we hold the God of Scripture to be the SOLE Creative CAUSE of the Universe, for Israel was called of God to testify of this fact by keeping the solar Sabbath Day as had God at His creation!

Application: We must thoroughly REJECT the idea that evolutionary processes explain the origin of the universe, for it was not evolution that formed the universe over long ages of time, but God who made the universe by the POWER of His SPOKEN WORD in SIX CONSECUTIVE SOLAR DAYS!