The Sabbath and the Way-Maker

roadE. J. Waggoner, in Gospel in Creation writes:

The Sabbath is for the purpose of keeping in mind the creative power of God, which is His distinguishing characteristic. But creative power is the power of the gospel, so that that which celebrates creation also celebrates redemption.

The Sabbath is about celebrating creation and the creative power of God. The Sabbath is the time that we are called to remember what God can do. The Sabbath is about God’s ability to create something out of nothing.

Raw Materials for Creation

In Hebrews 11:3 we are told: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

The Sabbath is our faith building device to help us understand that everything that is seen is made of things that we cannot necessarily see or even understand. When someone says that God is a “waymaker,” that one is simply talking about God’s ability to create a way out of a way that does not appear to be open.

Deliverance from Sin in the Sabbath

The Sabbath reminds us that our deliverance from sin and holy living is not based in what we can see. We may have fallen to that same sin continuously, but the Sabbath reminds us that God is a creator, and creative power doesn’t require us to see what God is going to do.

When someone says that “God is able”, that one is simply stating that God’s creative power is not constrained by circumstances that “do appear,” but by God’s ability to create something out of nothing. And every Sabbath we come together to celebrate that power.

In the last days, God will have a people who will “worship him who made.” (Revelation 14:7). The day designed to remember this creative power is the Sabbath. Let us believe and live as if we are “Sabbath-keepers” who always seek to remember the Creative Power of God.

The Cheap Knock Off of True Faith

We have often heard it said that the Christian life will not necessarily be a smooth one in this life. We could have the same problems and issues others have. A recession can take our job away just like every one else. Our parents die while we are in middle age, like every one else. Unexpected natural disasters and doctor’s diagnoses also cloud our horizon. We know of these things intellectually and theologically.

Suspending Our Judgment

shopping300However, when we go to church, some of us suspend judgment and start believing anything that is spouted by the preacher. We stat believing that if we plant our seed (pay money in the plate) we will not have the same issues as everyone else. We start believing that God must hook us up with financial blessings that look a lot like American Middle Class values. We start believing that we know that God’s will for us is to be the Joneses that elicits envious looks from our neighbors.

There is a Christianity that costs something. Larnell Harris sang the song a while back entitled “When Praise Demands a Sacrifice.” In it he looks at the story of Abraham. Abraham was called to give up all on the alter. Some of us think that preaching about American materialism is that of which “relevant” preaching consists. Some of us are too busy following the preaching about cars, houses, and promotions that we miss the essential idea that true Christianity brings sacrifice and persecution. Christianity has become too comfortable in this society. We see Christianity not as an alternative to American Socieity’s excesses and materialism, but as an inside help to gain all that any citizen would desire.

Yes God Hooks Us Up

Yes God Hooks us up, no doubt. But Satan, the god of this world, is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8. Yes God places limits on what Satan can do, but Satan is busy attempting to overtake the woman because he knows he has little time. Revelation 12:12. My Sister and Brother preachers, it is time to stop preaching God as if God is simply the inside track to material blessings. It is time to move towards a more mature and deeper faith that can say with the Hebrew boys, “God is able, but if God doesn’t, I still will not bow.” Daniel 3:17.

We need a But if Not faith if we are going to make it through the dark days ahead. We need a “but if Not” faith if we are going to live the life God would have us to live. We need a “but if not” faith if we will live through the time of trouble such as never was. Daniel 12:1. In fact the hook up is not that you are guaranteed a new car or a new house. The hook up is that God is with you even in the valley of the Shadow of death. The hook up is not that if you lose your job a better paying one is around the corner. The hook up is that with every temptation God provides a way of escape. The hook up is not that you are guaranteed a cure for the cancer. The hook up is that even if you have to die, Jesus has already defeated death. I think that the true hook up is worth more than the materialistic cheap knock off.

The Promise in the Storm

We often find ourselves in the storms of life. One preachers said that in this life we are either entering a storm, leaving a storm, or in the midst of a storm. But God has given us a view of hope in the storm.

Genesis 9:12-16 tells the story of God’s promise at the end of the great flood that destroyed the earth. This was a storm. The Bible pictures Noah’s precarious journey through a huge flood and God’s promise int he midst of the storm. That promise is a colorful bow. Whenever we see a storm and the sun’s rays are visible, we can see this magnificent display. God is showing that God is there. God is reminding us that even this storm is under the control of an almighty God.

The Rainbow of Promise
The Rainbow of Promise

So you have storms, look up and find the rainbow. You may have pain, and that pain is just as real as the raindrops of the thunderrstorm, but so is the grace of God just as real as that bow of promise that traces along the sky. You might have struggles, but God is there just as sure as the bow of promise is there.

And you may have a cloud overspreading your horizon that your sins have caused. But don’t give in to dispair. Hold on, Hold out, God has a rainbow somewhere. I like what E. J. Waggoner wrote in The Gospel in Creation:

Let the cloud of sins be ever so thick and threatening, the glory of God’s word of grace shining upon it will bring into full view the bow of promise, and we shall remember that there is forgiveness with Him. So even the clouds of darkness that overshadow the earth may bear to us a message of comfort.