Deliverance: Sabbath & Honor (07.01.18)

By: Reality SF

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Leader’s Note: In this CG material coinciding with the Deliverance sermon series, you’ll find a familiar structure of prayer, reflection, group discussion, and practical application.

Prayer & Discussion – 20 Minutes
Three months after the Israelites left Egypt, they come to Mount Sinai, where Moses receives the Ten Commandments from God and shares them with Israel.

Begin your time by taking two minutes of silence to allow your hearts to settle and prepare to receive God’s word. Prayerfully read aloud Exodus 20:8-12 twice, by two different members of your group. Then discuss:

  • Israel comes from hundreds of years of slavery under a completely different value system. How might God’s commandments be challenging their status quo?
  • What might God’s purpose be in providing Israel with these commandments? What character qualities will obedience to these commands form in people?

Reflection & Discussion (Bondage & Covenant) – 60 Minutes
The Sabbath commandment directly challenges Israel’s relationship to their work by commanding them to rest on the 7th day, just as God did. Exodus 20:12 commands Israel to “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

With either a notebook or your phone, break up into small groups of 2-3 and spend 10 minutes silently reflecting and journaling on your personal history:

  • What did you learn from your family — either implicitly or explicitly — about how to relate to work and rest? Try and think of examples that reflect this relationship. What is your current cultural model for work and rest?
  • Consider the word honor. How did your family relate to the idea of  “honoring your father and your mother” and/or “respecting your elders?” Was this valued in your family? In what way?

Using mutual invitation, offer the opportunity for each member of the small group to share what came up during this reflection. After each member has shared, come back together as a large group and discuss:

  • Why might God have commanded that Israel follow the Sabbath? Which idolatrous tendencies might this command be challenging and reforming?
  • Why might God have commanded that Israel “honor their father and mothers,” and how might this lead Israel to “living long in the land?” Which tendencies might this command be challenging and reforming?
  • If a community were to truly live into these commands, what might that form in them?

Practical Application & Closing Prayer – 20 minutes
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33)

Split into pairs and discuss:

  • Do you practice a Sabbath? If so, share what that experience is like. If not, how do you think you might experience Sabbath? What do you think would come up for you — would it be restful? Uncomfortable? Why?
  • Consider how you relate to the older people in your family and community. How might God be encouraging you to relate differently?
  • How might your responses shed light on the transformation God may be seeking in your life?

Close by praying for one another and God’s transforming Spirit to realign your hearts with His vision for your lives and community.

Optional Exercise:
Explore Sabbath by spending at least one evening this week doing no “work” and instead resting with God. Explore fasting from technology, distractions, news, and entertainment, as well as fasting from interactions with friends and family. Notice what comes up for you in this space, and ask God to reveal and heal the deeper discomforts, fears, concerns, and attachments that are keeping you from His deeper presence and peace. Lift these up to God.