Sunday(1.23), The Land as a Place of Rest
 Read Genesis 15:13-21. What did God promise Abraham?


 When God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt, His purpose was to bring Israel to the land of Canaan, where they would be able to serve and obey Him freely (Exod. 8:1; Ps. 105:43-45), including enjoying the Sabbath rest that Pharaoh had prohibited (Exod. 5:5). The land of Canaan was the inheritance that God had promised to their father Abraham because he had obeyed God’s voice and left his country to go to the Promised Land (Gen. 11:31-12:4).


 God’s purpose in giving the land to Israel was not simply for them to possess it. God was bringing them to Himself (Exod. 19:4). God wanted them to live in a land where they would be able to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him, without any hindrance, and would also be a witness to the world of who the true God was and what He offered His people. Like the Sabbath of creation, the land of Canaan was a framework that made possible an intimate relationship with their Redeemer and the enjoyment of His goodness.


 In Deuteronomy 12:1-14, the Lord told the people that they would enter the rest, not simply when they entered the land, but when they had purged the land from idolatry. After that, God would show them, the Chosen, a place where He would dwell among them.


 Read Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15. What two things does the Sabbath rest commemorate, and how are they related?


 God connected the Sabbath of creation with the deliverance from Egypt. He instructed Israel to observe the Sabbath as a memorial of creation and as a memorial of their redemption from Egypt. Creation and redemption are both enshrined in the Sabbath commandment. Just as we did not create ourselves, we cannot redeem ourselves. It’s a work that only God can do, and by resting we acknowledge our dependence upon Him, not only for existence but for salvation. Sabbath keeping is a powerful expression of salvation by faith alone.
 How should keeping the Sabbath help us understand our complete dependence upon God, not only for existence but for salvation?