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AM Bible Study Archives
"Obedience at the Gate"
Wednesday AM Bible Study
December 8, 2004
Here, we find a tiny sermon. Jeremiah preaches at the "gate" of the city - an
important place, not only as a center of commerce, but also as the symbolic
doorway to the holy city. It is here that Jeremiah shines the spotlight on
one of the most important, and most neglected, of God's commands and calls
the people to repentance and obedience.
In a sense, the Sabbath command is a gate. It makes a distinction in our
lives between that which is common and that which belongs to God. If the
"gate" of the Sabbath is ignored, then there ceases to be a sense of giving
to God what belongs to Him; and it all becomes mixed and mingled with the
common things of life. God is here calling His people to return to a
reverence toward Him by restoring the "gate".
I. THE SETTING: AT THE GATE OF JERUSALEM (vv. 19-20).
A. The gate is specified as that one through which the leaders of the
people passed. This was because it was their responsibility to make sure
that the Sabbath was honored.
B. But at the same time, Jeremiah's message was to be proclaimed to all the
people at all the gates. It was through this gate that all the everyday
activity and life of Jerusalem passed. God demands to be heard in the midst
of our everyday life.
II. THE COMMAND: TO HONOR THE LORD'S SABBATH (vv. 21-23).
A. He calls them to take heed to themselves. It's not an issue of keeping
a law, but of honoring God from the heart. We bless ourselves when we honor
B. They are to hallow God's Sabbath by not carrying on everyday business on
His day; when they should be giving Him His due on His day.
1. This was no new command. It had been given to the fathers.
2. But the fathers would not hear. Now, they were being called to hear.
We too are to learn the lesson that the ancient Jews stiffened their necks
III. THE PROMISE: IF KEPT, THE LORD WOULD HONOR THE GATE (vv. 24-26).
A. To keep it means to not bring everyday business through the gate on the
Sabbath day (which is the negative aspect); but they were also to hallow the
Sabbath (which was the positive aspect).
B. If they did this, then several blessings would follow - touching every
area of life. The city would prosper more by honoring God's day once a week
than it ever could by carrying on business every single day of the week
without cessation. God always blesses more when we honor Him than we could
ever bless ourselves without honoring Him.
IV. THE WARNING: IF IGNORED, THE LORD WOULD PUNISH THE CITY (v. 27).
A. To ignore the Sabbath was not merely to disobey a command in an abstract
sense. It was tantamount to not heeding God Himself.
B. To do so would not only result in the loss of blessings from God, but
would also result in God taking positive action to punish them. Not only
would the gate suffer, but the whole city would suffer.
* * * * * * * * * *
For us as believers in Christ, the issue is not returning to a Sabbath law,
but rather of observing the spirit of the commandment. Do we honor God
first of all in our lives? Do we give Him first place over the everyday
business of life? If we honor Him in giving Him His day above our daily
business, we will be of the mindset to honor Him in every area - including our