Musings on the Sabbath.
I’ve kept the Sabbath all my life. And, I’ve done many different things while keeping the Sabbath. I’ve followed man made rules and I’ve ignored manmade rules. I’ve bought and not bought. I’ve gone swimming on a hot day and not gone swimming. I’ve gone for hikes and not gone for hikes. I’ve used the computer and not used the computer. I’ve done homework and not done homework. I’ve gone out with friends and not gone out with friends. I’ve watched movies and not watched movies. I’ve made it special and not made it special. I’ve put my whole heart into it and I’ve made it mundane. I’ve washed dishes and I’ve used paper plates. . I’ve set aside extra time for God and I’ve not set aside extra time for God.
There are so many grey areas when it comes to keeping the Sabbath. God didn’t give us a long list of do’s and don’ts. He didn’t specify every little thing we should or shouldn’t do. Basically, what He told us to do is not work – you and your entire household. (Ex 20:8-11)
So, the main thing that I, and we as a family, have always done is not work on the Sabbath. When we interview(ed) for a job, we say we don’t work from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Because of that, we might not get the job. But, if that’s the case, then it’s not the job for us. When contractors ask Jim to work on Saturday, he declines. The kids’ chore charts are noticeably blank on the Sabbath – except for grooming themselves and feeding the pets.
There aren’t very many things we can DO that are a sign between us and God. He says in Exodus 31:13, 17 and Ezekiel 20:19-20 – “they will be a sign between Me and you”. I find that pretty exciting! I can follow His laws and keep His Sabbath. And, the Sabbath is specified in addition to statutes, judgments and laws. I see that as significant. If there is something that is a sign between me and Him, I want to do it!! I want to give it my all.
I don’t always accomplish this perfectly, or even as well as I’d like to. I’ve had times when it would be more convenient to keep working as the sun set. I’ve had times when I haven’t finished my chores or my work. I’ve had times when I didn’t get all the cleaning done or when I didn’t pay that bill I meant to pay.
I’ve had times when the dust on top of that eye-level cupboard top in the kitchen or the bay window is screaming out to me after sunset. But, when I ignore it, I know the dust will still be waiting for me after Sabbath is over, the laundry will wait patiently, anything that needs to be done will still be waiting. And, that’s OK.
Understand, that even though there are times when I might be inconvenienced or I might want to do something else, I LOVE the Sabbath. We LOVE the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not a burden. We look forward to it all week. The little kids count down the days. We enjoy setting aside that time.
If we make it a point to set aside the time God has put in His calendar for us, we will be blessed. Simple as that. He doesn’t ask much of us. Just as the kids know that Daddy will be home for the Sabbath, I know that my Abba will be ready to meet with me as I set the Sabbath day apart and obey Him. We stop our work as He commanded. We dance, sing, pray, study, worship, laugh, eat, enjoy. We delight in His Sabbath (Isaiah 58:13). We make it a set apart time – a restful time, a holy time, a kadosh time, a peaceful time.