This morning as I was watching Kerry Shook (something I do weekday mornings in conjunction with my mini bible devotion) my eyes were open to something that many of us are guilty of doing….breaking the 4th commandment.
Commandment number 4 of 10 says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-11 ESV)
Whether you’ll admit it or not, I know I’VE been guilty of it at times! I have been known to go straight from church to a photo shoot or to work on a client’s social media profile without giving it a second thought. I rationalized within myself that since it wasn’t my REGULAR 9-5 job…it didn’t apply.
First let’s get some background on this thing…..
God gave Moses this law. Not to oppress believers, but to look out for them. He used Himself as an example to show us that rest is necessary to prevent burnout. There is nothing cute or fly about being sick and tired because you’re worn out from “being too busy” or “hustling 24/7”. This is why He COMMANDED that we utilize the Sabbath day to #1 Spend time in worship and communion with He and other believers, but #2 get revitalized for the work we’ll have to be doing in the week to come.
Sounds easy to understand right? Well why it is so easily looked over?
The religious leaders of the bible days tried to “humanize” and “legalize” it by saying, “Well you shouldn’t do ANYTHING on the Sabbath. That means if your nose is running, or if your kid is drowning, or if your sandal is unbuckled – you can’t do anything about it because you have to rest.” That IS NOT what God meant when He gave that commandment; and Jesus made that clear in Matthew 10, Mark 3: 1-6, and Luke 13:10-17 when He healed the man with the deformed hand on the Sabbath. There are many church leaders today who legalize this very same commandment so much, it turns people off. People would rather go make money for their family than to take a day off and spend it in church.
- There are present day misconceptions on what the Sabbath ACTUALLY is. The word ‘sabbath’ is from the Hebrew word SHABÀT, meaning ‘cessation,’ or ‘time of rest.’ In Jesus’ time (and mainly Jewish culture), the Sabbath day was observed on a Saturday. Over time, many Christians have adopted Sunday as the Sabbath – but to be totally honest, it can be ANY day YOU set aside to gather and worship the Lord, while abstaining from doing the work you would do any other day of the week. Now before you go crazy with this new found knowledge, it does NOT mean God commanded you to lay in the bed all day, or go to the mall without going to church or bible meeting on the Sabbath. Worship comes first. But AFTER you have spent the first part of your day recharging your spirit, THEN your day is free to spend with family or tend to your own body.
America has placed high value on those who ‘eat, sleep, and drink’ work. As the old saints say, “I know for myself” that this is true! I’ve lived it most of my teenage and adult life. American values teach us that ‘if you want it, you’ve got to work for it by any means’. Our current worldly culture praises us for being elite members of ‘Team No Sleep’ and ‘Team Hustle’ – even though it doesn’t seem to support us when we end up a part of “Team Worn Down and Hospitalized” or “Team Six Feet Under”! So many people are afraid to lose their jobs or fear for their family’s financial security; so they often work on the days that they would normally be in church. This needs to stop. TRUST ME, God knows what type job you have…He gave it to you! He also knows your financial situation; so it would do you some good to stop and think, “Maybe He’s testing me to see how much I’ll rely on Him.” Every single person I know who has transferred jobs or missed a gig so they could attend church have ALL been taken care of! They didn’t know HOW they were going to come up with that extra money, but random people felt the need to give them groceries or put $50 in their hand, or they miraculously received a refund check in the mail for a bill they overpaid way back when. When God sees you making an effort to spend more time with Him, and follow His commandments, He’ll reward you!
I’ll admit, when I started thinking about this thing, I was convicted. I really had to pray about it because if you know me, I’m passionate about going after my dreams and hopes of one day being able to do what I love full time. But as 2 Peter 2:21 says, “For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.”
And since I now KNOW the truth, I need to act on it…and so should you!
I know, I know…I had to give it to you! I wouldn’t want you to keep going through life slaving away every day of every week and miss out on the renewal God has for you! I know it may not come easy at first, but RIGHT NOW, write down on a sheet of paper or in your planner a day where you will commit EACH WEEK to spending at least 1 hour worshipping God and reading the bible with a small group or church. Make a habit of making this day your Sabbath EVERY week without fail. Over time it will become like second nature to you and you’ll probably find yourself actually ‘defending’ your Sabbath day because you’ll value your ‘rest day’ SO much, you’ll crave it!
As Marvin Winans sings….”If I seek Him first, it’s going to get better, not worse…He’ll add these things.”
Again, this is something I need to work on too, so if you need encouragement along the way, I’m just a post, comment, or email away!
– Be Blessed, Joc