Have you ever read a familiar paragraph that you’ve read a million times, only to discover there was one little part that you’d never really thought about?
I’ve got an example in mind. (C’mon, you knew I would!)
Consider the Fourth Commandment, about keeping the Sabbath; i.e., taking a day off every week for worship and rest.
Here’s the whole commandment, found in Exodus 20:8-11.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the 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.
I’ve heard some great teaching on this passage, and see the importance of a sabbath. For instance, obeying this commandment shows you trust God, not just your own efforts, to provide your living.
My no-work day is Sunday. Your schedule might require you to pick a different day. No matter; it’s the principle that counts. On Sundays, I write no blog posts. No drafting or revising my novel. No outlining, no editing… nothing pertaining to my work. Even if I’m chasing a deadline.
Frankly, I was becoming rather pleased with myself. Maybe even ever-so-slightly smug. “Oooh, lookie how faithful and obedient I am, never working on my Sabbath!” (waves “sarcasm hands”)
To keep me from breaking my arm patting myself on the back, God brought this clause to my attention:
Six days you shall labor and do all your work…
“Hang on, Lord. The commandment is all about resting on the seventh day, right?”
Yeah, but are you as diligent to obey My instructions for the other six days?
(Recalls the boatloads of time spent on Sudoku puzzles, Games with Friends, Facebook videos, sneaking M&Ms) “… Ohhh.”
All the days are Mine. Make the most of the ones I give you.
“Got it. Thanks.”
Thanks for reading!
* For related reading on Stephen Liddell’s blog, click here.