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The Holy Day Off


The other day, I was thinking about rebellion and passive-aggressiveness, and the combination of the two, mostly because I had just been called out about it. I was thinking about how God dealt with rebellion in the Bible, and I could only think of a few times where  it was mentioned.

The first I thought of was in Genesis, when a guy (Koresh, I think), decided he would make a better leader for the people of Israel than Moses. If I recall correctly, he had several thousand on his side, but it doesn’t matter much because he and all that sided with him were quickly killed by God.  Then, in Acts you have Ananias & Sapphira who decided make their offering to God sound more intense than it was. God struck them dead too. All throughout the prophets, you read of the stiff necks of Israel and others, and then you read how God will either, let them go into captivity, turn away from them, let their land become like a wasteland, or straight up kill them.

One particular thing I’ve noticed that gets mentioned many times is condemnation for not keeping the Sabbath. To me, that seems like a strange thing to be so angry about, but the more I read about God’s feeling toward the Sabbath, it makes sense. God didn’t only mean for Israel to take Saturday off to relax and regain strength (I do believe that was part of it though); He intended them to take a day to fully focus on Him, and remember who He was. He knows the frailty of the human memory when it comes to who is actually in charge. He knows the power that freewill and the desire for independence wields over the hearts of men.

In defiling the Sabbath, the man is saying that he wishes to live his life the way he wants, without any guidance that doesn’t make him comfortable. It can be passively saying that one knows how to better refresh himself than God does. You could quietly be saying that you don’t trust God (which is really the basis for most all intentional sin, if you think about it).

What does keeping the Sabbath look like? I think it looks different for everyone. I think it looks like taking a day to do that which brings restoration to the soul and body. For some, that can look like doing something related to a hobby, for others it can be cleaning their house or room. Whatever one does, the person should also be reminding themselves of who God is in someway, be it musing about the attributes of God the Creator as you build a model, or asking for forgiveness of sins as you clean. My point is, it doesn’t have to look like going to church and then locking yourself in an empty room and reading the Bible all day, no matter how bored you get. It doesn’t even have to be Sunday (Romans 14). Take a day and do it. You don’t even have to refer to it as a “Sabbath”, call it a day off, whatever; it’s no sin to call it what it is to you.

As for if Jewish believers in Jesus have to observe the Sabbath on Saturday, I have no wisdom on that. I’m speaking from a non-Jewish perspective.

Despite the fact I’ve written about 500 words about it, I can’t say that I personally keep a Sabbath. Yes, I have a day off, but is it holy and refreshing to my soul? Rarely. Do I want to have an actual Sabbath? Yes. From what I know of the ways of God, that is a big first step. May God give me grace to accomplish this, week after week.

 

EDIT: I don’t want to come across as having anything close to the last word about the Sabbath or its necessity. I just feel led to start actually doing it and I was mostly talking to myself about it all. Pray about what God would have you do with what you just read.

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