This has been heavy on my heart all week.
I’ve heard the topic of Sabbath from the pulpit a few times before, so I can’t claim that this is a new concept to me, but I heard a sermon about it again last Sunday. Only this time, I was forced to look at it through the lens of idolatry and slavery, and obedience and redemption.
God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in it in six days and rested on the seventh. He rested and reflected on all that He had done.
He thought it so important that he made it one of the “Big Ten.” In the Old Testament, people would be put to death for not observing the Sabbath, but in the New Testament, Jesus proclaimed it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath. (Matt. 12) This is in answer to the Pharisees who questioned him for healing a man on the Sabbath and saving a sheep from danger. He responded to them in verse 13 “…Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.”
But sin has corrupted this idea of “doing well” and really, it’s no surprise because Satan can’t create anything new, he can only corrupt what God has created and commanded.
Sin makes us feel like we will never be productive enough. Culture tells us we’re lazy and unproductive when we rest. It also offers us so many toys, activities and distractions that we must have, must do, or must experience, that those things breed envy, greed and lust in us. That’s bad enough, but then many times, we do these things on the Sabbath because it’s the only day we have all to ourselves, or so we tell ourselves.
Instead of honoring God, we may or may not go to church, then we fill the rest of the day with things that give us immediate gratification and fulfill our selfish desires, which serves ourselves and not Him or others who may be in need.
For me personally, I never thought that doing things that gratify me (shopping or working on projects around the house) on the Sabbath stole honor from God, but it does. Clearly, it is a form of idolatry and slavery to do something that gratifies me in exchange for obedience to God.
To be obedient to God, I must observe the day He’s set aside for me to rest. And, if I get to feeling guilty like I should be doing something with my time, I’ll know that’s just Satan trying to separate me from my God.
Thank you God for continuing to redeem me from the slavery of self.