How do you Sabbath? How do you rest, reflect, and refresh? Taking time to Sabbath – to truly rest, reflect, and refresh – will keep us focused on the reason we live and one who died that we might live. The trouble is that our busy lives can take us slightly off track!
10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.
13 “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.
Moses reiterates the instruction regarding Sabbath keeping. The first time the Sabbath is mentioned is in Genesis 2. After God created everything he rested on the seventh day. God desires for us to rest. Jesus elaborated that under grace, we are to realize that the Sabbath was created for us and not us for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).
Here in Exodus 23 we see very practical reasons for employing the idea of Sabbath in terms of farming, community living, and rest and rejuvenation. Having Sabbath time makes sense.
How do you Sabbath? How do you rest, reflect, and refresh?
I don’t think we are very good at this under grace. It is interesting that when something is a requirement, we attempt and fail at keeping it. When we have freedom to do what we want, we struggle to ever do the right thing even though we want to. Welcome to humanity.
It catches my eye that there is a warning appended to these verses relating to calling upon other gods – we shouldn’t even let their names be on our lips… What gods?
Foreign gods of the neighbours of Israel were one of their stumbling blocks. For us, it is also the gods of our neighbours. We live for Jesus, yet we are surrounded by people who live for themselves, for gain, for mother earth, for greater purpose, for family, and a multitude of other pursuits.
Notice that while we live for Jesus, some of the good in these other pursuits fits. On their own, however, we end up with other gods which take our eyes off Jesus. That’s where Sabbath fits in. Taking time to Sabbath – to truly rest, reflect, and refresh – will keep us focused on the reason we live and one who died that we might live.