Cover to Cover

Reading: Exodus 22:1-24:18

Focus: Exodus 23:10-12

Today, in the 21st century, life has never been faster. One only needs to look at 24-hour time lapse videos of some of the major cities in the world to see how ridiculous life has become. Life for many is so wrapped up in work, stress levels escalate, yet so few take the time to rest and recover. Come the weekend, most people are so often out catching up with friends and lost time that they rarely give themselves a chance to rest.

Yet, we were never designed for continuous activity. We were designed with rest in mind. Just as with a rechargeable battery, there comes a point where it needs to be recharged—in our case, every 7 days works pretty good. What is just as interesting, God created nature with view that it too would rest from the labours of humanity. (Click here for an challenging article on the topic of the Sabbath and sustainable living.) God Himself set the example in Creation, on the seventh day, He rested from all His work.

The reason for Sabbath listed in this passage is interesting. Firstly, the land Sabbath, where the land would remain unploughed and unused, was a provision for the poor and wild animals. On a social level, what difference would it make if we were to give one-seventh of our produce to the poor and wild animals? Secondly, the work Sabbath, where we would take a break from work on the seventh day was chance for the ox and donkey, and human relations to rest. In the 21st century (thoughts taken from the above article), what different would it make if our computers, phones, cars took a day off? Environmentally (and to the wallet), it’d make a difference. What about human relationships? Where people put work pressures and relationships aside for one day to enjoy life and rest, how would that change our relationships?

Anyone who has taken a holiday, a real holiday with no links back to work, can testify to the difference that it makes. Likewise, anyone who has taken a holiday, but takes their work with them, can testify to the horrors that it makes. Personally, it really begs the question, is it worth it not to take a day off? Be it for humanitarian reasons, be it for economic reasons, be it simply for your own sanity; a Sabbath day of rest is something to consider. Have a break (and it doesn’t have to be a Kit Kat)!

Next Reading: Exodus 25:1-27:21

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1 Comment

  1. Challenging thoughts Peter. I’ve often stopped to think about the Sabbath and what it means in our context. And for Christians to serve so enthusiastically at church, the Sabbath can begin to feel like another day at work. Where’s the balance? I’m facing returning to school on Wednesday after the Summer holiday. For the first time since I started I’m still tired and not fully inspired about returning- not to the kids, but to the politics. Interesting that this will be my 7th year- perhaps I need a Sabbath from work! 🙂

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