The Do's and Dont's of the Sabbath

To be honest with you, this is where I would not enjoy being Jewish.  All the rules!!  Don’t do this…. Do this….. oh, it would make your Sabbath a nightmare….. Okay, here’s where I make my disclaimer:  I only know enough about Judaism to be dangerous!!

The book, Jewish Holidays: A Brief Introduction for Christians by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky and Daniel Judson,  really explained the Do’s and Dont’s well.  Some of the Jewish faith believe that you should center your Sabbath on God pleasing activities that secludes you from your daily routine while others follow the Old Testament Sabbath laws to the letter.  In a nutshell, it basically means setting yourself away from the daily grind by limiting what you do to include God time, family time and “me” time.   But, I think we have to be careful here.  Look at Isaiah 58:13-14.

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

I guess my days of “kicking back” eating myself silly with the homemade cookies are over!  Oh and how about the expensive and maybe not-so-necessary shopping trips?  I think that isn’t very honorable especially if I run up the credit card just so I could have something.  I think God wants us to put away the week and spend some quality time with Him.  Isn’t He more important than housekeeping or lawn care?  I am not saying you can’t do it but listen God can mow right next to you.  And he knows a thing or two about gardening.  But it shouldn’t be thought of as a chore or work.  Remember, God pleasing!  And in which parenting manual says that our kids have to do every sport known to man on Saturdays and Sundays?  I am for doing athletics but it should not be the driving force of your Sabbath.  Oh how our daily lives have blended into our weekends!  No wonder we are so tired!  Remember, God pleasing!

Now to the other extreme.  I don’t think God intended for us to be L-A-Z-Y either. Trust me I know all about rest.  Some might even accuse me of just taking in oxygen.  God knows we have been preoccupied with work and the daily grind all week.  He wants us to nap.  But he doesn’t intend for us to be lazy either.  I have been researching God’s definition of rest.  Hebrews 4 talks about resting in God through Jesus. This Sabbath-rest is still there for us to acknowledge but as faith in Christ.  This is a faith in WHO Jesus is.  It is all about being with God for the pleasure of HIS company.  I mean lets find rest by letting go of all the anxieties from the week we finished and let Him do the beginning work for the next week so we are not so anxious.  That’s rest.  Curling up with God.  Reading His best seller! Enjoying a conversation with Him! And to make it a family affair as well!  Wouldn’t that be the best?!?!

Even though I like the idea of no computer and TV for Friday-Saturday night, I know there would be a revolution at the Dettra house but adding in a lot more God and a lot less shopping (perhaps candlelight isn’t a bad idea either) would make my pocketbook happier.  I think there can be a compromise met in the Dettra household that would be God pleasing, Mark pleasing, Daughter pleasing, Son pleasing and even “me” pleasing!

Think about it!!

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