Evolution of the "Sabbath"
Charles Schulz wrote many years ago, “Whoever enrolled me in the school of life didn’t schedule enough recess.” It reminds me of the Sabbath principle. Even though the command to keep the Sabbath holy was given to Israel’s nation, the principle was first given in Genesis 2, before the birth of the Jewish nation.
Jews still observe their Sabbath on the seventh day, as does the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Seventh Day Adventists.
There are many discussions over whether Sunday has become the Christian “Sabbath.”
Are we obligated to keep the Sabbath, and what does keeping it mean? I have no desire to get into all of that. My question is—Is the Sabbath principle still valid? Do we still have a day set aside to honor the LORD and break from the hectic busyness of the week?
“Well, Jones, every day should honor God!” Yeah, yeah, I know, good Sunday School answer. I’ve seen quite an evolution in our culture regarding this “day of rest.”
My father-in-law was a farmer. He took Exodus 34:21 literally—Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. In his lifetime he never once worked on Sunday; at one time he and his son farmed over 1500 acres.
When I was in elementary school, churches were open, and businesses were closed. God’s command to Israel to rest on the Sabbath wasn’t about taking a break. He knew they would be tired and worn out from their labor. He knew they should set aside time to worship, and he knew they needed quiet hours with their families.
Rob Teigan writes, “the seventh day of rest forced each one to remember the true source of everything they needed—God Himself.”
I don’t have all the answers or specifics on how to “keep the Sabbath” in our crazy, high-tech world, but it seems to me that our culture, especially our churches, have either lost or chosen to ignore the principle altogether. Who has time to honor the Sabbath today anyway? C’mon, guys, we’re busy people!
The New Carlisle Community Church meets every Sunday at 11:00am ET.