Pretty strong words found in verse two of today’s chapter. I hate to go into the whole “where do we draw the line?” thing again (so I won’t). But, every time I read about God’s commandment to honor the Sabbath – something in me wriggles.
“But I’m too busy, Lord”
“This is Old Testament teaching”
“It’s not for today”
“Things are different now”
This is a list of some of the thoughts that go through my mind. Other thoughts have to do with the busyness of today’s hectic pace. I need more rest. I know my health suffers when I don’t get enough rest. I find myself running from one project to another, sacrificing proper diet and proper sleep because my days are already taken up. My thoughts turned to my desire to read – I’m several books behind where I want to be. And then there’s the whole I-want-to-start-writing-songs-again thing – but I can’t find the time.
And then it hit me.
All these things had to do with me. The Lord asked me, “Why did I implement the Sabbath?” Well, my first thoughts were focused around me – I need to rest, my mind needs rest, my health depends upon it. But that internal wriggling continued.
“It is for You, Lord”
He wants me to honor Him with T-I-M-E. He wants me to stop what ever I think is important and focus on Him. He wants to talk to me. He wants me to listen. All the other benefits are there – that’s the beauty of it. But, the main reason for the Sabbath is for communication – for relationship building.
How do you get to know someone? You spend T-I-M-E with them. I confess, my daily Bible reading has improved to the point where I miss it if I don’t get around to it. But, I need to spend more time WITH Him and not focus so much on the FOR Him. Does that make sense?
The children of Israel are now preparing to implement God’s instructions to Moses. They’re gathering the materials to build the Tabernacle, and all the related implements and furnishings:
21 If their hearts were stirred and they desired to do so, they brought to the LORD their offerings of materials for the Tabernacle and its furnishings and for the holy garments.
If their hearts were stirred. Did you see that? First, God re-emphasized the importance of the Sabbath. How can our hearts be stirred if we don’t be still and listen once in a while? What are the consequences? “Anyone who works on that day will die.”
As we go about our busy days, even if we’re in ministry, we need to be mindful of Him and take care to leave time to commune and to just listen for His voice. It’s far too easy to become too busy to hear what He wants us to be busy doing.
I’m listening, Lord.