A Day of Rest

This message was published in Shalom Tidings Magazine, September 2005

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One Sunday morning My Husband and I decided we would boycott all sorts of house works to obey the 3rd commandment. Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work but the seventh day is a day of Sabbath for Yahweh your God. You shall do no work that day neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants men or women nor your animals nor the alien living with you. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens, earth and sea and all that it contain but on the seventh day he rested that is why Yahweh has blessed the Sabbath day and made it sacred”. So we spent the whole day in prayer and attending the normal Sunday Service. At the end of the day we felt very content. We showed our respect to God by keeping one of his commandments.

God takes Six days in completing all his works and the Word of God says, “on the seventh day he rested”. Now that is something to be considered.

Most of us Men and Women go to work six days of the week. Normally we do not go to work on the Seventh day. That’s because weather we go to work or not, we are not going to get paid for it. Suppose your Employer offers you double the money for working on a holiday most of us would definitely go to work in order to gain that extra money (Overtime) even if it means losing our Sunday service. I know a believer who works with a management, which encourages working overtime on Sundays. This believer works extra hours during the weekdays in order to be free from working on a Sabbath.
Some of us do not work as we ought to during the weekdays and keep most of the work pending so that our employer asks us to stay back during the weekend to finish off the work. You may gain some extra money by this method but this money is not white money because you have earned it unlawfully. Work when you have to and work very hard expecting reward from your God and rest when you have to on the Sabbath as the Lord has commanded.

If God can create the whole Universe and all it contains in six days and rested the seventh day why should I take more than six days to complete my work and forbid myself the rest I deserve physically, mentally and spiritually. 1 Peter 2:16, “You are slaves of no one except God, so behave like free people”. If God is on our side in the works we do then we should have no fear in completing any works entrusted on us. Romans “If God be for us who can be against us”.

To the children, you study six days of the week, is it necessary that you should study on the seventh day too, the day God has set apart for us to rest. If God almighty needs rest on the Seventh day we human beings, little living creatures, definitely need to rest for more than one day. So lets take rest for at least one day. The days before exams are tedious days, parents and children have no time for prayers or Sunday service they study and study as though they are going to live here on earth for a thousand years to come. We don’t belong here we have to go elsewhere, a house Jesus has gone to prepare for us. So don’t behave like slaves to your books. John 14:2, “You trust in God, trust also in me” God will give you the strength to finish your studies in six days.

Some people don’t go to work on the seventh day but they choose to do all their house chores on this day. At the end of the day they are so exhausted, even more than the other days, that they don’t get time to take rest and be with their God or even go to the usual one hour Sunday service. Is this how we are supposed to keep the Sabbath holy. Why should we snatch away from God the day that belongs to him, the day he expects us to be with him to do all the extra little unfinished things of the week? Once a friend of mine said “I never keep any jobs pending for the next week. I always finish my work during the weekend so that I can start afresh on Monday morning”. There is only one person we all choose to cheat and don’t feel the guilt, and that is our God.

God created the seventh day for rest. Be calm and free from all the worldly troubles, tension at workplace or schools, from house cleaning, cooking work, teaching children and doing homework. Concentrate on God our Creator, think of all his marvellous creations, which came out of nothing “Be calm and know that I am God”. A day for physical and mental rest. Set this day apart for spiritual thinking

After years of practicing “our boycott” we have come a long way. Now days I even cook the food for the whole family the previous day to avoid staying in the kitchen during the holy day of the week. God has asked us to observe only one day as Sabbath, so let’s not adulterate it.

When I shared my experience with one of my friends he said, “I have to work on Sundays so that I have enough money to give to the poor” Better said than done. He will never work and earn enough to give the poor. John 12:6, “He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief … used to help himself to the contents”. Does God need your money when you do not have time to spend with him and disobey his commandment? Ask your parents, and they will tell you that they prefer you to stay with them for a few hours than you spending some extra money on them. Which parent does not long for the companionship of their children? So does our loving father in heaven needs our presence, our undivided presence not the money we make by working overtime during the weekend?

Another friend said to me “God does not like idle people. We should work as much as possible and earn as much money as possible. This is the will of God”. This greedy friend of mine will never make as much money as she wants because she works not for the will of God but for the greed of money”.

All this time we have been discussing about ourselves. Now let us consider making our employees work. Exodus 20:8, “You shall do no work that day neither you ….nor your servants, men or women nor your animals nor the alien living with you.” God does not permit us to work on a Sabbath, neither does he permits our servants to work for us on a Sabbath. Managements try to boost their profit by making the laborers work on a Sabbath. Some laborers unwillingly come to work for fear of loosing their jobs if they disobey their management. In this case the management is totally responsible for disobedience to God’s commandments. Treat our servants with love. Let them take a day to rest. The profit gained by allowing the servants or laborers employed by the employer or management to work on a Sabbath is Black money because it has not been earned lawfully but earned against God’s commandments. Do not use the money gained unlawfully for you or your children, because this money was made by displeasing God. Anything that displeases God shall not be a blessing but a trap.
For those who travel frequently. We choose to travel or go on a picnic on a Sabbath. Very conveniently we try to avoid remembering the day set apart for God. Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”. If, travelling or going to a picnic is unavoidable, keeping Gods commandment is also very important and should not be avoided. We can arrange the trip so that we – at least -do not miss the Sunday service.

There was a rhyme when I went to the Kindergarten, which said, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. We have all worked too much and become too dull to think sensibly. Lets take some rest physically, mentally and spiritually. Let our children and our employees take rest too. God will be happy we observed the Sabbath and wait for his blessings to be showered on us as a reward to obeying his commandments.



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