Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” vss. 12-13

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Of all the commandments that made the Top Ten in Israel’s scripture, the one establishing the Sabbath day as holy has arguably received the most attention and caused the most controversy. The commandment itself is direct, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work,” but the problems arose as religious leaders began to define what work was. It was obvious that people had to engage in living on their holy day, but what should they be allowed to do? Rabbis spent centuries debating the issues that came up as people attempted to be obedient. And for every question that came up, some new rabbi would propose an answer, which in turn would be questioned by a new generation of believers. By the time Jesus showed up there were literally hundreds of rules, and he didn’t have any patience at all for the hair-splitting involved. For instance, he didn’t have any issue with synagogue worship on the Sabbath, but he thought it was extreme foolishness to forbid healing, and he refused to obey. We have some of the same issues with rules as we practice our faith. Some are rule followers–it’s comforting to know the rules, and the community prospers when all obey. But those who live by the Spirit of God won’t be so concerned with the rules. For them the only commandment is to love, and they let that be their guide.

Thought for the Day: How do I feel about following rules?


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