Sunday, August 18, 2013

I'm familiar with the ER as I've had as many trips there as Carters has pills with kids, grandkids, and even myself upon the occasional begging of an appendix to come out or anaphylaxis shock or something of the sort.  It is an unpleasant, crowded place with slow service, where nobody gets bumped to first class.  There's something about a hospital gown that eliminates a distinction between socio-economic classes.   My daughter works there because she's hooked on adrenalin and did not want to do anything boring for a living.  However, it's often a walk on the dark side with the crazies who come out especially at night.

An ER doctor teachings on the Sabbath? An adrenalin junkie? It is not who you would expect to hear this from.  "24/6"  by Matthew Sleeth, MD,  is at once delightful, inspiring, and convicting.  I grew up with the Sunday blue laws where almost everything closed on the Sabbath by law.  He reminds us that courts are still closed on Sunday, the Stock Exchange stops its trading, and even atheist professors demand their sabbatical.  However, in our 24/7 and technologically advanced age, it is increasingly difficult to grasp a 24/6 philosophy set forth by God in Genesis.  He says "the church stands with one foot on the dock and one in the untethered boat of culture."  In other words, keeping the Sabbath is fast becoming a lost concept.

George Washington's garden worked by his slaves.

Over the next few days, my blog will highlight some of his findings and offer the Scriptural teaching.  The Sabbath is not a matter of law though the Jews kept adding more and more burdens of the law in their interpretation of it.  It is a gift from God inherent in His example from creation.  God stopped.   It is holy.  Who doesn't need rest?  Do you?  It is a pause for gratitude and to enjoy the goodness of God.


More views of his gardens where the slaves cabins would have stood overlooking their fields.


"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days  the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
Exodus 20:8
This is the longest commandment (not suggestion) given by God Himself as entrusted to Moses to give to God's people.  Weren't they on a forty year vacation after becoming runaway slaves from their heavy ten day a week labor for the Egyptians?  God provided their food, their water, their shade, their light by night, their shoes and clothing didn't wear out on their trips to the mountains with even a trip to the shore that proved eventful as the waters parted so they could walk across on dry land.  But they had no GPS system.
"It's an eight hour drive from Cairo to Jerusalem.  It takes a week by donkey, and you can walk it in less than a month.  But on the occasion of emancipating his people, God made a slight detour. He took them for a  14,600-day ride in the country."  They had to learn total dependence upon Him as He taught them what was for their good.  They were just slow learners.  Are we any faster?  Is the fourth commandment the least kept of them all?  Have we learned it yet?  How's your Sabbath keeping lately?

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