Six days you may work and on the seventh day you shall rest. Exodus 34:21
You Shall Rest – Labor six. Rest one. That’s the way God built the universe. You can go along with the design or you can try to fight against it, but you cannot change it. Your practical education in obedience begins right here, in the way you schedule your life.
Of course, if you read Hebrew, you would see that there is something else involved. The word translated “you shall rest” is tishbot. It comes from the verb shabat. It is obviously connected to Shabbat (Hebrew), or Sabbath. Labor six. Then Sabbath. That’s what God designed. But, of course, we all know better, don’t we? I mean, look at all the progress we’ve made by converting every day to work. We gained 416 more production hours (at 8 hours a day) in a year. We had 24,960 minutes to spend more energy on accomplishing something. Sure, there was a price, but look how much more we have. Now we have 24,960 minutes of disobedience in our wallets each year.
There is no way around this. Rationalize, justify, excuse, clarify or categorize, it all comes back to the same thing. God designed a 6-1 universe. You and I were designed to function in a 6-1 universe. Until we begin to exhibit that pattern in life, we are fighting the whole Creation. Oh, yes, and we are disobeying God.
So, the second step in practical education flows from the first. First, I recognize that work is a category of worship. Second, I set work aside to enjoy worship every seventh day. There is hardly a more practical demonstration of my submission to the authority of God than to align myself with the pattern He built into creation. And there is hardly a bigger demonstration of my willful determination to have it my way than to decide for myself what kind of life pattern I will follow.
This lesson is brief, pointed and demanding. Since we know that Emperor Constantine and the Roman Church deliberately decided to move the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday in order to incorporate pagan worship of the Sun god into “official” Christianity, and since we know that the Church issued an edict demanding that all Christians renounce the Sabbath as heresy (it had nothing whatsoever to do with the day of the resurrection), we can see that political and pagan motivations stand behind Sunday worship. Now that you know all this, and you know what God clearly intends, what are you going to do next Friday evening?
Topical Index: Sabbath
If you’re interested in how all this changed, see David Dungan, Constantine’s Bible, Todd Bennett, Restoration and Frank Viola, Pagan Christianity? for starters. So much of our contemporary ideas of worship are really man-made reconstructions and alterations of God’s Word. It’s hard to imagine that we are so far off track.