And God Said, “Don’t Work”


Exodus 20:9-11 (CEV)
You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day.


Some of our ancestors were strict about Sabbath work. Stock was fed, but fields weren’t plowed. Meals were prepared Saturday night and slow-cooked in the wood stove. No sewing. No gardening. Church and rest were the order of their Sundays.

Perhaps they went overboard with their rules.  Might we be drowning in disobedience?bless soul pic

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8 Responses to And God Said, “Don’t Work”

  1. I’ve always wondered about this one, because our lives now have so much leisure built-in, of which the ancients could not even have dreamt.

    The average levantine of 2000 years ago would have worked a 72-hour week, or more; the day of rest was needed not only for the spiritual health, but for physical health as well.

    While the lives of many contain self-imposed ‘musts’ – children to activities, holiday parties, and the like – these really fall under the heading of leisure, and to call them work is to usurp a word that really meant something way back when (and STILL means something to a huge part of the world’s population).

    But I may be wrong. I like to work, or at least I did when I could. I found rest and comfort there, and in dedicating it to the Almighty felt closer to him than when I tried to observe a traditional Sabbath.

    Sorry for the long reply. I really got going. Good topic.

  2. For my grandmother, gardening was work that fed the family. For me, gardening is a hobby. You are right, Andrew, about the leisure time our culture offers. I think Sabbath is largely a state of mind. When we over-schedule our time, even for good things like children’s sports, we become slaves to our schedules. For some of us, our desire for a picture-perfect house creates a home with little room for God. God wants us to leave some space to STOP DOING and just be in Christ.

  3. I was raised with reserving Sunday as for the Lord and a day of rest. Dad farmed, but rarely worked on Sunday, and only would if there was a pressing need. Watching TV, sports, was rare on Sunday. And we didn’t plan any sort of work activities. Mother always cooked the best meal of the week on Sunday. Of course, we were at the church a lot on Sundays too. It has stayed with me. I’m not as strict with it, but Sunday’s are truly set aside as quiet, sun-filled days…or should I say, Son- filled days!

  4. This is a tough one, I suppose. I break all the rest rules just getting ready for church. 🙂 Especially when the girls were little. Nothing restful about it. But I know when we keep the day as free as possible, it will seem to last long and seem restful. But yeah, we just have to take it easy on ourselves …

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      I can’t decide if Sabbath-keeping raises or lowers my standards. It changes my standards, that’s for sure.

  5. Shirlee, I think humans are drowning in a lack of moderation. It’s my area of struggle. I get passionate about my pursuits and find it hard to rest. But studies have shown that taking a day off per week makes one more productive and happy in the long run.
    Shelli’s comment made me giggle. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      “Lack of moderation.” You are a deep thinker, Wendy. I mentally looked over our congregation (including me) as I pondered your comment. A number of us are passionate about something–and not always a godly something. I see a tie to “no other gods before me.”

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