Claiming My Sabbath


I am the biggest abuser of sabbath days that I know. I constantly use my weekends to cram as much crap into as possible. My drive to organize my homelife (cleaning, groceries, etc.) combined with Josh’s social drive consistently leaves me exhausted when the new week begins. I find that when I take a day every week or two to just veg out, I find a sense of calm and reconnect with God. But, when I am lacking that time I enter the week stressed and sometimes scrambling.
I need the strength to claim my sabbath. To be able to say, “Sorry, can’t hang out, gotta chill out today.” Which is difficult becase Josh’s idea of sabbath is hanging out with friends. His extrovertedness gets a much needed sustenance from the presence of freinds (think hummingbird to nectar). Where, I generally get energy sucked from too much social interaction. My job is usually plenty of social interaction for me. So, how do I balance my need for quiet time with Josh’s need for social time without causing a disconnect between myself and my spouse? That’s a difficult question and a difficult balance to maintain.
So, I went to Bible Gateway and did a search for the word Sabbath and read through all of the stuff on the sabbath. There is some crazy stuff, especially in Leviticus. Anyway, here are some parts that I found to be significant among the lot:
Exodus 16:15-30
Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’ ”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much-two omers for each person-and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD . So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’ ”
24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the LORD . You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”
27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Exodus 20: 8-11
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Ezekiel 20:12
Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.
Matthew 12: 6-14
I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

It’s interesting to view the sabbath as God’s covenant with His people for saving them from slavery and keeping them holy. It seems like keeping the sabbath is a huge sign of respect and thanks to the Lord. And, to know that He also desires for us to do good on the sabbath opens a bunch of questions of what is and is not okay to do. I mean, I could justify lots of things as being potentially “good.” But, exactly, what is okay to do? I see where it is a lot easier to be pharisaical. But, God calls us to interact more with our world and our reliance on Him than just drawing big, hard lines between what we deem is good and evil.