June 29, 2014: Unplug

Posted on : Jun 26th, 2014 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Does this sound familiar?

That same day Pharaoh gave instructions to the slave-drivers of the people and the overseers. “You will not gather straw any longer for the workers making bricks. Let them gather their own straw. But don’t lower their brick quota. They are to make as many bricks as before. These people are lazy, and this is why they whine, [saying] ‘Let us go to offer a sacrifice to our God.’ Let them have more work, more servitude! If they work hard enough, they’ll stop listening to false messages!” [Exodus 5]

One of the ten commandments is, “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 of your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.…” [Exodus 20: 8-10]

That commandment is tied directly with the conclusion of the creation story as found in Genesis 2: 1-3, “And on the seventh day God finished the work that God had done, and God rested on the seventh day. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that God had done in creation.”    

Many people today are just plain done in by both the fast pace of our lives and the demands on our lives.

A dear friend of mine says, “Time is the new currency.” She is so right.

It is interesting to note that the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy – to do no work – is directly related to Israel’s experience of being enslaved in Egypt. The commandment isn’t about “what you have to do;” it’s about having the freedom to not have to work yourself to death.

This Sunday as we look at what these words mean for us in the 21st century, I encourage you to think about what enslaves you. What deprives you of taking time to rest and renew your body and spirit? How might we be set free from the constant grind of life so that we can experience Sabbath rest and renewal?

God Bless!

Dan

~ This Sunday Scriptures ~

Genesis 2: 1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that God had done, and God rested on the seventh day. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that God had done in creation.           

 

Exodus 5: 1–18

Pharaoh places an even greater burden of work on the people of Israel.

[the Inclusive Bible, slightly edited by Dan Smith]

After this, Aaron and Moses went to Pharaoh and said, “These are the words of our God, the God of Israel: ‘Let my people go, for they wish to observe a pilgrimage festival in the wilderness.’” Pharaoh asked, “Who is this god of yours, and why should I listen to any demand to let Israel go free? I do not know this god, and I will not let Israel go.”

They replied, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please allow us to travel a three days’ journey into the wilderness, where we will offer sacrifices to our God, or we will be confronted by plagues, or the sword!”

But the ruler of Egypt said, “Aaron and Moses, who are you to take these people from their work? All of you, get back to your work!” Pharaoh continued, “Look at all the people in this land – and you’re holding up their work!”

That same day Pharaoh gave instructions to the slave-drivers of the people and the overseers. “You will not gather straw any longer for the workers making bricks. Let them gather their own straw. But don’t lower their brick quota. They are to make as many bricks as before. These people are lazy, and this is why they whine, [saying] ‘Let us go to offer a sacrifice to our God.’ Let them have more work, more servitude! If they work hard enough, they’ll stop listening to false messages!”

Then the slave-drivers and the overseers went to the people and said, “Pharaoh says, ‘I will not give you any more straw. Go out and find your own straw wherever you can. But not one load of bricks will be subtracted from your daily quota.’” So the Hebrews scattered throughout the country scavenging for bits of straw. The overseers harassed the workers, telling them, “You must meet your daily quota, just as you did when we provided you with straw every day!” The Israelite officials, who had been appointed by Pharaoh’s overseers, were beaten, and asked, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks as you did yesterday and the day before? As yesterday, so today!”

Then the Israelite officials complained to Pharaoh. “Why do you treat your subjects the way you do? We are not provided with straw, but we’re still told, ‘Make bricks!’ We are beaten, but it is not we who are at fault – the fault is with you!”

Pharaoh replied, “Lazy! You people are lazy! That’s why you keep saying, ‘Let us go into the wilderness to worship our God.’ Now get out of here! Go to work. Find your own straw, and fill your quota of bricks.”

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