The 9 Commandments and That Other One

June 29, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

I almost entitled this “The 10th Commandment*” and then I would explain the asterisk.  However, I know how you are.  “Don’t covet is the 10th commandment.  That’s not what you’re talking about.” Then I would have explained the asterisk.  You would have objected again that it wasn’t clear.  It just wasn’t worth it.  “This was?”  Hmmm…

Two passages for your consideration:

Exodus 20:8-11

8 “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 male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 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.

Col 2:16

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

So there you go.  Honor the Sabbath is right there in the top 10, #4 to be specific.  Then you have Colossians where some false teachers have emphasized the ceremonial parts of Jewish law and Paul says don’t let people judge you based on these.  You put this together with the idea that Jesus fulfilled the law, we are not under the law and the 10 commandments become 9 + 1.

(Sidenote:  You want to waste some time? “Of course, I do.”  Top 2 Bible related things to Google and read some weird stuff:  Sabbath and King James Bible.  I take it back.  Don’t do it.)

Is this the right approach?  Is there nothing in between strict observance of the Jewish Sabbath (Please tell me you didn’t read that stuff) and ignoring it completely?  Surely there is.  Surely.

God still believes sin is serious, even though we do not sacrifice animals.  We trust in Christ.  God still wants us to be his people set apart, but we don’t follow the dress codes and dietary codes.  We strive to live lives with pure hearts.  God still values worship, but we don’t celebrate the Jewish feasts.  We worship God in community and throughout the week.  God still values rest, but we don’t celebrate the Sabbath.  We…we…what do we do?

That’s the rub isn’t it.  We think this one doesn’t matter at all any more.  It’s one thing to say that we are not bound by the rules.  It’s another thing entirely to say that God’s value system has changed.  “God doesn’t even care about that any more.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.”  From the very beginning it would seem that God is honored when we rest.  We were created to rest.  We were created to take time and reflect on him and stop the madness of a pace of life that is spiritually, physically and emotionally unsustainable.

“Fine then, how?”  Welpst, we struggle when there aren’t rules, don’t we?  This isn’t a rule.  This is a principle.  You will have to figure that out through prayer, reflection and with your family.  The how is up to you.

Wait, Ok, I’ve changed my mind.  I’ll tell you exactly how to do it.  Oops, I can’t.  I’ve got to get to a meeting and then to unpack some boxes in the new office and then hurry home to get on the treadmill, eat some dinner and get the kids to play practice.  Maybe later…



One Response to “The 9 Commandments and That Other One”
  1. Faye Bryant says:

    It’s hard to conceive that when God spoke the words to Moses, He knew about Facebook and automobiles and soccer games. He spoke it to a man who depended on daylight to be the time to do things. Tough to do a lot by firelight.

    I’ve been struggling with this for some time. I have the hardest time shutting down. I’m one of those who thinks of things for tomorrow’s to-do list and has to write them down so I can let them go from my mind or I don’t go to sleep.

    You’re right. Somewhere there’s a balance where we decide we can choose to not do “that” thing, not go to “that” event… just sit on the porch and watch the evening work its way into our yard.

    Once you figure that out, will you be so kind as to email me and let me know? Yeah, ‘kay. Thanks.

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