God gave the Sabbath so that man would know that Jesus is coming. He pours the water. He sheds the blood. He gives the Spirit. He gives rest to the weary soul. And he gave us very practical instructions. One day in seven, rest. God gives you your daily bread. Your significance is found only in Christ. Your name is already written in the book of life. Your sins are already put away.
13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying:`Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. (Exo 31:13)
If I did more, maybe I will be worthy of love. If I accomplished more, maybe I can leave a mark and not go down into the void.
If I worked harder, maybe people would like me more. If I wasn’t so lazy, perhaps I could get my father’s approval. If only I could have a few more hours, a few more moments, a little more strength…
If only I didn’t just spend an extra hour today resting, maybe I could have accomplished something…
It is subtle, but it looks just like the so-called puritan work ethic. Lazy boys starve and are cast away. Stupid boys are beaten and mocked. We’re just a little better than that. Read McGuffey. How will your kids learn Latin if you don’t work harder. That Ezekiel 4:9 bread won’t make itself. If you don’t work harder, your family might have to eat store-bought.
Stay vigilant. Don’t mess up. Don’t slack off. Even on the Lord’s day. God hates idleness. You are supposed to be taking a Sabbath, not slacking off. This is what makes this country great. Hard work, hard men. Let the others slack off. We’ve got work to do.
Don’t miss a trick. Don’t miss an opportunity. Pull up your man-pants and do more, do it harder, do it better. How will you get to college if you don’t get straight A’s. Slackers don’t win and losers don’t need to apply.
Perhaps if you weren’t such a lazy slacker, you could get God to pay attention to you. Perhaps if you weren’t so stupid and slow and good-for-nothing, you would be worthy of love…
And to all of these hateful voices, God says, “Stop.
“Take a rest. A Sabbath. You no longer work for the Egyptians. You no longer are a slave to sin. You no longer have to pretend to earn my favor. Child….rest.
“I commanded you to keep my Sabbaths so that you will learn that I the Lord sanctify you.”