To me, one of the most amazing things in the Bible has always been the command to take a Sabbath (to the LORD). The Israelites were commanded by God to not work on one day per week.
Exodus 34:21 (ESV): “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.”
The amazing thing is not that God required that his people rest, but that there were really no exceptions. It’s planting season. The weather is just right. Got to get the crops in the ground. BUT you cannot work seven days in a row. It’s harvesting season. The crops are ready to be gathered in. They are ripe and continue to ripen. Get that produce harvested. BUT you cannot work seven days in a row. So one day per week, even during the planting and harvesting seasons, the Israelites had to cease from work.
That is amazing. But God had a point. It is not just “take a break.” It is a Sabbath to the Lord. The Sabbath isn’t just about rest, it’s about trust. God commanded them not to work so that they would never forget that life is more than food, drink and clothing… much more. He commanded them to take the step of trust — to make the specific, intentional decision not to work because, as important as it is, work is not the most important thing.
That’s where Sherlock Holmes comes in. I’ve been reading and enjoying these great mysteries. Sunday afternoon I was laying on the couch reading when I started to feel like there was work I should be doing. I can’t even remember what it was. Maybe it was blogging? Whatever it was, the point is this: Life is more than work. Even if you are a pastor. God tells us to have enough faith to not work sometimes. One day per week as a matter of fact. I’m not always good at that, but I was on Sunday! I desire to live a life faithful to my God. Sunday afternoon I decided that the most faithful thing I could do was trust God enough to let the work go and enjoy some quiet time reading Sherlock Holmes… which I did.
You might want to read my other blog post on this same Bible verse about getting to work! Read it here.