Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death. Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”
- – Exodus 35:1-3
Death to workaholics. And be sure to keep a good supply of blankets and sweaters handy. Good thing the Israelites didn’t live in Manitoba. All joking aside though, sabbath was to be taken very seriously. I find it a little perplexing and disturbing just how serious. No wonder legalism crept in. If breaking the sabbath meant the death penalty, you’d surely want to know exactly what you could and couldn’t do that day.
At the same time, it has occurred to me how as humans we generally tend to minimize most, if not all, of our sins. How we literally don’t even see a problem with our behaviour AT ALL sometimes, much less with our thoughts. And yet, Jesus – Creator of the Universe! – died for our sinful thoughts and behaviour! So that means it’s bad! No matter whether we can always see it, or admit it, or not. Only by God’s grace do we have a conscience at all.