In my last post I suggested that Sabbath is very important to God because it is a sign of the covenant—like a wedding ring. But it is more than that. It is also a way that God gets our perspective in the right place.
The Israelites had been in slaver for 200 years. In Egypt, the Israelites were commodities. They were the sum of what they accomplished. They were the sum of the bricks they made. In fact, they were more like bricks to be used by the Egyptians then they were people. They were a product to be used.
You can imagine how dehumanizing this could be, not only for individuals but for the community. Commodity leads to anxiety because you don’t have neighbors to care for. You can only have threats and competitors. Some in the system got to be on the top while others got to be worked to death by those on the top.
God’s economy is different. God rested on the 7th day not because God was not tired, but he was setting an example, because he is more than what he created. It has been said that it took God 40 days to get the people of Israel out of Egypt, but 40 years to get Egypt out of them. Sabbath is one of God’s main ways of helping Israel with that.
Ultimately, Sabbath is resistance. It is resistance to the world of commodity. Sabbath says that God is not Pharaoh. God does not keep demanding more and better.
Sabbath is a system of rest to contradict a system of anxiety. You are not a thing. You are not the sum of the work you do. You don’t have to be so stressed. You can trust in God to take care of you..
You are more than what you product, you are more than what you, you are more than what people think of you. You are more than your job.
- You do not have to do more, know more, sell more, control more…
- You do not have to have your kids in all these different sports…
- You don’t have to have a job that makes you work 65 hours a week…
- You don’t have to be younger, more beautiful, or more financially stable…
- You don’t have to drive a better car than your next door neighbor…
- You don’t have to get ahead at work at the expense of someone else….
- You don’t have to kill yourself following everybody’s rules and expectations….
Sabbath is resistance to the economy of commodity. If you do not have a Sabbath habit then you are probably getting consumed by the Egypt mentality, because that is where our world is. What economy do you want to live in?
Join the Resistance!!
This is the second in a blog series on Sabbath. For deeper reading, I recommend Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann. Some of this blog post was directly inspired from that work.