- “It is amazing how many things busy people are doing that never will be missed.” _Peter F. Drucker, The Essential Drucker
On the seventh day Elishama the son of Ammihud, leader of the children of Ephraim, presented an offering. (Numbers 7:48)
Numbers chapter seven is one of the toughest chapters in the bible to read. It records how each tribal leader on his appointed day brought, on behalf of his tribe, an offering to God. Each leader brought the same dedicatory offering, so over and over, except for a different leader and tribe; you will read basically the same thing. By day three you’re fighting to stay awake!
However, with Sabbath living on my mind, I noticed that when day seven (the Sabbath) came nothing changed. The offerings just kept on coming. That got me thinking…
One of the dilemmas that an honest Sabbath observer will have to deal with early on is how to determine what activities are permissible on their Sabbath without dishonoring God’s command to rest.
Yesterday was a good example in my life. Starting this morning at 8:00 a.m., I will be conducting my annual staff evaluation and planning time. As a result I will be in meetings almost nonstop over the next three days. Being committed to living a Sabbath life, Sonja and I chose to have our Sabbath yesterday. Yet I had to get in some study time for Sunday’s message and a special bulletin insert had to be completed. Yesterday’s Sabbath was about the only time that I could get it done; so what to do? This verse helped me.
Both my message and my efforts at preparing devotionals are “offerings.” They are labors of love – both to God and for his dear people. I don’t get paid to preach; why I’d pay to preach if necessary. I don’t get paid to do the weekly devotionals; I consider it a joy and privilege to hopefully have a small part in encouraging and helping God’s people through their week. In other words, these things are offerings.
Offerings are often costly and require a sacrifice. But if the heart is right, giving them brings the giver joy. Perhaps that is a good criteria for determining if something should be done on a Sabbath – is it an offering? Is it done to bless others? Is it done as a joyful service to God?
Oh, and by the way, Sonja and I had a great Sabbath evening. We took David Lee and Ella Grace out to dinner and went to the playground at the Pineville Mall and acted like kids for a few hours. When I laid my head on the pillar last night I was a tired but happy man. Giving offerings and having fun with grandchildren wears you out!
Well anyway, there you go…something to think about when it comes to trying to faithfully live a Sabbath life.