Seventh day

Reading: Exodus 20,8-11
Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day. Six days you may work and do all your tasks, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. On that day, no work may be done by you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day, he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Reflection: To the Israelites, whose identity for generations was based on being slaves, this sounded like a fairy tale. We read about this in the book of Exodus 16,23 when the Israelites first heard the phrase “to rest,” which is at the root of the word Sabbath. This event happened when God provided food from heaven that the people called manna. The event of God providing food from heaven and the prohibition of gathering and storing it for the next day spoke deeply to the heart of the Israelites. Many theologians believe that the most important lesson they learned was that God created the world in such a way that there is enough for everyone.

Egypt was a prime example of an empire where such a view was unknown. Their economy was based on producing surplus that was collected and stored. These reserves were a tool in the hands of generations of pharaohs to strengthen their power. People who, in times of hunger, fell into crisis, sold themselves into slavery in exchange for grain. The loss of freedom, for every person, means the loss of dignity. This is why the commandment about the seventh day is extremely important – because, among other things, it speaks strongly about restoring basic dignity to people.

How do we relate to the day of rest? Do we dedicate one day a week to God, or do we run to gather as much as we can to fill our bags? What kind of employers are we, and how do we treat our workers? How do we deal with systemic injustice? The Sabbath is a call to remember once again that it is God who can provide enough, and more, for us to do a good deed.

Prayer: Lord, it is so easy to succumb to the fear that “there won’t be enough.” Forgive me because now I see that fear negates your goodness, justice, and provision. I pray for those who are victims of unscrupulous employers and who have found themselves in a difficult situation trying to provide for themselves and their families. I pray that people in our country wake up and start fighting against any form of corruption and injustice in society.

Translated from the Bosnian language (mostly) by ChatGPT Feb 13 Version

Posted in Daily devotionals.