Risen Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath, show us the ongoing Sabbath rest you have brought into the world. Thank you for reading Exodus 23:10-13 with us today, for showing us how Shabbat (Jewish word for Sabbath) is a lost command but was a creation move of the Lord.
READING EXODUS 23:10-13
A “cross reference” in Bible study is not a mention of the cross of Jesus but a similar scripture to the one you are reading. A good cross reference to Exodus 23:10-13 is Leviticus 25:1-7. Reading an ancient book like the Bible requires lots of sleuth work! Reading another passage that explains something further can help. Exodus 20 is also an original text where God commands the Sabbath, and Genesis 2:1-3 describes God’s first-ever Sabbath rest after creating the world.
One thing is perfectly clear: Sabbath means something important to God, and Christians do well not to ignore and overlook Sabbath as an outdated command of God. What would a Sabbath principle of living be like? In our four years of reading the Bible, a Sabbath lifestyle will emerge because the topic doesn’t go away. We’re going to see Sabbath discussed even in the Gospels.
I hope to gain more farmers who read this blog! Many of us are not farmers, however, but we know about things like crop rotation. It’s good for the soil to rotate crops. In this text, there is another concern for a type of rotation or leaving of crops in the fields. The practice of leaving crops in the fields has a two-fold purpose: to allow land to lay fallow but also to provide for the poor in the land.
When crops are left on the edges of the fields, the poor can “glean,” which means to take from the edges of the fields that are left unharvested.
Actively reverse the thinking process that gives credit to yourself for being such a great worker for your livelihood. If you have a healthy working body and can earn money and a living, thanks be to God. If you have money, you probably did work hard, but you also were privileged with people who helped you along the way. There is no such thing as a self-made person. People who think they are self-made are arrogant, because humanity was not created to live alone and no person is self-sufficient, even in the very least of things. In modern life, we are totally dependent on a global economy for food, fuel, technology, water, electricity. Unless you live off the grid, in which case you probably aren’t reading this blog, you are beholden to millions of others who supply food, fuel, electricity, technology, wood, plastic, thousands of products that make your life what it is. Being aware of this dependence and less aware of your so-called independence can be a step toward thanksgiving to God who allows and resources the world and the incredible creativity of humanity to have such an inter-dependence.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg’s wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.