Daily Notes & Observations: “During Plowing Time and Harvest You Shall Rest” (Excerpt)

February 10

“During Plowing Time and Harvest You Shall Rest”

Daily Notes & ObservationsThough the Sabbath law had already been given to the Israelites, the Lord provided further instructions regarding the application of the command:

You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest” (Exodus 34:21).

From the beginning, God has expected man to work hard (Genesis 3:19). The wise man gives this admonition: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Paul tells Christians: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23). So this instruction to the Israelites was not advocating slothfulness but that they strictly obey the commandment of God.

Man often wants to bend the rules, including the commandments of God. Excuses are made for sin based upon certain conditions that exist. The idea that many have is that God’s instructions can either be changed or disregarded altogether if the situation demands it.

The Israelites could have been tempted to use this same kind of “situation ethics.” During times of plowing and harvest, there is naturally more work of a pressing nature that needs to be done. They could have reasoned that the Sabbath law requiring rest did not apply to these seasons when there was so much work to do. This kind of reasoning would have been wrong.

When God gives a command, only He can give exceptions to it. It is not our place to decide that certain laws of God can be set aside when they interfere with our activities. We are to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

Rather than trying to fit God into our busy schedules, we must build our schedules around God and our obligations to serve Him.


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