Shabbat Is a Salve, and a Scene Where We Can Grieve
“Hear the words of the wise, and what you shall hear them, you shall not add to them.” (Prov. 29:26 NIV)
You have heard the talk. “The Jews are not yet dead. They will rise from their graves.” You hear the words of the wise, and what you hear you shall not add to them. And you have heard the things which I said to you from the beginning. But the God of patience and consolation, our Father who judges justly, has made us alive with Christ, and the life which He has given us is according to His will. (1 Jn 3:15–17)
Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, this is about Shabbat.
There’s only one thing we know about Shabbat, and that’s the word. For those of you who have no idea, the Sabbath starts at sundown and is over at dark. We find the first use of the word in Moses’ Torah. On the day of atonement this is one of the passages that are recorded, and it starts God’s list on how He will punish the rebellious people of Israel. This punishment is not going to be anything that is short of the physical agony that is reserved for those who will die in battle.
The word is then used in the Old Testament to refer to a set of laws that God gives from sundown on Fridays until sundown on Saturday. The word is then translated into Hebrew as “the Law.” The idea that is brought to mind is “the law of the land,” or in other words, “the basic laws of the land” which are to be followed at all times. This is one of the things that people don’t understand, but Shabbat is the basic laws of the land.
When God gave the law to Moses on the first day of the week He said, “On the tenth day of this seventh month I will give these laws to you according to all that you