Sabbath and Slavery

There are two places in the Torah (Pentateuch) where the 10 commandments are listed.  The listings are nearly identical, but there is an interesting difference between the listing for the Sabbath.  God gives two completely (seemingly) independent reasons for keeping and observing the Sabbath.

In the one listing in Deuteronomy chapter 5 states that the we should remember the Sabbath because we were slaves in Egypt, but God brought us out by a mighty hand.

Why this?  Why the change from remembering the six days of creation as listed in Exodus chapter 20?

We as people tend to judge ourselves rather harshly.  At least I do – it is one of the things I struggle with often.  When I’m in the throws of judging myself, I realize that I’m a slave to the oppressing thoughts.  I’m not alone in this.  We so often get trapped (enslaved) by our thoughts.  This is why God tells us to remember weekly – for a whole day – that He brought us out of slavery.  All types of slavery; even that from thoughts.  We would do well to remember that every Sabbath.

The other idea mentioned in Deuteronomy chapter 5 is that we need to remember that we were brought out of the land of Egypt.  What does Egypt represent?  In sort, all manner of paganism.  Throughout the Torah (law of God), He makes it clear that we are to remove ourselves from all manner of paganism.  For you Christians, the apostle Paul states that you are to avoid even the appearance of evil (I know most of you interpret that to mean some sort of vile sin, but in the context of Paul’s life, paganism is included in his comment).

We, both Jews and Christians, would do well to look at our lives and judge it by the word of God.  Judge it to see just where different forms of worship, forms God does not want, have crept in.   God asked us to do this weekly as it is a continuous battle.

-Yosef

 

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