S - Exodus 23:10-14 (NASB)
The Sabbath and Land10 “You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, 11 but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
12 “Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves. 13 Now concerning everything which I have said to you, be on your guard; and do not mention the name of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth.
Three National Feasts14 “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16 Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the In gathering at the end of the yearwhen you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field.
O - We are always torn and Christians to love the nature of grace and forgiveness without works of our own good doing, and the love of order and law and methods for being good in Gods eyes. Here in Exodus we see the law of Sabbath being clearly laid out, even with regard tot he land, donkeys, and slaves. We see the law of honoring and celebrating what God has done through gratefulness for our salvation, honoring Him with our best, the first fruits, and our gratefulness for His abundant provision. These laws, as Jesus said, shall not perish, but are proven true through the life He came to restore in us.
A - At this point in my walk I can see both the law, and the Gospel of grace, in harmony with one another, instead of in tension. The principles of the laws if understood, are applicable to my life, and my desire to live them out for all they are intended, comes from a desire to love and honor God. The warning of course is that without God, these laws may begin to bind me and others whom I lead. So for me here is the application of these two sets of laws:
1. The Sabbath of the land - I can see that the Lord has provided things in my life for my provision. I am to profit from these things for my provision for six years, and in the seventh I am to give rest to my pull of provision from them. Since harvesting the land is not in my provision means, I believe the Lords provision has come from two areas, my job, and my investments. I believe I need to make an effort to ensure I press forward to gain provision from my investments (mutual funds, stocks and home purchase) for six years, and the seventh year - take a year off from requiring them to produce, either through sale of them or just simply taking my hands off of them. I suspect this should coincide with the year I decide to take a sabbatical.
2. Celebration of feasts - I can see that I need to honor God outwardly in my family. I should purposely celebrate the day He set me free, by observing the day of my salvation and commemorating it as I would a birthday or Christmas, with a celebration. I should also celebrate each time I receive first fruits from an area of His provision , a new job, a new home. I should also celebrate the final abundant provision, the profit from sale of investment or property, the key is to celebrate what God has done in my life.
P - Dear heavenly Father thank you today for your spirit led, inspired word, may it resonate deep in my heart, and change me heart, mind and soul. I pray Lord for the discipline, and desire to follow your laws with the right heart, protect me lord from twisting these laws in a way that they would bind me or others. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.