[ The Trumans - The Sabbath... Just another day? ]
 

The Sabbath day is the greatest day of the week—a blessed jewel among rocks. It is the day in which we are commanded to put away all the worries and cares we have in this life. It is a day in which we can reflect on the things that have happened to us within the past week, and a day in which we can focus completely on the things of Yahweh. These are generalizations of some of the activities which, along with many other activities, are acceptable on the Sabbath. But what are some of the things that shouldn’t be done on this Holy Day? Well, Peter is going to be faced with one such situation in this next story, so let’s join him and see what happens.

The Sabbath... Just another day?

“Peter, stop shaking the desk with your leg!” Peter’s math teacher shouted, jarring him out of his daydream.

“Sorry, sir,” Peter replied, “I’m just excited about going to the game tonight.”

“Well, there will be plenty of time for that tonight,” the teacher shot back, “Now is the time to have your head in your math assignment. Besides, it’s only Tuesday. You need to save some of that energy for the rest of the week.”

If there was one thing that Peter loved to do almost as much as playing basketball, it was watching it, especially when the Lions, his high school’s team, was playing. Peter was particularly excited today! Tonight’s game was a special one: the Lions were playing in the semi-finals against one of its main rivals, the Sharks. If the Lions won the game, they would qualify for the regional championship game.

Game time… and Peter was there… and with GREAT seats… And THE LIONS WON!

Life is good!

“Wow that was a really great game,” Peter said to his best friend, Nate, as they were leaving the gym. “I can’t believe they actually won in a blow-out… 98 to 70! I can’t wait to tell my dad!”

“Yeah, I know. I can’t wait for next week!” shouted Nate, throwing his baseball cap into the air in sheer delight, “You’re going to come to the game next Friday night, right? It’s for the championship!” he hollered, throwing his hat again.

Peter’s jaw dropped. “Oh wow, is it really going to be Friday night?” he thought to himself, “… the SABBATH!?”

“Just let me know the plan dude… Championship game! We’re number ONE!” Nate hollered again.

After Nate’s Mom dropped him off at his house, Peter walked up the sidewalk thinking about how he was going to approach his parents about next Friday night. He NEEDED to see that game! A whole season coming down to one final game… and it had to happen on the Sabbath. He just COULDN’T MISS THAT GAME!

Peter has a lot to think about. On the one hand this is the title game. A whole season of basketball, devotedly following his school team, and they made it to the championships. This may never happen again and he wanted to be a part of it.

On the other hand, it was on the Sabbath. Peter knew the game would run way past sundown, but he wouldn’t be working, right? He wouldn’t buy anything. Just watching was resting, right?

This is quite the dilemma for Peter. Let’s see how this all plays out.

Peter sure wasn’t looking forward to this, but he decided that it was best to ask his parents about going to the game as soon as possible, since he knew if he postponed it, it would only get harder.

Closing the front door behind him, Peter walked down the hall toward the kitchen. He took a quick glance into the living room, but only his big sister Phoebe was sitting on the couch watching TV. Then he heard his mom and dad talking in the kitchen. He steeled himself and walked in.

“Oh, Hi Peter, you’re home. We didn’t hear you come in,” his mom said.

“How was the game, Peter? Did the Lions win?” asked his dad.

“Oh boy did they … and by 28 points!”

“Wow, that’s fantastic. That means one game away from the title! When’s the Championship game?” his dad asked.

Peter cringed…“Well, I might as well get it over with,” he thought to himself. “Um….yeah, the next game….well, I need to ask you both a question. The final game is next Friday night,” Peter said to his parents. “I just gotta see it! I can go, right?” he pleaded hopefully.

His mom looked at his dad and then at him. “I guess you’ll just have to miss it, sweetie,” his mom said sympathetically, “I’m sorry.”

“Oh come on Mom, Dad, why can’t I go? I promise not to buy anything,” whined Peter.

“Now Peter, you heard your mother,” his dad said sternly, “You know we’ve taught you those kinds of activities are not for the Sabbath day. We are supposed to be resting, and using the time for Yahweh, but not using it for secular, worldly activities.”

“But why not? I thought the Bible said that we are supposed be joyful on the Sabbath, not to buy or sell, I will get my ticket ahead of time and it will be very joyful for me,” Peter reasoned desperately.

His dad replied, “Well, let’s go grab our Bibles, and we’ll see what Yahweh says.”

“Alright Peter,” said his dad as he opened up his Bible, “Let’s look at some scriptures that show us Yahweh’s will concerning the Sabbath. The first one that comes to mind is Exodus 20:8-11. Let’s read it together. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days shall you labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your Elohim. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant, or maidservant, nor the animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the Sabbath day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

“So you see Peter, this passage shows we are to rest on the Sabbath day because Yahweh rested on that same day. The Sabbath is a holy gift from Yahweh that He gives to all people each week, and it is supposed to be kept separate from the rest of the days.

“Now, let’s turn to another important passage in Isaiah 58:13-14. “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight, and Yahweh’s day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find joy in Yahweh, and I will cause you to ride upon the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.” One of ways we keep this day special is by not doing those common things that one normally does during the other days of the week. In other words, if we enjoy the Sabbath day and use it in the way Yahweh has purposed, then we will receive true joy and happiness from Yahweh, and he will give us the blessings He promises. What activities do you think are good for a time period that Yahweh has made holy?

“Sure it would seem fun at first to go to the game Friday night. However if you really love Yahweh you would come to realize that you were sinning and that would bring you unhappiness. By observing Yahweh’s Sabbath correctly we will feel at peace, and joyful in pleasing Him.

“So you see, Peter,” said Peter’s dad, “Just because you might temporarily enjoy doing something, doesn’t mean that it’s something we should do. We always have to consider if our actions are acceptable to Yahweh. There is a time and place for everything, and the Sabbath, Yahweh’s holy day, is not the time to be going to a basketball game, okay.”

“You’re right,” said Peter sheepishly, “I know better than that. I’m sorry I got so forceful about going to the game.”

“It’s okay,” said his mom, “We’re just glad we could all talk about it.”

“And remember son, you can always come to us, and we can talk about anything,” replied his dad, as he patted Peter on the shoulder.

“Thanks Mom; thanks Dad,” said Peter.

(Friday morning a week later during lunch period)

“Hey, Nate!” Peter greeted his friend as he sat down next to him in the cafeteria. “You’ll have to tell me what happens at the game tonight. It’s the Sabbath, and I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, so I won’t be there.”

Nate looked up from his food and said, “I guess you didn’t hear—the other team’s bus broke down last night, so the game was postponed until Monday night. I guess you’ll get to see the game after all.”

Isn’t it amazing how many activities the world plans on the Sabbath? More often than not it seems to be the time when sports games are held, or the first release of a new movie, or when people you know that aren’t in the faith want to hang out or just get together for some other activity. The Sabbath is also a popular time for some folks to take the opportunity for some extra work for overtime pay. But even if all these activities sound good or are something you’d like to do, it will never add up to the blessings that Yahweh can and will give to those who obey his Sabbath laws.

In this present age, everything is so rush-rush, and nobody ever really seems to take time to just slow down. The Sabbath is that opportunity—a commanded time to take a deep breath, and find peace as we worship Yahweh and rest on His holy day!

Exercise:

Can you think of other Scripture passages that might apply here? Write them down so you won’t forget them.

If you can, send them in a letter or an e-mail to us along with a short note explaining how you think they would have helped Peter make the right choice. We’ll print some of your passages and thoughts to help others (and Peter) in the future.

Until the next dilemma… May Yahweh bless and guide you every day!