Troublesome Topic: Stay at Home

Stay at Home So Rest Can Stimulate Family Closeness

Ex. 16:29: “Let every man remain in his place; do not let a man go out of his place on the seventh day.

Apparently, some Jews found a way around that stipulation by tying a string to something in their house and then unrolling the string as far as it would go. As long as they were holding on to something connected to their house they considered themselves still “at home.” Clever! I am amazed how hard we will work to do wrong and justify it, but many of us won’t work near that hard at doing right. It doesn’t take a kindergarten education to see that this string idea was contrary to the spirit of the law. The Sabbath, just like most other spiritual issues, is about the heart, not about keeping a set of regulations. As we see with the string example, we can never regulate righteousness into someone’s heart. The law requiring that the Israelites stay at home on the Sabbath was not an attempt on God’s part to force them to get closer to Him, rather it was an opportunity to get closer to Him.

What seem like binding restrictions to us were intended for our protection. God gave us one day in seven to connect with Him, connect with family and rest from our work in order to protect us from ourselves and our tendency to overdo.

In order to get close to God we must stop, we must quiet ourselves. In order to put God and family together we must do the stopping in conjunction with family. What a concept!

The Ideal Situation

>Plenty of time with God;

>Plenty of time for family;   

>Enough time to earn a living.    

The Real World

>Responsibilities demand all our time and get most of it;

>Family begs for more time and gets some of it;

>God asks to be our top priority, yet He gets the left-overs.

God knows we do not live in an ideal world, yet He expects us to put Him first amid the many temptations to focus on other things. He is justified in having such expectations, for God deserves more than a couple hours on Sunday morning!

If we work and gain the whole world but lose our family, what have we gained? Regret. If we work and gain the whole world but have not maintained a healthy relationship with God, what have we gained?  Misery.

The next lesson is The Benefits of Staying Home on God’s Day