Quick, quote Leviticus 19:14!
I surely did not know that verse by heart until the great preacher Fred Craddock used it in a sermon I listened to on an old cassette tape recording from the ‘90s. It is now one of my most fav-o-rite verses in the Bible.
Leviticus 19:14 is “You shall not curse a deaf person, for I am the Lord your God.”
It takes some explaining, doesn’t it?
I am crass enough to ask why not curse a deaf person? They can’t hear it. What if a person who happens to have hearing loss does something really irritating? Why not curse them? They would never know it.
Leviticus 19:14, “Do not curse a deaf person—FOR I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD! That’s why. We honor God by honoring each other. We obey God by honoring each other. We claim our Christianity by honoring each other because we belong to God.
Quick, quote Leviticus 26:2. Still not up on Leviticus? Well, neither are most of us.
Leviticus 26:2, “You shall keep my Sabbath, for I am the Lord your God.”
The Lord God gave us Sabbath to rest. God says in Exodus 20: 8-10, “Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work.”
But I am too busy…. But there is no other time to…. If I don’t on Sunday, when will I…. I don’t need no rest…. I gotta keep going, if not I will fall behind…. To stop is to go backward and I will not go backwards….
I am actually quoting my recent self. Since moving to Colorado Springs, and into my ministry as pastor of our church, I have said and truly meant each and every one of those things. I will happily work each and every day. My hobby is my work, and caring for my family. If it were up to me, I would just keep going.
But, just as not cursing a deaf person is not about me, neither is keeping the Sabbath about me. Leviticus 26:2 is quite clear, “You shall keep my Sabbath, for I am the Lord your God.” As people of God, we honor God by giving a day over to rest and focus on God. We obey God by giving a day over to STOP everything else and worship God. We abide in God by giving ourselves over to the Lord our God. Keeping God’s Sabbath because it acknowledges we belong to God.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. It isn’t a guideline or request or a nice thing to do. It is a commandment. It is another way to obey, honor, and abide in God.
It is also a big challenge, that all of us are going to work on in the next several months.