Happy August! Traditionally, this is vacation month. I remember when we lived in England that August was the month that all of Europe shut down: everyone was on “holiday.” Of course, the word “holiday” comes from the phrase “holy day;” but that meaning has long been lost. Do you think that’s happening here in the U.S.?
Well, the course work is done for the summer semester. I delivered my last requirement for the Old Testament DVD survey course last Friday: an exegetical paper on Numbers 16:1-7. If any of you are interested in reading it as a late-night sleep aid, just let me know and I’ll forward you a copy.
I have appreciated the Old Testament survey course more in reflection upon it. There are some very powerful lessons in the narrative of God’s people. What is especially striking, in my reading, was the inevitable rebellion or forgetting of God among the people. They would turn away from Yahweh, “follow after” other gods, and then bad things would happen to them.
I wonder if they fell into a pattern of thinking like this: “Sure, that God-stuff was a big deal 40 years ago. But this is now; things are different; times have changed; sure there are a couple old nut-cases floating around screaming, ‘repent, repent!’ but – come on! – I have to deal with real life.” Having forgotten who God is, they had no foundation to obey God’s rules. When they didn’t obey God’s rules, they reaped the resulting harvest.
So… as you go on your vacation this month, give a thought to the fact that you are living out a Sabbath principle. Have fun with your family! Play! Eat fun food! Celebrate your year! And give a thought to Yahweh who gave you strength and prosperity this year that you might enjoy your “holyday.”