All that is said below is pure silliness. I have read no commentaries that back up my own ideas that follow. Neither Scripture nor divine insight played a role in this thought process. It was by circumstance alone that prompted the notion here. The support rests entirely on the unfortunate events encountered by me AND on the hope that I am not alone in my clumsiness. Hence, this is by no means something I am asserting, just something to ponder.
Now after reading the above, you are free to continue on.
Over the past year, I have really felt a tug at my heart to learn what it means for me and my family to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” And as I attempt to ascertain all that I can in this area, I am discovering that there are many takes on what exactly this entails for believers living in light of the New Testament. But the common gist I am coming across over and over again is that to ‘remember the Sabbath’ is to set apart for the Lord a day that is different from other days. It is a special day to focus more attention and devotion on God, without the distractions of the normal hustle and bustle that crowds our thoughts and time and energy every other day of the week. It is clear that rest is a huge part of the manner in which this is to be fulfilled. And as I considered all this, I was determined NOT to fall into the legalistic ways of the Pharisees and how they went about keeping this commandment. I told myself I would stay clear of their manner in devising thousands of additional rules about how they were to adhere to this day of rest. Surely their reasons for instituting all these rather ridiculous guidelines of classifying work had to stem from nothing less than self-righteous motives. But after this past Sunday, I am considering taking back my opinions. Because maybe, just maybe the manner in which these Jewish leaders felt justified in determining what was work and what wasn’t work stemmed from actual catastrophic incidents. Perhaps a seemingly-trivial, non-work activity led to an all-out, time-consuming, drop everything you are doing, less there be safety hazards to come, cleanup endeavor that made any special attention to worshiping the Lord and the remembrance of all that He has done absolutely impossible.
Still trying to follow along with me? Maybe this well help. Consider rules like these two.
1) Thou shalt not use hot sauce from a glass bottle on the Sabbath.
2) Thou shalt not put marshmallows in the toaster oven on the Sabbath.
Ludicrous, right? Or so you think.
But if a Pharisee were married to me in this day and age, he would certainly go through whatever amendment process is necessary to make sure these were added in with the many other regulations tradition held to keeping the Sabbath.
I won’t bore you with all the details of what exactly happened. But imagine the worse case scenario of the cleanup process involved when a very full bottle of bright red hot sauce in a glass container is dropped and shatters on a tile floor. The cleanup is a lengthy one!
Top that image off with a visualization of toasting a tortilla where the toppings of peanut butter and marshmallow drip over and ooze through the grate onto the heating device of the oven. Neither of those promote time or an attitude that honor this day.
So next time you think about snickering at the absurdity of some of those pharisaical rules, first try to contemplate the possibility that maybe there was a first incident that warranted the need for them. “An egg could not be boiled on the Sabbath, either by normal means or by putting it near a hot kettle or by wrapping it in a hot cloth or by putting it in the hot sand outside.” After my own mishaps last Sunday, I can totally envision a scenario involving a poor accident prone wife in her kitchen as the basis for this one.