February 21, 2022

Free to Honor the Lord’s Time

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”

—  Deuteronomy 5:15

In Deuteronomy 5 the Ten Com­mandments are repeated (see Exodus 20), and here the command about the Sabbath day points out that God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt.

Here we are reminded again that our time is a gift from God. We are also reminded that people such as the king of Egypt, or perhaps our employers, must not claim they own all of our time.

In addition, this law prohibits us from becoming taskmasters. We must not demand more time from others than we are allowed. This includes our family members, our employees, and even work animals. No one, and certainly not a Christian, may commandeer the time of others. God liberated his people from slavery in the past, and he continues to liberate his people today. One day a week is to be dedicated to God, our liberator.

This command shows that God loves all people—and animals too. It doesn’t matter whether you are a CEO, an unpaid intern, or a service industry employee. God is the giver and ruler of everyone’s time, and you are entitled to a day each week to honor your liberator.

Forgive us, Lord, if we abuse the time you have given us. Forgive us if we have taken the time of others. Show us how to honor everyone’s time. Help us to rest in your time. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Dr. Kent Van Til and his wife have been missionaries in Central America. He has taught at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has written a book on poverty and is currently writing an introductory textbook on Christian ethics. He and his wife, Kathy, have three daughters.

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