Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What's Openhandedness Got to Do With Vacations?

The ten Commandments

were the only ones written, literally and figuratively, in stone. The other laws and decrees were the Old Covenant, fulfilled in Jesus by the New Covenant in his blood - though with some older statues reaffirmed and commanded by Him. However, be that as it may, there's an incredible amount of truth, symbolism, history, medical insight and wisdom to be gleaned, not to mention the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I get so much from reading the Old Testament right along with the New. It drives me nuts when I hear believers say they only read the New Testament, can't "get into" the Old? It's the Holy Spirit who gets you into it. Just ask.

As, for instance, today in Deuteronomy:15:4,5, 7 & 11 - Generosity is not an option, but a command - though with a blessing attached. Despite the fact that "there should be no poor among you ... if only you fully obey the Lord ... there will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded..." This is God talking to me here. I'm usually all, THEY SHOULD GET A JOB or GROW A GARDEN WHY DON'T YOU? I so need to keep this in mind and heart. We're not responsible for what others have done or should be doing, only for our own heart attitudes and what we do about it. God takes care of the rest.

Lovey the cat is on permanent vacation

Then, there's a dimension of openhandedness toward ourselves. A time away from the usual grind, apart even from the week-end or sabbath rest, was also commanded - not merely suggested (Deuteronomy 16). So, we can learn from this, even though it's not "written in stone," the concept is most likely something very beneficial. Some people have a difficult time with the idea of a "vacation."
My husband, for instance, can't stand the thought of all that wasted down time. He would be SO BORED the whole trip and want to just go to sleep. I think he likes his job so much, it's not really like Work? All the same, the instruction in Deuteronomy 15:19-20 is interesting:

"Do not put the firstborn of your oxen to work, and do not shear the first-born of your sheep. Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose."

This seems to presage the later words of Jesus: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27) It was for their own benefit. There is a place for something aside from work and utility, in fact commanded, because he knew the nature of man. Or, some men, to overdo the work ethic. But, note, the work WAS a given. Also - they were to leave their homes for this break. It's too easy to get caught up in stuff that needs to get done when it's staring you in the face. Or, "we can't spend this on a vacation, we need to invest it", and so on.

1 comment: