“Have To,” or “Get To?”

Leviticus 23 lists God’s festivals. Verses 1 and 2 say, “Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the Israelites, and say to them, “The festivals of Yahweh that you shall proclaim are holy assemblies; these are my appointed times.”‘” (LEB) Then, the festivals are named and described. At the top of the list is the seventh day Sabbath.

The church we attend is very good about describing the seventh day Sabbath as a gift from God, like He’s saying, “You’ve worked all week. Now, rest. Let’s just pause and spend time together, you and I. Put down all those daily tasks and worries you normally do. Come, sit, be with Me.”

I love that, and I love our church for thinking like that. It has taught me a lot, and I’m appreciative. So, I’ve been thinking about what they have been saying. And, I’ve been thinking about how it is said in the Bible.

The weekly Sabbath is among all of the other commands God gave us through Moses. The weekly Sabbath is listed among the 9 festivals. If the weekly Sabbath is God’s gift to us, what are the other 8?

The weekly Sabbath can also be seen as our gift to Him. Yes, our focus should be on Him all week, but that seventh day is special. How?

So, the other 8 festivals, perhaps, can be seen as His gift to us as well as our gift to Him.

What is our gift to Him in all 9 of the festivals? Spending that appointed time in devotion to our relationship with Him. Our eyes, our ears, our hands, our tongues, our minds, our brains, our spirits, and our time are all gifts from Him. We get to utilize those gifts to give back to the One Who created them.

We have studied the concept of weekly Sabbath. We think we know why He beckons us to keep it. Have we thought about why He beckons us to keep the other 8? We think we know His heart behind the weekly Sabbath. Do we know His heart behind the other 8?

We’ve gotten ourselves to the point we are starting to say, “We get to keep the Sabbath.”

With the other 8, why do the debate words “do” or “do not” followed by, “have to,” come into the picture?