Thu Mar 11-The Hinge

Exodus 20:1-17 (CEB)

Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

You must have no other gods before me.

Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow down to them or worship them, because I, the Lord your God, am a passionate God. I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.

Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. Six days you may work and do all your tasks, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. 11 Because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 Do not kill.

14 Do not commit adultery.

15 Do not steal.

16 Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.

17 Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.


10 commandments. 10 instructions to live by.

3 help us tend to our relationship with God.

1 helps us to tend to our own bodies and spirits.

6 help us tend to our relationships with others.

Note where the Sabbath commandment sits in that order. We are commanded to honor God and others – but not at the expense of life and health. God cares very much about our ability to find joy and renewal in our day-to-day, so that we don’t burn out. That’s why the 1 commandment sits as a hinge between the first 3 and the last 6.

We could spend 10 days and 10 devotionals talking about the meaning of all these instructions. But for today, just consider how you are doing with the 1.

By Joe Monahan

For Pondering & Prayer

With the disruptions of our everyday lives during the pandemic, finding time to rest, recharge, and renew relationships is more important than ever. What’s one thing you can do today to find Sabbath rest – even if it’s only for 10 minutes?

Prayer: God, you have given us the Sabbath as a gift – times of renewal built into the structure of our lives. Today, help us to recognize how much we need those moments and days. Let us embrace your good gift of rest without guilt. Amen.

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