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The Twisted Commandments - Week Three

Jun 1, 2022
by Christopher Atkinson

The Twisted Commandments - Week Three

A Meaningless Commandment?

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God...... Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day. (Ex 20:8-11, The Message)

Why is taking one day off out of seven so important? Some contend that if you want to get ahead in life, working seven days a week and maybe taking off a day or so like every few months is sufficient. You really need to out-work your competition if you want to be successful. So tell us again why this commandment is relevant?

Actually It’s Life Changing

Until this commandment came along, slaves were worked every day of every year without much rest if at all. People were only as valuable as the work they provided. But now you had to give them a day off every week. And even those who were not slaves needed to take a day off out of seven. This elevated all of humanity.

A Break From Slavery

It all depends on who is your master when you have to serve it seven days a week. These Israelites were recently slaves in Egypt and it wasn’t that long ago that they were making bricks without straw and doing it day after day with no breaks. You’d like to think they appreciated this commandment. But there really is no difference between the slave who serves a human master and the wealthy person who has to work seven days a week to maintain their fortune.

Even A Slave Deserves A Day Off

In a way, this raised the level of humanity for slaves. Slave owners were not obligated to give their slaves any rest let alone a full day off. This commandment gave slaves at least one fundamental right. That’s a start even it doesn’t get rid of the whole institution.

It Strengthens Family Ties And Friendships

As Dennis Prager correctly assesses, this commandment has a positive effect on even marriages:

When a person takes off from work one day every week, that day almost inevitably becomes a day spent with other people -- namely, family and/or friends. It has similar positive effects on marriages. Ask anyone married to a workaholic how good it would be for their marriage if the workaholic would not work for one day each week -- and you can appreciate the power of the Sabbath Day.

Veterinarians Rejoice

Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals…

That last phrase is actually important as well. It is perhaps the first time rights were conferred to animals in a religious document. Whether you believe in animal rights or not, this was definitely unique. Are animals on the same level as people? No, but this commandment gives them a level of dignity no other society at the time had given them.

 

God Also Rested

It is important to note that by taking a day off we’re being like God. You see, that’s the example given to support this commandment so it needs to be part of the discussion. A big part of the discussion really. By honoring the commandment, you are saying that there is a Creator and if that’s true then this world didn’t just happen by chance. There was intention and purpose involved in its creation and resting enforces this point.

Pretty Good Benefits

Prager notes that it’s not bad for as simple it is:

Not bad for one day a week.  No wonder that the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. No wonder that those who have it in their lives are often happier, with richer family lives, more serenity, a community of friends, and, yes, are even healthier. You might want to give it a try.

The Antichrist Is Not So Nice

Here is how he treats the topic:

Observe no Sabbath day, no day is holy, they are just the same to me. Work as many days as it takes to be successful and do everything you need to do. Never be like this god of the Jews or Christians. What matters is this life so get as much as you can out of it. Time spent resting is wasted time, you can rest later in life once you have squeezed as much out of your work time. And make sure that those under you work just as hard as you. No need to give them any time off. If you are working, so should they.  

You see, the Antichrist would love nothing more than seeing God’s creation get sick and even die earlier than God intends. Once in charge he will work people to the bone if it suits his purposes. Especially people who become believers during his reign. It will be back to making bricks out of straw for anyone who doesn’t take his mark and worship him. All of humanity will be slaves to his purposes and plans, unwitting pawns in his desire to not only be a god, but to exterminate anyone serving the real God.

A Commandment With A Blessing

Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.(Ex 20:12, The Message)

While this commandment appears to be giving those who follow it the blessing of a longer life, it is also gives us a reason as a society to adhere to it. Here is how Dennis Prager puts it:

If you build a society in which children honor their parents, your society will long survive.  And the corollary is: A society in which children do not honor their parents is doomed to self-destruction. 

Why Does Society Need Parents To Be Honored?

For starters, study after study shows that children who have a father and mother model a healthy relationship for them, turn out much better than those who don’t have that situation. But the key is that parents are to be honored, not necessarily loved. There is a difference. The Bible tell us to love everyone even our enemies, but not parents. Only parents are to be honored.

Why Honor And Not Love?

There are many examples of parents who are hard to love since they do bad things or are bad people. But they are still supposed to be honored. Honored as in given special treatment, you don’t call them by their first name, you don’t curse around them and when you move out of their home you stay in contact with them. The bad parents do exist, but they are the exception to the rule. You only have one set of parents so treat them with honor.

Honoring Parents Is Lost On Our World

Today parents want to be friends with their kids. And many parents really don’t want the pressure of being an authority figure than demands honor. And we see how it’s worked out. Children don’t respect any authority when they didn’t have to do it in the home. Rioting, looting and worse is what a society gets when parents aren’t honored. Does any of this sound familiar?

No Father No Problem?

If there’s any generation that has seen what happens when a boy has no father to look up to or a girl has no father to honor, it’s ours. While some say it takes a village to raise a child, government is a poor substitute for parents. Very poor. And every totalitarian regime has always tried to break the bond between parents and their children so they can replace it with fealty to themselves.

No Father Figure Diminishes Our View Of God

Even the staunch atheist Sigmund Freud recognized that a child’s view of a heavenly father is heavily influenced by the love and care they received from their earthly father. Children who don’t have parents to honor will not easily grasp the moral authority of God. While this can be overcome, it need not be a hindrance at all if this commandment is heeded. It is hardly an insignificant commandment after all.

And About The Antichrist

Don’t honor your father and mother. Instead honor only me. Your parents only brought you into this world, but they are not as important as my government. Only we can provide, protect and nurture you consistently. Parents are uneven and flawed, not worthy to be entrusted with so great a responsibility of raising you. You’ll live longer with me in charge.

Yes, this philosophy is already permeating our society now. It will only get worse when the Antichrist gets full control of the world. And he will do anything to disrupt or even destroy the notion of a stable biblical family unit.

And What About Killing?

Thou shalt not kill. (Ex 20:13, KJV)

This seems to be pretty elementary, except that the original wording is more specific. At face value, many have said that God values all life and that killing any of it is wrong. War is wrong as well. But killing and murder are not the same thing. Not even close. And those who use this commandment to support their own world views should note that while God is against killing the idea of murder is why He had Moses write it up. God is not against all killing, but He is most definitely against all murder.

A Little Language Clarity

There are two words in both the Hebrew and English that represent taking a life. One is “kill” and the other “murder.” It just so happened that when the King James translation was written the words “kill” and “murder” meant the same thing. There was no confusion on the meaning. However, in our day and age the two words are not the same.

We Kill A Mosquito, Not Murder A Mosquito

While you could think that I’m stretching things a bit, the point is pretty clear. People can be killed, but God doesn’t want them murdered. Here’s how our good friend Dennis Prager explains things:

The difference between the two is enormous. Kill means:

1) Taking any life -- whether of a human being or an animal.

2) Taking a human life deliberately or by accident.

3) Taking a human life legally or illegally, morally or immorally.

On the other hand, murder can only mean one thing:

The illegal or immoral taking of a human life.

That's why we say, "I killed a mosquito," not "I murdered a mosquito."

And that's why, we would say, "the worker was accidentally killed," not "the worker was accidentally murdered.

Does The Ten Commandments Prohibits All Killing?

If the Ten Commandments forbade killing, we would all have to be vegetarians -- killing animals would be prohibited. And we would all have to be pacifists -- since we could not kill even in self-defense. However, the Old Testament prescribes the death penalty for murder, allows for killing in a war; commands animal sacrifices and allows for the eating of meats.

What About Capital Punishment?

The Bible is quite clear that those who murder are to be killed. Opponents of capital punishment are certainly free to believe that murderers should live their lives out behind bars, but they can’t use the Bible to support it. Murder is abhorred by God. If you take someone’s life you must forfeit yours. God hates murder that much.

Yes, The Antichrist Weighs In On This

It is wrong to kill anyone or anything unless you’re me. You can and should kill followers of God, who must be removed from earth if only to mock how utterly powerless their god is and how very powerful I am.

He will get more and more ruthless and murderous as the Tribulation wears on and other than the believers, all will justify the killings the Antichrist authorizes and performs. Especially the killing of the two witnesses who the Antichrist will celebrate with the exchanging of gifts in a kind of perverse Christmas season. He will blur the lines between killing and murder until he can, pardon the pun, get away with murder.

 

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