You Have to Name it — to Identify it!

You Have to Name it — to Identify it!

The fourth commandment was:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. Exodus 20:8-10

Israel was commanded to keep the Sabbath holy. God’s stipulation was that in the process of keeping the Sabbath holy that they were to do no work. Not even their servants, or livestock, or visitors can do any work.

NOW….. it is so obvious — that to obey that command, work must be defined.

That is why that in the Mishnah, in the section regarding the Sabbath that it states: “The main classes of work are forty save one: sowing, plowing, reaping, binding sheaves, threshing, winnowing, cleansing crops, grinding, sifting, kneading, baking, shearing wool, washing or beating or dying it, spinning, weaving, making two loops, weaving two threads, separating two threads, tying [a knot], loosing [a knot], sewing two stitches, tearing in order to sew two stitches, hunting a gazelle, slaughtering or flaying or salting it or curing its skin, scraping it or cutting it up, writing two letters, erasing in order to write two letters, building, pulling down, putting out a fire, lighting a fire, striking with a hammer and taking out aught from one domain into another. These are the main classes of work: forty save one.”

Even today, a true orthodox Jew is not to handle a implement of work on the Sabbath (like a pencil, or money, or a hammer) lest the person forget it is the Sabbath and perform an act of work.


The definition makes the distinction.

The phrase “shall do no work,” DEMANDS definition IF one is interested in keeping the commandment. As the Jews sought to do concerning their commandment to keep the Sabbath holy.


While the above example illustrates the age old problem of DEFINITION in order to PRESERVE a commandment or to PREVENT transgression of it — WE must realize that ….


Standards…… in lifestyle and dress…… are DEFINITIONS that make DISTINCTIONS.

The problem comes……. in HOW some DEFINE ……..

And preaching without DEFINITIONS ….. is preaching without DISTINCTIONS …. and this is what we are seeing (and not hearing) in Pentecost today.

It does require more in the act of preaching than just quoting verses…… it still requires DEFINITION!

Call this adding to the Word, if you must, but to me it is SAFE GUARDING the commandments …….. by DEFINITIONS!

— jlg —

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