[On Sabbath] Civil Service (2 Kings 11:1-9)

Bible opened to II Kings 11 with Chocolove Dark Chocolate Coffee Crunch

Today’s ChocolateChocolove Dark Chocolate Coffee Crunch

Today’s Passage: 2 Kings 11:1-9

It still counts as Wednesday! I haven’t gone to bed yet!

Once you get out of the Torah, a lot of the references to the Sabbath don’t shed a lot of new light on the Sabbath. For example, 1 Chronicles 23:31 tells us that the priests offer burnt offerings on the Sabbath and on the calendar festivals–and therefore that offering burnt offerings does not constitute work. Not super-useful info for those of us who aren’t at all involved in the offering of burnt offerings. But I did come to a passage in 2 Kings that may contain some useful insights.

Here’s the situation: when Athaliah takes the throne of Judah, she orders the execution of all possible claimants to the throne. But the one-year-old Joash is rescued from the purge by his aunt Jehosheba and is “hidden with her in the house of the Lord six years” (3). In Joash’s seventh year, the priest Jehoiada gathers the captains of the royal guard, ensures they’re with him, and lets them in on the secret of the still-living heir Joash. Jehoiada gives them the following command: “One third of you, who come in on the sabbath and keep watch over the king’s house…shall keep watch over the house for defense. Two parts of you, even all who go out on the sabbath, shall also keep watch over the house of the Lord for the king” (6-7). The guards are put on duty to keep the heir safe, while Jehoiada launches the next part of his plan for the rightful heir to reclaim the throne.

What this tells us about the Sabbath is that guards are able to maintain guard duty during the Sabbath without it being considered work. Consider that, according to the schedule to which Jehoiada refers, a third of each captain’s troops maintain palace security during the Sabbath, while the other two thirds have their day off. In discussing the Sabbath, a friend of mine recently brought up the question of certain civil service functions and infrastructure support in modern society. Is it considered work to put out a fire on the Sabbath? The guard schedule here appears to establish a precedent of exemption that might extend to other essential occupations. But of course, that raises the question (perhaps even the Question of the Day): why, then, did God drop the hammer on the Wood-Gathering Man? Is it because there wasn’t a legitimate Wood Shortage Emergency? Perhaps we will find more answers as we continue to investigate the Sabbath, and perhaps we will only find more questions.

Justin's almond butter spread on chocolove dark chocolate coffee crunch

Anyway, having Justin’s Almond Butter for days, I was curious how it would taste on Chocolove Coffee Crunch. So I tried out a sample, and it tasted so good I put Justin’s Almond Butter on the entire three bricks for today. And after I get some sleep? Probably more Justin’s on my Chocolove. See you tomorrow with more words.

 

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