Don’t Use Pencil, but Indelible Ink (Exodus 23:10–19)

God’s calendar certainly seems to intrude on their time doesn’t it? There’s the rub. “Their time” is a myth. Time is one of God’s biggest blessings, for any time that we’re given means that we’re not suffering the eternal hell we deserve. Time is grace. Time is His. By these Sabbaths and feasts, God isn’t imposing on their time, He is giving them time—sacred time.

Time, as given to all humanity, is a common grace, a grace that saints and sinners alike share. These Sabbaths and feasts were grace saturated time. They were times of special grace. When Israel followed God’s calendar, the poor were fed, the livestock flourished, the land was fruitful, all enjoyed rest, and celebration was mandatory. When God puts you on His calendar, you don’t want to miss it.

God doesn’t intrude on our time, we’ve intruded on His. Grace resets our calendars around God. For those who have eyes of faith, these celebrations were a command to rejoice and rest. By these feasts God was inviting them to taste the future when all time would be all holy; a day when sins’ curse would no longer blight the harvest and death would not eat at time. The church now assembles on the Lord’s day to feast over the Word and Sacraments as a foretaste of that same future. For those with eyes of faith, there is resting and rejoicing. If you feel God intrudes on your time, beware your soul. If God isn’t lord of your time, He isn’t your Lord and you know neither real rest or joy.

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