The following thought relates to the first great Sunday law, issued by the Emperor Constantine in 321AD.
The old, imperial decree was,
“Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades rest on the venerable day of the Sun; but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest, the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by Heaven. Given the seventh day of March [321AD].”
It is interesting to me that Constantine allows significant exemptions in his Sunday law. Those exemptions were for the people that attended “to the business of agriculture”. Lest, as he reasoned, in such critical times as plowing and harvest, they should lose precious advantage and forfeit a part of their yield. This seems to be good worldly morality and logic.
Also, the weather on Sunday might be so good for the “sowing [of] corn” or for the “planting [of] vines”, that it would be ill-advised to lose such a good opportunity.
Foreseeing this kind of reasoning, God enjoined the Sabbath upon His people, even in those critical periods of the agricultural year.
"Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest: even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest." Exodus 34:21
It might have been tempting for Israel to rationalize, and to think that the Sabbath could be set aside for the sake of some perceived risk, or for the sake of some perceived advantage. But they were carefully guarded against this kind of reasoning.
In a relatively recent book, “Life In Christ” (printed in 1958 for use in Catholic schools), the original reasoning used by Constantine is still very much in evidence.
After claiming that the day of God’s worship and rest has been transferred from the Seventh to the First day of the week, it teaches that:
“Servile work may be permitted on Sunday for the following reasons:
-- A very poor person could work on Sunday if he could not make a decent living by
his work on week days.
-- A farmer is allowed to work on Sunday when the weather has been so bad that his
crops are in danger of damage.
Another case that sometimes occurs is when a workman is threatened with dismissal by his employer unless he works on Sunday. The workman is not bound to suffer such a great loss, and so may do the work.”
Sunday was to be hallowed by all, and yet certain exemptions were allowed. How reminiscent this is of Constantine’s original decree!
Again, it is interesting I think, to note the following comment relating to the observance of Sunday,
“It is sometimes difficult to decide what works are servile [and therefore prohibited on Sunday] and what are not. In case of doubt, we should consult a priest.”
From both early and relatively recent history, lessons might be drawn that relate to the institution of the future Sunday Laws.
We should not be surprised, I think, to see significant freedoms on the one hand, and great severity on the other.
Quite amazing really -- after about 1600 years Constantine's old reasoning was still being used with regards to Sunday "policy".
But as I suggested earlier : we should not be surprised to see significant freedoms on the one hand, and great severity on the other. If we know the old Beast (and understand it's formative years), then we will be better able to recognize the coming of the Beast's Image (or Twin).
Yes Stewart Interesting Al-tough I think the new Sunday law will not be so lax. As a death penalty will be attached to the new one. Just Imagine the Great whore sitting down with the 10 kings to hammer out the new Sunday laws.
Accepted Elijah. And yet the Sunday laws will be "graduated", won't they? First there will be a "no buy or sell" phase, and then after a time it ramps up to the death threat.
So I would still suggest that the historical features are worth bearing in mind. In various ways the "Image" may make it look as though it is being very fair, and that it has the higher moral ground. (As it was made to appear in Constantine's day.) But yes, they will close up all the loop-holes in the end.
Yes I do agree with that it will start with just a simple suggestion that we should keep Sunday, and as we know that has already taken place. We see the Pope making such suggestions the European Union making suggestions that Sunday should be set aside as a "Family Day". That in itself sounds as you say the higher moral ground indeed.
So the next step will be to make it a law. Step by Step there will be a increase in the penalty and finally the death penalty will be declared.
Is the Sabbath meant to be rigid and strictly adhered ? Walking around Jericho seven days in a row, hallows Sabbath ?? How does this fit in ? Could one rescue an animal fallen in the pit on Sabbath?
Maybe Jews have an overly strict reading of Sabbath?
Rob but was it seven days in a row?
Jos 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
To me it says you need to march around the city six times and the seventh day you march around seven times as well as taking and raiding the city. It does not say seven days straight I have seen this argument been discussed before here and as it seems the text leaves enough room for having the Sabbath free.
I know the book of Enoch does say it was seven days straight, but I do not think the book of Enoch is divinely inspired at all.
Tell me something Rob do you not see that we need to keep the Sabbath Holy as the Commandment prescribes? Yes Jesus did allow rescuing a animal in trouble true.
Maybe Jews have an overly strict reading of Sabbath?
I do not understand what you mean by this statement? Would you be kind to elaborate please.
Wow thanks Elijah for great clarity...
And if Jesus allowed for rescue or redemptive work on Sabbath, the Jews have overly made ceasing day to cease all activity is not Biblical...
So it is a good thing to stop and change a type for a person unable to change a flat tyre on Sabbath....
God bless and thanks Elijah for your help
Interesting thoughts. The exemption of Sabbath would be war time. Enemies would not have honored the Sabbath, so these Sabbath keepers would be required to fight on the Sabbath as if it were any other day, so they could have marched around Jericho seven days strait.
I prefer Elijah's take on this Rush, surely God's love applies to enemies as well as the good....
During the World war I and II, I would not take arms to fight on Sabbath, as the SDA assembly required, and hence the SDARM split over this point...why didn't they say become medics instead and patch up the wounded on Sabbath during the fighting....I would have become a medic, dragging bodies on Sabbath back to base hospital....
Yes I understand your point of view. Israel was not fighting war on the Sabbath until the Times of Judah Mackabee (The Hammer) and the reason why he did was because the Greeks was attacking sneaky on the Sabbath because they thought that the Jews would not fight on a Sabbath. The Greeks got a shock when they saw the Jews came against them on the Sabbath. You can read more about in in the intertestamental Book of the Mackabbes.
But I do think if you read the text above you will see there is enough room in the text for not marching on the Sabbath.
You know the Church has the policy that we should not take part in war with weapons. Although as Rob say we can take care of the wounded.