The Employment Dilemma Of The Lunar Sabbath

In order to observe the lunar Sabbath, you must be willing and able to not work on certain days that often times fall during the usual work week of the Gregorian calendar that the world follows today. In order to hold a job and provide for your family, people are required by their employers to work on certain days which will inevitably conflict with the Sabbath day that God has set apart for his people in the scriptures. This is a very troubling dilemma that many will face if they choose to believe in the lunar Sabbath. This dilemma will often times create barriers in people's minds to accepting the lunar Sabbath as truth because it would simply be too inconvenient to accept. The implications to a person's life and their family's life is immense. This is cause for great distress and fear. How do you prioritize providing for your family and obeying God when those two things conflict with each other? Some will say that you must obey God and have faith that he will provide. Is that what God wants us to do?

I personally have experienced this dilemma and know how hard it is to deal with. I sympathize with those that struggle with this. But let me tell you about how I ultimately sorted through this. And let me first say that I could be completely wrong about this. But I could not for the life of me imagine that God would want me to not provide for my family and subject my wife and kids to the implications of that because of my belief in the lunar Sabbath. Ultimately this is an issue between you and God. Take this to God in prayer. Do a fast to draw closer to him and understand his will. Now let me share a verse with you that caught my attention...

Worse Than An Infidel

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Tim. 5:8

Wow, so if I provide for my family and forsake the truth Sabbath, what does that make me? It would make me an infidel at worst. But if I keep the lunar Sabbath and forsake my duties to provide for my own family, than I am worse than an infidel. So what good does it do you to keep the true Sabbath if you forsake your duty to provide for your own family which would deny the faith altogether. 

So this is what I did...I prayed to God. I told God that it is my will to follow his word in the scriptures. It is also my will to provide for my own family. Please provide a way for me to do both. In the meantime, I will do what I have to do to provide for my family. If any doors open up and you help provide a way in which I can do both, then I will take it and praise you for it. I know it is your will for me to do both. Please do a work in my life and bring this about for me and my family so that we may obey your word.

I believe that it is God's will to remove this dilemma from his people. But I would never advise anyone to recklessly quit their job which provides for their family in order to keep God's Sabbath. That individual must prayerfully seek God's will with all his heart for how he can both obey God and provide for his family. Let's see what else Jesus has to say about this...

Lord Of The Sabbath

Matthew 12
1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. (The disciples were hungry and in need of food on the Sabbath day.)

2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” (The Pharisees perceive this act of reaping the grain on the Sabbath for food as a violation of God's law. Let's see if Jesus agrees with them.)

3He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? (Jesus is referring to the account in 1 Samuel 21 when David and his men ate the showbread that is only to be eaten by the priests. David and his men were hungry and in need of food. The showbread was all that was available, so they ate it.)

4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. (Under normal circumstances, David and his men did an unlawful act. But are there exceptions to the rule? David and his men were hungry. Does God have a circumstantial law of mercy that trumps and overrides the law that they broke?)

5Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? (Jesus is saying that there are exceptions to the rule. There is the spirit of the law that must be considered with the letter of the law. The priests do a lot of work on the Sabbath, but they are innocent because they are doing the work of the temple.)

6I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. (Jesus is greater than the temple. So if the priests are innocent for doing the service of the temple on the Sabbath, how much more innocent are you for doing the work of Christ on the Sabbath?)

7If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. (Jesus is quoting Hosea 6:6. The Sabbath is rendered to God as a sacrifice as we cease from our work. But we also know that the Sabbath is a delight that is made for the benefit of man. Yet God is merciful and desires to give mercy to those in need above his desire for sacrifice. The disciples were hungry and in need of food. The work of reaping the grain was required on the Sabbath to fulfill this need. And while God seeks obedience and sacrifice from his people, God is also a God of mercy and is merciful to those in need. Therefore, if you are in need of work to provide for your family on a Sabbath day, then I believe that God is merciful toward that need so long as you are seeking to do what is right and seeking obedience to God as best as you are able when there is a conflicting dilemma such as this. Continue to seek God and express your desire to be freed of the bondage you are in that does not allow you to observe the Sabbath. If you do that, God will provide a way for you.)

8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (The Pharisees do not get to interpret the law as they see fit. Jesus interprets God's law and reveals the spirit of it and its intent.)

9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 
10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 
11He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 
12How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Doing the work of the Lord is doing good, which is permissible on the Sabbath. Providing for your family is also doing good. And so it is therefore permissible to work on the Sabbath if your family's well being is at stake. Pray that God will enable you to obey his word AND provide for your family and see what God does in your life to enable you to do so.)

So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:16-17 (Jesus and his Father are ALWAYS working. It starts to become clear that there is acceptable work on the Sabbath day and unacceptable work on the Sabbath day. Doing good works and the work of Jesus is acceptable. But what type of work is unacceptable? I believe that unacceptable Sabbath work is work that is for worldly gain. We are to sacrifice our efforts of worldly gain on the Sabbath, but the work of the Lord and of doing good is permitted. Obviously this is cause for discernment and we should seek God's will in this area so as not to abuse his mercy.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30 (If we are forced to abandon our duty to provide for our loved ones in the name of obeying God's true Sabbath, then that is a very heavy burden to bear and cause for great distress. We must provide for our loved ones, and at the same time seek a way in which we can do that and still obey God. Understanding our current state of not being able to observe God's true Sabbath will reveal to us the true state of bondage that we are currently in. We must rely on God to free us from this bondage so that we may worship him in spirit and in truth.)

Alternative Options

Worship And Job Conflicts - click on this link to learn of additional ways in which this dilemma can be dealt with.