Did you know that in the sacred record, we don’t see God telling anyone to keep the Sabbath until
the children of Israel came to Mount Sinai?
Genesis says, “The heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended his work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (2:1–3). This is the first mention—and only mention—of the seventh day until Exodus chapter 16.
Since the Sabbath commandment is first mentioned in Exodus, some Christian communities feel that it must be only for the Jews to keep. But is this truly the case? Does the fourth commandment still apply to Christians?
Let’s consider a few facts. On the seventh day …1. God rested.
Was God tired? Did He need a break? Of course not! He was giving the newly created Adam and Eve an example of how to live—before any Jew had arrived on the scene. He might not have told the new couple what to do, but He certainly showed them how to live. When we keep the seventh-day Sabbath, we signal to the world that we want to do as the Creator does.2. God blessed.
Several times throughout Creation week, God announced that He was pleased with His work. (See Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25.) And at the end of the sixth day, He announced that the Creation was “very good” (verse 31). But on the seventh day, just as an artist completes his work and then adds his signature, God signed His work. The Sabbath is like God’s autograph on His masterful creation. The Sabbath identifies Him as the Creator (Exodus 20:11). When we keep the seventh day holy, we identify ourselves as His created children.3. God sanctified.
The Creator set the seventh day apart as holy time. This part of the week was made for Adam and Eve in their perfect state to allow their relationship with God to deepen and mature. For us living on this side of the fall of mankind, it surely is doubly important! Ezekiel 20:12 says that the Sabbath is time specially set apart by God to sanctify us—to make us holy. It is holy time, established by God. Therefore, it is unbreakable and unchangeable by mere human beings.
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