2. What the Scriptures say about the Sabbath?
The next thing we are going to do is to examine what the scriptures said the Sabbath is. If you search the scriptures, you will discover the following:
1. The Sabbath is a gift from the LORD (Exodus 16:29, Exodus 31:13)
2. The Sabbath is correlated to the 7th day of creation when He rested. (Exodus 20:11, 31:17)
3. The Sabbath is to be kept holy (Exodus 20:8, 31:14-15, 35:2, Leviticus 23:32,Deuteronomy 5:12, Isaiah 58:13)
4. The Sabbath is a day set apart for the LORD, dedicated to Him. (Exodus 16:23, Exodus 16:25, Exodus 20:10, Exodus 35:2, Leviticus 19:3, Leviticus 23:3, Deuteronomy 5:14, Isaiah 58:13)
5. The Sabbath is kept as a reverence to the LORD. (Leviticus 19:30,Leviticus 26:2)
We have covered item 1 when we analyse the context when the Sabbath was first put in place. Let’s now study item 2 on why was there a correlation between the Sabbath and the 7th day of creation. In Genesis 2:1-3, we read that the LORD God declared the 7th day holy. So in analysing the correlation, we will also cover item 3. In this blog post, we will not cover item 4 and 5 because when we have understood item 1 to 3 to discover the immense love of the LORD, our hearts will naturally want revere the LORD and want to set apart time/day/weeks/months/years, dedicated to the LORD.
Why the correlation between the Sabbath and the 7th day?
In Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17 the LORD correlates the Sabbath to His rest on the 7th day of creation. Why was there this correlation? We could assume that the correlation of the Sabbath to the LORD resting on the 7th day of creation was to tell us that just as He had rested on the 7th day, so should we.
However, let us study God’s rest on the 7th day to better understand this correlation. We have discovered in the article on why did God rest on the 7th day, that the reason God rested was not because He was tired. It was because He loves mankind so much that He stopped work and spent time with Adam and Eve. In fact God declared that day as holy:
And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
Genesis 2:3 (NLT)
Let’s correlate Genesis 2:3 to Exodus 31:13
“Tell the people of Israel: ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.
Exodus 31:13 (NLT)
From the above scriptures, we learn that when God spend time with us, He makes us holy. On our own, we can never be holy. However, in the presence of God, we are made holy.
On the 7th day of creation, the LORD stopped work to enjoy the time with Adam and Eve so that they are made holy to receive all of God’s blessings. The 7th day was a day that pleased the LORD God greatly because it was a day where Adam and Eve was resting in the lavish love of our heavenly Father.
In the same way, when the LORD put in place the Sabbath, He is spending time with the children of Israel on the Sabbath. In His presence, the children of Israel were made holy (Exodus 31:13) to receive all the blessings that the LORD had promised. It pleased the LORD greatly when the children of Israel can receive His blessings. It is for this reason that the LORD commanded that the Sabbath be kept holy.