Bible Studies - Sabbath and God's Law

God's Rest Day


The Sabbath was hallowed at the creation. As ordained for man, it had its origin when "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Peace brooded over the world; for earth was in harmony with heaven. "God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good;" and he rested in the joy of his completed work.

Because he had rested upon the Sabbath, "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it," --set it apart to a holy use. He gave it to Adam as a day of rest. It was a memorial of the work of creation, and thus a sign of God's power and his love. The Scripture says, "He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered. " "The things that are made," declare "the invisible things of him since the creation of the world," "even his everlasting power and divinity."

All things were created by the Son of God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." John 1:1-3. And since the Sabbath is a memorial of the work of creation, it is a token of the love and power of Christ.

The Sabbath calls our thoughts to nature, and brings us into communion with the Creator. In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear his voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold his power in nature, we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul. He "who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

It was this thought that awoke the song,--

"Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work; I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works! And thy thoughts are very deep."

And the Holy Spirit through the prophet Isaiah declares: "To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? . . . Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. . . . To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names, by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? . . . He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." This is the message written in nature, which the Sabbath is appointed to keep in memory. When the Lord bade Israel hallow his Sabbaths, he said, "They shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am Jehovah your God."

The Sabbath was embodied in the law given from Sinai; but it was not then first made known as a day of rest. The people of Israel had a knowledge of it before they came to Sinai. On the way thither the Sabbath was kept. When some profaned it, the Lord reproved them, saying, "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?"

The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator's power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God's holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. "From one Sabbath to another" the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall "come to worship before me, saith the Lord."

Taken from The Review and Herald 18th August, 1910, by Mrs. E. G. White.



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© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2011. Last updated August, 2017.
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