Remember the Sabbath Day—Who and How?
When Israel arrived at Mount Sinai, the voice of God echoed from the holy mountain and said, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:7). While they could define the words spoken by God, there was no way they could have known how God wanted them to “observe the Sabbath day” (Deut. 5:12). Because of His words they could know there was sabbath (a rest day, for that is what the word sabbath means), but they had no way of knowing what was to be done.
The Sabbath was NOT known before the Jews left Egypt. Read carefully what the Holy Spirit of God revealed about the time when God’s people learned about the Sabbath. “You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments. You made known to them Your holy Sabbath” (Neh. 9:13-14). There is no way to make known that which was already known. Israel did not know about the Sabbath before they left Egypt.
Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedek, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph did not observe the Sabbath. There is not one verse which teaches that the Sabbath was observed before Moses lead the Jews from Egypt. This is critical in understanding the nature of the Sabbath. For anyone to affirm that godly men kept the Sabbath before the time of Moses is to add to the Bible! We cannot know that they did this unless God shows this to us. Where is that verse? It does not exist! Then let all mankind cease to affirm that any of these men kept the Sabbath until that verse is found! What does God reveal? God made known the Sabbath to His people at Mt. Sinai.
God did not sanctify the Sabbath on the day He rested in Genesis. Genesis 2 shows that God rested on the seventh day, but it does not show that God sanctified the seventh day on that day. Read it carefully. God rested on that day, then afterwards He sanctified it because He had rested on that day. It was sanctified because He had rested and sanctified after He rested! So how does one observe the Sabbath? God gave that day of rest to Jews who had been slaves without rest (Deut. 5:15) and told them how to keep it. No one was to do any work, including slaves, cattle and guests in their houses (Deut. 5:14). Also two lambs were to be sacrificed at the temple, along with grains and oils (Num. 28:9). God gave the Sabbath to the Jews who had been slaves and told them how to observe it.
God did not sanctify Sunday as a holy day like He did the Sabbath. Next week we will show He did not make Sunday a “Christian Sabbath.” Then what is Sunday worship all about?