After 40 years of wandering in the desert, a new generation with vague, if any, memories of Egypt had grown up. They had a very different life experience from that of their parents. This new generation had witnessed their parents’ repeated lack of faith, and as a consequence, they, too, had to wander in the wilderness as their parents’ generation died off.
They were privileged to have the sanctuary in the center of their camp and could see the cloud indicating God’s presence hovering over the tabernacle. When it moved, they knew that it was time to pack and follow. This cloud that provided shade during the day and light and heat at night was a constant reminder of God’s love and care for them.
What personalized reminder of the Sabbath rest did they have? Read Exodus 16:14-31.
Contrary to popular theology, these verses prove that the seventh-day Sabbath predated the giving of the law at Sinai.
What happened here?
The special food that God supplied was a daily reminder of the fact that the Creator sustained His Creation. In a very tangible way, God was supplying their needs. Every day was a miracle with the food appearing and disappearing with the sun. Any time that anyone tried to hoard for the next day, it would rot and stink; and yet, every Friday there was enough for a double portion, and the leftover to be eaten on Sabbath remained miraculously fresh.
Israel now had the sanctuary service and all the laws and regulations recorded in Leviticus and Numbers. Still, the aged Moses summons everyone and repeats their history and revisits the laws that God has given (see Deuteronomy 5:6-22).
This new generation finally was poised to enter the Promised Land. Israel was about to undergo a change of leadership, and an aged Moses wanted to ensure that this generation would remember who they were and what their mission was. He did not want them repeating the mistakes of their parents. And so he repeats God’s laws. The Ten Commandments are repeated so that this generation, poised on the brink of conquering Canaan, would not forget.
|In our personal experience, the second coming of Jesus is never more than a few moments after we die. Hence, His return is always near, perhaps even nearer than we might imagine. How does keeping the Sabbath remind us not only of what God has done for us but what He will do for us when He returns?|