“You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13, RSV).
The concept of the Sabbath as a “sign” — a visible, external, and eternal sign between God and His people — is expressed here in this manner for the first time. The text itself contains some fascinating concepts worthy of our study. Two new ideas are joined together in this text:
1. The Sabbath as a sign of knowledge.
2. The Sabbath as a sign of sanctification.
Consider the sign aspect related to knowledge. The Hebrew understanding of knowledge includes intellectual, relational, and emotional aspects. “To know” did not simply mean to know a fact, particularly when a person was involved. It also meant to have a meaningful relationship with the one known. Thus to know the Lord meant to be in the right relationship with Him — to “serve” Him (1 Chronicles 28:9), to “fear” Him (Isaiah 11:2), to “believe” Him (Isaiah 43:10), to “trust” Him and “seek” Him (Psalm 9:10), and to “call on” His name (Jeremiah 10:25).
Look up each of the texts in the above paragraph. In what ways do these texts help us to understand what it means to “know” the Lord?
The sanctification process is as much the work of God’s redemptive love as is the saving and redeeming work of God. Righteousness (justification) and sanctification are both activities of God: “I … the LORD … sanctify you.” (Leviticus 20:8, RSV). Thus, the Sabbath is a sign that imparts the knowledge of God as Sanctifier. “The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier.” — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 350.
|Consider the Sabbath day and the process of sanctification, that of being made holy. What role does Sabbath keeping have in this process? How can the Lord use our experience of keeping the Sabbath to help sanctify us?|