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“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.’” (Exodus 31:12-13)
Since the advent of the church after Jesus’ resurrection, people have wrestled with the idea of a Sabbath rest. Some say the Old Testament law still applies, while others quote Paul’s letters about freedom and the need to not be enslaved by legalism. Without trying to solve an age old debate, let’s look carefully at these two verses from Exodus.
“You must observe my Sabbaths.” God begins by giving Moses and the Israelites a direct command. Then He explains the promised outcome of their observance: “This will be a sign between Me and you for the generations to come.”
God said that the Israelites’ observance of the Sabbath provided evidence that the Israelites were the people of God and that God Almighty was their Lord. Yet, the verse doesn’t end there.
God embeds the reason for His command: “So that you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.” Observing the Sabbath will teach those who observe it that God is the Lord. God gave them the Sabbath so they could know that God is the one who makes them holy.
Do you want to know God? Do you want to understand the holiness of God more deeply? Do you want to catch a glimpse of how God can transform you into a holy person?
God made a way so that you may know.
Heavenly Father, I don’t want to get tied up in knots about rules, but I do want to know You better. I want to see Your holiness and understand how You can make me holy. Show me how, I pray. Amen
Questions: How has following God’s commands taught you about God? Does it help to look for the reason behind a command? Why or why not?