The Sabbath 

Part 2

 

Romans 13:10
"Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

1 John 4:16:
"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.
God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him."

In this article I will continue with the Sabbath. In my last writing I wrote of The Feasts of the Lord. These are the Feasts given to Israel by the Creator. They are listed in Leviticus 23. The Creator commanded the Israelites to keep them.

Leviticus 23:1-2:
"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 
The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.' "

I also explained that a holy convocation was an assembly or meeting in which the Creator, through His Spirit, attends.

Matthew 18:20:
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, 
I am there in the midst of them."

This is a holy convocation. This is what the Feasts are. The very first Feast listed is the Sabbath. This is also the fourth commandment.

Exodus 20:8:
"
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy."

I showed last time how the Sabbath is a sign. A mark that identifies who His people are, and who He is; the Creator of all things in the heavens and on Earth. I also showed that Yahoshua kept the Sabbath. This though is only the beginning, but before I go on let us get a little history.

The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt. Through Moses the Creator freed them, led them out of Egypt, and promised them their own land. Let us pick the story up from here.

Exodus 16:1:
".....and 
all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai."

It was here the people began to complain. Some even wishing they were back in Egypt.

Exodus 16:3:
"
Oh that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt.......For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."

The Creator heard the murmurs of the people and gave Moses instructions. Due to the length I will try to keep it short.

Exodus 16:4:
"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, 
whether they will walk in my laws or not."

Here we see the first real test of faith for Israel. They were to go out into the field and gather food where there was none. The Creator than adds a qualifier. On the sixth day of the week, they were to gather twice as much. He then chastises them about their constant grumblings. Well just as He had promised there was bread from heaven and the people gathered and ate. This went on until the sixth day.

Exodus 16:23:
"Then he said to them, 'This is what the Lord has said: 
Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept in the morning."

Well some of the people decided they didn't like that idea and went out to gather food on the seventh day, but they didn't find any.

Exodus 16:28-29:
"And the Lord said to Moses, 'How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See for 
the Lord has given you the Sabbath."

It is interesting that this law of the Sabbath was given prior to them receiving the Ten Commandments. Well the Israelites continued to be rebellious, and due to this God forced them to wander in the wilderness for forty years.

Numbers 14:34:
"According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, 
namely forty years, and you shall know my rejection."

Numbers 14:35:
"In this wilderness 
they shall be consumed and die."

Anyone who was over the age of twenty, save a couple of exceptions, were to perish and not be allowed into the land of promise. Even Moses was not immune to this sentence. Moses died in the wilderness and the people were led into the land by Joshua. The promise was kept.

An interesting anecdote, but what does this have to do with the Sabbath? We saw that the Sabbath was initialized before the Ten Commandments were given, and it was this initial rebellion, of not resting on the Sabbath, which started the down fall of Israel. Let us turn to the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 3:15-19:
" 'Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.' For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 
And to whom did He swear they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."

In a few short words Paul sums up the rebellion in the dessert. The people rejected God's law, and because of this could not enter the land, but Paul does not say they could not enter the land, but that they could not enter His rest. The land of promise, was His rest.

Hebrews 4:1-2:
"Therefore, 
since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it."

Paul says that the promise has yet to be fulfilled and the Gospel was preached to them, ancient Israel, as well as us. Yet the Gospel was not spoken of until Yahoshua walked the earth, or was it? Remember the Gospel is the good news of the coming Kingdom. It is about the time when His people will enter the Kingdom and live with the Creators forever. The land that was promised to ancient Israel is a type, a representation, a shadow, of the coming Kingdom. 

The ancient Israelites were to enter a physical land. It was a physical promise. The good news for them was they were no longer slaves in Egypt, and now had their own land with God as their King. The promise Paul is speaking of here is a spiritual promise; a spiritual rest.

Hebrews 4:3:
"For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: 'So I swore in my wrath, 
they shall enter My rest.' Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."

Can you grasp what is being said here. We who believe in the Messiah have a rest coming; a rest in a spiritual kingdom. It is a kingdom that flesh and blood cannot enter.

1 Corinthians 15:50:
".....
flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God."

Let us continue in Hebrews.

Hebrews 4:4-6:
"For He has spoken in a certain place of 
the seventh day in this way: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all His works', and again in this place: 'They shall enter my rest.' Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience."

The Creator equates the rest, of which Paul speaks of, with the seventh day; the Sabbath. The ancient Israelites did not obey the law of the Sabbath, therefore they could not enter into their rest, which was the promised land. We who believe can enter the new rest which is our promise, which is the coming Kingdom.

Hebrews 4:7-8:
".......'Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.' For 
if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day."

Remember Joshua was the one who led Israel into the promised land. This was to be their rest from the struggles of bondage in Egypt and the wandering in the wilderness, but Paul then says that this was not the rest. There is another day spoken of. The rest ancient Israel received was a physical rest. Ours is a better rest, a true rest, a spiritual rest.

Hebrews 4:9:
"
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God."

And what is this rest for the people of God?

Hebrews 4:10:
" 
For he who has entered His rest has himself ceased from his works as God did His."

The Creator ended His work on the seventh day which is the Sabbath day. This was His rest. He commanded His people to rest on this day also. The Sabbath points to the day when we are able to give up our spiritual bondage and our slavery to sin. It points to the day when we will enter into the Kingdom. This is the Good News. This is why the Sabbath day is a feast. It is to remind us of the promise; the promise of the coming Kingdom. It is to remind us, of the Gospel.

Hebrews 4:11:
"
Let us be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same examples of disobedience."

As the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and wandered the desert, we as a people are slaves to sin. We wander through the wilderness of this world, never knowing the real rest. The Sabbath was put in place to remind us who we are, spiritual Israelites, who our God is, the Creator of all things, and to remind us of the promise. The Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

I shall end this article with words from Yahoshua:

Matthew 11:28-30:
"Come to Me , all you who labor and are heavy laden, and 
I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I pray that I have been able to give you a deeper understanding of the day they call the Sabbath and why it is so important to the Creators. Well my friends until next time please take care.

Peace