The Review and Herald

1226/1902

October 28, 1902

God's Sign

EGW

“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work.” RH October 28, 1902, par. 1

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.” RH October 28, 1902, par. 2

God gave the Sabbath to his people to be a continual sign of his love and mercy and of their obedience. As he rested on this day and was refreshed, so he desired his people to rest and be refreshed. It was to be a constant reminder to them that they were included in his covenant of grace. Throughout your generations, he said, the Sabbath is to be my sign, my pledge, to you that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you, that I have chosen you and set you apart as my peculiar people. And as you keep the Sabbath holy, you will bear testimony to the nations of the earth that you are my chosen people. RH October 28, 1902, par. 3

During their bondage in Egypt, the children of Israel lost their knowledge of the true Sabbath, and with it their knowledge of the Creator. God called his people out of Egypt, and in the wilderness gave them his law, the expression of his character and authority. From Mount Sinai he spoke the commandments in an audible voice, and then wrote them with his own finger on tables of stone, thus denoting their enduring character. In this law God declared, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work; ... for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” RH October 28, 1902, par. 4

Before the law was given from Sinai, God wrought a miracle each week to impress the people with the sanctity of the Sabbath. He rained manna from heaven for their food, and each day they gathered this manna, but on the sixth day they gathered twice as much as usual, according to the directions of Moses: “This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.... The Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” RH October 28, 1902, par. 5

“And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” Thus for forty years God worked each week a miracle before his people, to show them that his Sabbath was a sacred day. RH October 28, 1902, par. 6

Sacredness of the Sabbath

God directed that a tabernacle should be built, where the Israelites, during their wilderness-journeying, could worship him. Orders from heaven were given that this tabernacle should be built without delay. Because of the sacredness of the work and the need for haste, some argued that the work on the tabernacle should be carried forward on the Sabbath, as well as on the other days of the week. Christ heard these suggestions, and saw that the people were in great danger of being ensnared by concluding that they would be justified in working on the Sabbath that the tabernacle might be completed as quickly as possible. The word came to them, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep.” Though the work on the tabernacle must be carried forward with expedition, the Sabbath must not be employed as a working day. Even the work on the Lord's house must give way to the sacred observance of the Lord's rest day. Thus jealous is God for the honor of his memorial of creation. RH October 28, 1902, par. 7

The Sabbath is a token between God and his people. It is a holy day, given by the Creator to man as a day upon which to rest, and reflect upon sacred things. God designed it to be observed through every age as a perpetual covenant. It was to be regarded as a peculiar treasure, a trust to be carefully cherished. RH October 28, 1902, par. 8

As we observe the Sabbath, let us remember that it is the sign which heaven has given to man that he is accepted in the Beloved; that if he is obedient, he may enter the city of God, and partake of the fruit of the tree of life. As we refrain from labor on the seventh day, we testify to the world that we are on God's side, and are striving to live in perfect conformity to his commandments. Thus we recognize as our sovereign the God who made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. RH October 28, 1902, par. 9

The Sabbath is the clasp which unites God and his people. But the Sabbath command has been broken. God's holy day has been desecrated. The Sabbath has been torn from its place by the man of sin, and a common working day has been exalted in its stead. In the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is outlined the work God's people are to do. A breach has been made in the law, and this breach is to be repaired. The true Sabbath is to be restored to its rightful position as God's rest day. The law is to be magnified and made honorable. To those who do this work the Lord says: “Thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” RH October 28, 1902, par. 10