God's Holy Seventh Day Sabbath
He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. Psalm 111:4.
In Eden, God set up the memorial of His work of creation, in placing His blessing upon
the seventh day. The Sabbath was committed to Adam, the father and representative
of the whole human family. Its observance was to be an act of grateful acknowledgment,
on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that God was their creator and their
rightful sovereign; that they were the work of His hands, and the subjects of His authority.
Thus the institution was wholly commemorative, and given to all mankind. There was
nothing in it shadowy, or of restricted application to any people.
All things were created by the Son of God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3. And since the Sabbath is a memorial of the work of creation, it is a token of the love and power of Christ.
The Sabbath calls our thoughts to nature, and brings us into communion with the
Creator. In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear His voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold His power in nature we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul. God . . . has given man six days in which to labor. But He sanctified the day of His rest, and gave it to man to be kept, free from all secular labor. By thus setting apart the Sabbath, God gave the world a memorial. He did not set apart one day and any day in seven, but one particular day, the seventh day. And by observing the Sabbath, we show that we recognize God as the living God, the Creator of the heaven and the earth.
Had the Sabbath always been sacredly observed, there could never have been an atheist or an idolater.
A Special Sign
Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. Ezekiel 20:12
As the Sabbath was the sign that distinguished Israel when they came out of Egypt to enter the earthly Canaan, so it is the sign that now distinguishes God's people as they come out from the world to enter the heavenly rest
The observance of the Sabbath is the means ordained by God of preserving a
knowledge of Himself and of distinguishing between His loyal subjects and the
transgressors of His law. It [the Sabbath] belongs to Christ. . . . Since He made all things, He made the Sabbath.
By Him it was set apart as a memorial of the work of creation. It points to Him as both the Creator and the Sanctifier. It declares that He who created all things in heaven and in earth, and by whom all things hold together, is the head of the church, and that by His power we are reconciled to God. For, speaking of Israel, He said, "I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them"--make them holy. Then the Sabbath is a sign of Christ's power to make us holy. And it is given to all whom Christ makes holy. As a sign of His sanctifying power, the Sabbath is given to all who through Christ become a part of the Israel of God. . . .
To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ's creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption. While it calls to mind the lost peace of Eden, it tells of peace restored through the Saviour. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. The Sabbath is a golden clasp that unites God and His people.
Preparing for the Holy Day
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8. At the very beginning of the fourth commandment the Lord said, "Remember." He
knew that amid the multitude of cares and perplexities man would be tempted to excuse himself from meeting the full requirement of the law, or would forget its sacred importance. Therefore He said: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." All through the week we are to have the Sabbath in mind and be making preparation to keep it according to the commandment. . . .
When the Sabbath is thus remembered, the temporal will not be allowed to encroach upon the spiritual. No duty pertaining to the six working days will be left for the Sabbath.
During the week our energies will not be so exhausted in temporal labor that on the day when the Lord rested and was refreshed we shall be too weary to engage in His service. . . . On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. . . . The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children,
and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the
commandment. There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, "confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another." Before the setting of the sun let the members of the family assemble to read God's Word, to sing and pray. We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time.