Why was the sabbath day instituted by the Lord, and does it continue now as the Lord’s Day? If so, in what way has it changed with the coming of Christ? How should it be kept? This booklet responds to these and other questions, showing that the sabbath principle is still God’s will for believers today, and listing its purposes and blessings.
Some take the view that the fourth commandment of Exodus 20.8-11 (‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy…’) no longer applies, having been intended for the Jewish period only. However, it is clearly far greater than this as it was started by God at creation. It is a ‘creation ordinance’, and the people who lived between Adam and Moses would have known about it, and been required to keep it.
Some people, however, teach that sabbath-keeping started only at the time of Moses and the giving of the law. They think that although God provided the model of a sabbath day at creation, the people were not told to observe it. This viewpoint is based on the absence of any mention of the sabbath between Genesis 2 and Exodus 16, but it does not explain the powerful statement of Genesis 2 that God very specifically blessed the seventh day and sanctified (or hallowed) it. These words can only refer to something truly momentous that God did for the obedience and benefit of the human race, and communicated to Adam and Eve, because God himself lives above time and days. The words mean that God gave to the human race a distinctive, special place to one day out of every seven, which was to be elevated above all other days, and reserved for spiritual pursuits…
..Having failed to explain these monumental texts, those who want to confine the sabbath to the covenant of Moses simply sweep it away, saying it was not previously there. However, God’s act in inaugurating the sabbath at creation was undoubtedly for the whole human race, and after the Fall it continued as a call to engage in worship, spiritual pleasure, and the proclamation of the Creator….
…The record of Exodus 16 is of special importance in proving that the sabbath was in force from Adam to Moses (whether faithfully observed or not), because it is here mentioned before the giving of the commandments. We read about the giving of manna, and how the rules for collecting it involved the honouring of the sabbath. The people had to bring in a double portion of manna on the sixth day because the seventh was the sabbath of the Lord. Verse 23 reads – ‘This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord.’