"And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."Deuteronomy 8:2
Text: Exodus 31:14-18
DANGER OF PROFANING THE SABBATH DAY
First, God dealt with the concept of the “Sabbaths”. Next, He dealt with the keeping of the Sabbath Day.
“You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore,
for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it
shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it,
that person shall be cut off from among his people.
Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the
Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work
on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath,
to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations
as a perpetual covenant.
It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever…”
1. Interpretive Challenges
A number of interpretive challenges arise immediately:-
a) Why was the death penalty attached to the keeping of the Sabbath?
b) Do Christians have to keep the Sabbath in the same way today?
c) Would we suffer the same consequences if we do not keep the Sabbath?
2. Important Observations as part of the Answers
a) The context suggests that the Sabbath is restricted to the children of Israel!
b) The keeping of the Sabbath was part of the Sinaitic Covenant God established with Israel. The Sabbath was a special sign of the Covenant between God and Israel.
c) Those in the New Covenant are obviously NOT under the Old Covenant laws (Cf. Hebrews 8:13 “In that He says, ‘A New Covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete”).
THE GIVING OF THE TWO TABLETS OF TESTIMONY
God concluded His instructions by giving to Moses a most precious gift- truly to be regarded as a national treasure of the highest degree!
” He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone,
written with the finger of God.”