The Sabbath, A 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
Dear brothers and sisters,
The God of glory here reminds his faltering people of his unremitting grace. The nation of Israel had rebelled against him, refused to walk in his ways, and polluted his Sabbath. Ezekiel 20 is an indictment of Israel for these ethical transgressions. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had shown great mercy in delivering them from Egypt. In particular, he presented them with the ancient Sabbath, which had been stolen under Egyptian tyranny. He blessed this one day in seven to be a holy Sabbath, a day of worship and communion with God. In order to spend this day of sacred fellowship with their Redeemer, they were to cease from regular labor and recreations (Isaiah 58:13-14). This Sabbath erected a “sign” between the Lord and his covenant people. It was a sign of their great privileges as his ransomed people. It would also serve as a sign of their regard for the God of Israel.
Biblical Christianity has always placed a high price on the Sabbath as a “sign” of the Lord’s grace and our affection. Our Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, is now the Christian Sabbath. It continues to signal the unfailing mercies of the Lord in creation, providence, and redemption. It persists as a testimony against the lawlessness and worldliness of our culture. The Lord’s Day is our weekly declaration that Christ reigns, he has delivered us from sin, stirred our affections, and claims our undivided devotion. This recurring day of worship reminds us and displays to the world that Jesus governs our lives. Jesus is our “sanctifier.” Jesus makes us holy. Jesus gives us singularity of vision.
So, should we continue to keep the Lord’s Day as the Christian Sabbath? Is it right that we agree with the Westminster Confession and Catechisms when they express this high view of the Sabbath? Another way to ask this is, has God created you? Does he give you breath? Has he redeemed you from bondage to sin? Has he given you eyes to behold Jesus as the Son of God and only Savior of sinners? Is he making you holy, as he is holy? Has he established a sacred bond with you? Do you yearn for him? Are you aware of personal sin and long for personal piety? Does your soul stir with resolve to make a public testimony for your faith? Do you trust Jesus to sanctify you by his truth? Do you delight in the law of God in your inner being? If so, then the call of the Lord from Ezekiel 20:19-20 will sound sweetly in your spirit:
“I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.”
Much love in Christ,
Posted on Friday // September 19, 2014 // 5:20 PM
by Chris Thomas