Sabbath Worship … Exodus 31:13-17
13 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.
The Sabbath is God’s Law about observing sacred time, just as the Tabernacle is God’s Law about observing sacred space. We live in a universe that consists of space [3 dimensions] and time [1 dimension]; while the first 3 dimensions (space) are very easy to grasp because we can simply look at the room in which we sit, and see its length, width, and height. What is not as easy to grasp is time. We can’t see or touch time, yet, we can observe its effects.
God sanctifies the Tabernacle by setting it apart from all other human space and dwelling in it, and He sanctifies the Sabbath by setting it apart from all other blocks of time and declares this specific block of time, Shabbat, as holy. The word “sanctify” is translated from the Hebrew root word “kadash”, which indeed means “holy” or “be holy” or to be set apart. But pay attention to what God seems to be saying here: He says that the purpose for keeping the Sabbath is….what? To make them, and you, holy! That is no small matter, and in fact, it is definitely large when it comes to its implications.
14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
The word used here is “kodesh”; although it is taken from the root word kadash, it has a slightly different meaning. Kodesh means “holi-ness”; Most literally this verse reads “Keep the Sabbath because it is holiness for you”. God is telling us “I want you to keep the Sabbath, because not only did I declare it holy, but the Sabbath clothes YOU in a state of holiness in my eyes when you obey me and observe it.”
This is the same premise as when Moses was at the burning bush. Moses was to remove his shoes because the ground was in contact with the holiness of YHWH and that holiness was now transferred supernaturally. This concept really shouldn’t sound strange to us at all. For, we are told that in order for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must be righteous according to God’s standard. But, it is utterly impossible for a man to attain that state of saving righteousness on our own. So, by faith in Jesus, we are clothed in HIS righteousness. Yeshua’s righteousness is imputed upon us. Yeshua’s righteousness is transmitted to us.
This also goes a long way towards helping us to understand what Christ really meant when He said: “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. You see, He was saying that it was NOT necessary for the creation of Man in order to bring holiness to the Sabbath, but it WAS necessary that the Sabbath be created in order that holiness might be brought to Man.
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. (this is spiritual death)
16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual (forever) covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
God says the Sabbath is a sign between He and His people. In Hebrew the word for sign is owth (oth) this word is an affirmation, proof, or a mark of distinction and sets the relationship between God and His people apart from everyone else.
Psalm 4:3 “But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.”
The Sabbath is a very specific block of time (the 7th day) that is set apart from all other blocks of time to embody the holiness of time as the 4th dimension of God’s Creation.
Time is something we can never, ever get back, hence the song “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. Look at what he says about his love… “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do. Is to save every day, ‘Til eternity passes away, Just to spend them with you.” Isn’t that what we envision as our Heaven?
The Sabbath is not only a ‘shadow of things to come’ it is a drop of water for a thirsty soul. He tells us earlier in Exodus the Sabbath is a blessing and who, in their right mind, would want to miss out on a blessing for YHWH? Why do we insist on following a man-made tradition set about by Sun-god worshipers?
They (Greeks and Romans) named the days in order of the importance of their Sun-gods and then lesser deities. Constantine, in turn, forced his traditions upon the church he bought and paid for, manipulating the day and the rituals to conform to his version of paganism.
“Modern Christians who talk of keeping Sunday as a ‘holy’ day, as in the still extant ‘Blue Laws,’ of colonial America, should know that as a ‘holy’ day of rest and cessation from labor and amusements Sunday was unknown to Jesus. It formed no tenant [teaching] of the primitive Church and became ‘sacred’ only in the course of time. Outside the church its observance was legalized for the Roman Empire through a series of decrees starting with the famous one of Constantine in 321, an edict due to his political and social ideas.”—W. W. Hyde, Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, 1946, p. 257.
Referring once again to Jim Croce’s lyrics; what would it look like if we held the Saturday Sabbath as the treasure it really is?
Isn’t it strange that the one commandment that begins with “Remember” has been forgotten?
We can no more choose our own definition of the Sabbath than we can choose our own definition of the Messiah.