Too many Christians wish to use this text in their rebuttal against keeping the Sabbath: “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.” (Exodus 31:13) KJV They use this defense by saying the “Sabbath” was given to the “Children of Israel” and not for the Christian today. They fail to ask the one significant question, “Who else was around at that time?” They then stand on this ground, “There is nowhere in New Testament writing where God commands the keeping of the Sabbath.” Let’s finish the thought, “To the Christian”. Because, in that closing thought is the answer, the clue, to understanding what is truth.
When God gave the Ten Commandments, it is true, He gave it to Israel, who later became known as “Jews”. Let’s assume for the sake of argument, God didn’t give this to Adam & Eve, didn’t exist before the creation of the world, and keep our focus on Israel, for just a moment. I have to ask the obvious question, “Who else was around for God to have given the Commandments?” There were Egyptians, Chinese, Babylonians, Romans and other nations around at that same time. Were any of these people God’s “chosen” people? Could they have been? Yes, they could have, but they were people who followed tradition and pagan customs. Even the nation of Israel were caught up in paganism, but it was a promise God made to Abraham which is why these people were chosen to become the depositories of His Law. Were they supposed to keep this Law all to themselves or be an example for others? Was this exclusivity and those on the outside could never become adherents and believers? Well, in the book of Esther the answer is found, “And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.” Esth 8:17 (KJV)
God gave His Law to the only population on the face of the earth which would be entrusted to keep and maintain His Law. It is ludicrous to think out of five families say in Cleveland, the “Jones”, “Smiths”, “Johnson”, “Williams” and the “Browns” if God gave His Law to the “Jones”, meant the Smiths, Johnsons, Williams and the Browns couldn’t benefit by those same laws. It is hoped they would follow the old saying and try to “keep up with the Joneses” and get what they have been given because it is surely working for their benefit!
Fast-forward to Christian Era. The Jews, Law-keepers got things all messed up so God, according to Paul, “engrafted” branches which were wild into the tree of the same faith, the root, rather, the Jews. Does the branches do anything other than what the root does? It wasn’t the tree grafted into the branches, but the branches to the tree. Why is it so difficult for the branches to want to follow the rules, to leave their “wildness” behind and become civilized by the simple following of the same rules the branch had been doing since the beginning?
Paul goes on to warn those branches, those of you who continues to disobey God’s Commandments that just as surely as those Jews were broken off, who belonged to the branch, He is more than willing to break you from the branch if you persist in doing the same thing! Following paganism and traditions will definitely get you broken off and lost for eternity.
KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD IS THE GOSPEL!
November 27, 2014