And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.'” (Exodus 31:12-13)
Today, I want to expound a bit more on the idea that the Sabbath — along with other instructions given to Israel — was to serve as a sign between God and His people. As mentioned in the previous devotional, these signs that exist between us and Him can sometimes be the difference between life and death. Think of it this way: a red stop sign is a message to drivers that they need to let off the gas and apply the brakes before proceeding through the next intersection. That stop sign is placed there with the driver’s and others’ safety in mind. In many cases, that sign can be the difference between life and death and can only fulfill its purpose when people acknowledge its message.
When it came to the Sabbath, the children of Israel were called to remember it and to guard it. They were to respect the “red stop sign,” as it were, by letting off the gas and applying the brakes every seventh day. In so doing, they were acknowledging the sign between them and God and reminding themselves and others that the God of Israel is the Creator of all things. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that He made this a sign between Himself and His people — the Sabbath is a memorial of what God did in the past. Consequently, our obedience to this command is a testimony that His authority is supreme and for all time.
Contrast that ideal with our present world; rebellion and anarchy seem to be in vogue. Politicians and leaders seem to advocate violence and lawlessness while at the same time disdaining the rule of law and respect for biblical value. If that becomes the norm for most what can they expect as a result? Of course, we know the answer and that is why it is so important that we hold to our Father’s standards. We must be those who acknowledge His sovereignty by doing what He said no matter what the world is saying. We must uphold His standards as a witness to this present age in the hope that others will recognize the vanity of rebellion.
Finally, let us always keep in mind that it will be important in these last days to exhibit the “sign” that says we are His and He is ours. Interestingly, the Hebrew word translated as “sign” (אות ote) is thematically equivalent to the Hebrew word tav (תאו) which is also the name of the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In ancient times, this letter was written in the form of a cross. The point then is this: we are to continue upholding the Cross in spite of the world’s disdain for it.
We must also continue bearing our own cross as we follow our Master knowing that, in the day of adversity that is surely coming, it will be important to be recognized as His people. So in light of what is going on in the world, maybe we should consider letting off the gas and apply the brakes so we don’t get caught up in the chaos swirling around us. Let’s pause for a moment and take the time to grow even closer to Him than we have been before — it may be the difference between life and death.
Blessings and Shalom,