"Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you, God that made the world and all things therein." Acts 17:23, 24.
What did the apostles tell the idolaters at Lystra? "Turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein." Acts 14:15. (See also Revelation 10:6; 14:6, 7.)
What is the reason given in the fourth commandment for keeping the Sabbath holy? "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day." Exodus 20:11.
NOTE. - The Sabbath is the great memorial of the creative power of the true and living God. God's design in making the Sabbath was that man might never forget Him, the Creator of all things.
What is the Sabbath to those who keep it holy? "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." Ezekiel 20:20.
How important is it that we come to know God?" And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3.
Is there any danger that the people of God may forget Him? "Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes." Deuteronomy 8:11.
What other reason is given for keeping the Bible Sabbath? "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.
What special reason did Israel have for keeping the Sabbath? " And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day." Deuteronomy 5:15.
NOTE. - In their bondage the Israelites had to some extent lost the knowledge of God, and departed from His precepts. In consequence of the oppression, especially the rigorous exactions made upon them by the Pharaoh of the Exodus, Sabbath observance was doubtless extremely difficult if not entirely impossible. Deliverance from this oppression was therefore an additional reason for their keeping the Sabbath. Since Egyptian bondage is illustrative of the bondage of sin, everyone who has been delivered from sin may regard himself as having the same reason for keeping the Sabbath as had the Israelites who were released from Egyptian bondage.
As God brought the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, so He brings us out of the bondage of sin. Why did He bring His people out of Egypt?" He brought forth His people... and gave them the lands of the heathen;... that they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws." Psalm 105:43-45.
What does the word "sabbath" mean? Rest.
NOTE. - Previous to the Fall, God designed that man's time should be occupied with pleasant, invigorating labor. (Genesis 2:15.) Wearisome toil came in consequence of sin. (Genesis 3:17-19.) Since the Fall the Sabbath may bring physical rest to both man and beast of burden (Exodus 23:12) but physical rest was not its original and primary design or purpose. Cessation from the ordinary labors of the week was ordained, not because these are sinful in themselves, but that man might have a frequently recurring period for the contemplation of the Creator and His works.
Was it God's plan that the Seventh day Sabbath be used as a day for public worship? "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation." Leviticus 23:3.
NOTE. - A convocation is an assembly of people.
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