NATURE AND EXAMPLES OF A MEMORIAL
WHAT is to endure throughout all generations?
"Thy name, 0 Lord, endureth for ever; and Thy memorial, 0 Lord, throughout all generations." Psalms 135:13. Memorial: "Anything . .. intended to preserve the memory of a person or event.—Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (5th ed., 1935), p. 624.
What illustration of this is given in the Bible?
"And these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever." Joshua 4:7.
What were these stones to commemorate?
"And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land." Verses 21, 22.
NOTE.—These stones were to be a standing memorial, or reminder, of Israel's coming dry shod over the Jordan.
What was the Passover called?
"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever." Exodus 12:14.
NoTE.—This, the Passover, was a periodical memorial, to be observed on the fourteenth day of the first month of each year, the day on which the Israelites were delivered from Egyptian bondage, and its celebration was to be, with the seven days' feast of unleavened bread following and connected with it, in commemoration of that event. (See Exodus 13:3-9.)
GOD'S CREATION AND MEMORIAL
Does God design the creation to be remembered?
"The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered." Psalms 111:2-4.
What has He commanded men to observe in memory of this great work?
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy; . . . for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11. Of what was this memorial to be a sign? "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 long was the Sabbath to be a sign of the true God? "It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed." Exodus 31:17. NOTE.—It is manifest that if the object of the Sabbath was to remember God as the Creator, and it had been faithfully kept from the first, there would not now be a heathen or an idolater on the face of the earth.
MEMORIAL OF DELIVERANCE AND REDEMPTION
What besides creation was Israel to remember when they kept 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.—There is a deep significance to this scripture not apparent to those unacquainted with the facts. In Egypt, through oppression and idolatrous surroundings, the keeping of the Sabbath had become not only almost obsolete but well-nigh impossible. (See reading on "Reasons for Sabbathkeeping," page 414.) They were delivered from bondage in order that they might keep God's law (Psalms 105:43-45), and particularly the Sabbath, the great seal, sign, and memorial institution of the law. The recollection of their bondage and oppressed condition in Egypt was to be an additional incentive for keeping the Sabbath in the land of freedom. The Sabbath, therefore, besides being a memorial of creation, was to be to them a memorial of their deliverance from bondage, and of the great power of God as manifested in this deliver- ance. And as Egypt stands as a symbol of the condition of every one in the world under the slavery of sin, so the Sabbath is to be kept by every saved soul as a memorial of the deliverance from this slavery by the mighty power of God through Christ.
Of what else does God say He gave the Sabbath to His people to be a sign, or reminder?
"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.
NOTE.—Sanctification is a work of redemption—of making holy sinful or unholy beings. Like the work of creation itself, this requires creative power. (See Psalms 51:10; John 3:3, 6; Ephesians 2:10.) And as the Sabbath is the appropriate sign, or memorial, of the creative power of God wherever dis- played, whether in creation, deliverance from human bondage, or deliverance from the slavery of sin, it is to be kept as a sign of the work of sanctification. This will be one great reason for the saints' keeping it throughout eternity. It will remind them not only of their own creation and the creation of the universe but also of their redemption.
Through whom do we have sanctification?
"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 1 Corinthians 1:30.
NoTE.—Then, as the Sabbath is a sign, or memorial, of sanctification, and as Christ is the one through whom the work of sanctification is accomplished, the Sabbath is a sign, or memorial, of what Christ is to the believer. Through the Sabbath, therefore, God designed that the believer and Christ should be very closely linked together.
GOD'S MEMORIAL IN THE HEREAFTER
What statement of the redeemed shows that they will remem- ber God's creative power?
"Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11.
How often will they congregate to worship the Lord?
"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 66:22, 23.
NOTE.—The Sabbath, which is the memorial of God's creative power, will never cease to exist. When this sinful state of things shall give way to the sinless new earth, the fact upon which the Sabbath institution is based will still remain; and those who shall be permitted to live in the new earth will still commemorate the creative power of God, while singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. (Revelation 15:3. See Revelation 22:1, 2.)
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