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                                    How THE SABBATH WAS MADE

                                WHEN and by whom was the Sabbath made?

                            "Thus the heavens arid the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had                         made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made." Genesis 2:1, 2.

What is the reason for keeping the Sabbath day 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 20:11.

    NOTE.—The Sabbath is the memorial of creation, the sign of God's creative power. God designed that through keeping it man should forever remember Him as the true and living God, the Creator of all things.

" 'Six days shalt thou do all manner of work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.' It is not thine, but God's day. He claims it for his own. He always did claim it for his own, even from the beginning of the world. 'In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it.' He hallowed it; that is, he made it holy; He reserved it for his own service. He appointed, that as long as the sun or the moon, the heavens and the earth, should endure, the children of men should spend this day in the worship of Him who 'gave them life and breath and all things.' . . . "

"The Lord not only hallowed the Sabbath-day, but he hath alsoblessed it. So that you are an enemy to yourself. You throw away your own blessing, if you neglect to 'keep this day holy.' It is a day of special grace. The King of heaven now sits upon his mercy-seat, in a more gracious manner than on other days, to bestow blessings on those who observe it. If you love your own soul, can you then forbear laying hold on so happy an opportunity? Awake, arise, let God give thee his blessing! Receive a token of his love! Cry to him that thou mayest find the riches of his grace and mercy in Christ Jesus! . . .

"On this day, above all, cry aloud, and spare not, to the 'God who heareth prayer.' This is the day he hath set apart for the good of your soul, both in this world and that which is to come. Never more disappoint the design of his love, either by worldly business or idle diversions. Let not a little thing keep you from the house of God, either in the forenoon or afternoon. And spend as much as you can of the rest of the day, either in repeating what you have heard, or in reading the Scripture, or in private prayer, or talking of the things of God. Let his love be ever before your eyes. . . .

"Do not ask any more, 'Where is the harm, if, after Church, I spend the remainder of the day in the fields, or in a public-house, or in taking a little diversion?' You know where is the harm. Your own heart tells you so plain that you cannot but hear."—JOHN WESLEY, "A Word to a Sabbath-Breaker," in Works, vol. 11 (1830 ed.), pp. 164-166.

Did Christ have anything to do with creation and the making of the Sabbath?

"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:3. (See also Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2.)

    NOTE.—Christ was the active agent in creation. The Creator rested on the seventh day from the work of creation; therefore, Christ must have rested on the seventh day with the Father. Consequently, it is His rest day as well as the Father's.

After resting on the seventh day, what did God do?

"And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made." Genesis 2:3.

    NOTE.—By three distinct acts, 'then, was the Sabbath made: God rested on it; He blessed it; He sanctified it. Sanctify means "to make sacred or holy; . . . to set apart to a sacred office or to religious use."—Webster's New International Dictionary (2d ed., 1937).

MAN AND THE SABBATH

For whom did Christ say the Sabbath was made?

"And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." Mark 2:27.

NorE.—It was not made only for the Jews, who derive their name from their ancestor Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The Sabbath was made more than two thousand years before there was a Jew.

"Jesus says: 'The Sabbath was made for man;' and the necessary inference is that from the beginning man knew the primary uses of the day, and re- ceived the benefits which it was designed to impart. . . .

"Before the giving of the law from Sinai the obligation of the Sabbath was understood."—J. J. TAYLOR (Baptist), The Sabbatic Question (Revell, 1914 ed.), pp. 20-24.

"I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding to-day as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place. The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.' It is just as practicable and as necessary for men to-day as it ever was—in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age.

"The sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the sabbath already existed when God wrote this law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?"— D. L. MOODY, Weighed and Wanting (1898 ed.), pp. 46, 47.

vWhen did God bless and sanctify the seventh day?

"And God, blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He HAD rested from all His work which God created and made." Genesis 2:3.

    NOTE.—"If we had no other passage than this of Genesis 2:3, there would be no difficulty in deducing from it a precept for the universal observance of a Sabbath, or seventh day, to be devoted to God as holy time, by all of that race for whom the earth and its nature were specially prepared. The first men must have known it. The words 'He hallowed it' can have no meaning other- wise. They would be a blank unless in reference to some who were required to keep it holy."—JoHN PETER LANGE, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, on Genesis 2:3, vol. 1, p. 197.

THE SABBATH TEST IN ISRAEL

What does the Sabbath commandment require?

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." Exodus 20:8-10.

NOTE.—Luther says, on Exodus 16:4, 22-30: "Hence you can see that the Sabbath was before the law of Moses came, and has existed from the begin- ning of the world. Especially have the devout, who have preserved the true faith, met together and called upon God on this day."—Translated from Auslegung des Alten Testaments (Commentary on the Old Testament), in Sammtliche Schriften (Collected Writings), edited by J. G. Walch, vol. 3, col. 950.

How did God prove Israel in the wilderness?

"I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no." Exodus 16:4.

On which day was a double portion of manna gathered?

"And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man." Verse 22.

What did Moses say to the rulers?

"This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord." Verse 23.

"2. The Sabbath is indispensable to man, being promotive of his highest good, physically, intellectually, socially, spiritually, and eternally. Hence its observance is connected with the best of promises, and its violation with the severest penalties. Exod. xxiii, 12; xxxi, 12-18; Neh. xiii, 15-22; Isa. Ivi, 2-7; lviii, 13-14; Jer. xvii, 21-27; Ezek. xx, 12, 13; xxii, 26-31. Its sanctity was very distinctly marked in the gathering of the manna. Exod. xvi, 22-30.

"3. The original law of the Sabbath was renewed and made a prominent part of the moral law, or ten commandments, given through Moses at Sinai, Exod. xx, 8-11."—Amos BINNEY AND DANIEL STEELE, Binney's Theological Compend Improved (1902 ed.), p. 170.

What did some of the people do on the seventh day?

"It came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none." Verse 27.

How did God reprove their disobedience?

"And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?" Verse 28.

Why was double manna given on the sixth day?

"See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." Verse 29.

How, then, did the Lord test the people?

Over the keeping of the Sabbath.

    NOTE.—Thus we see that the Sabbath commandment was a part of God's law before this law was spoken from Sinai; for this incident occurred before Israel came to Sinai. Both the Sabbath and the law existed from creation. "As presented to us in the Scriptures the Sabbath was not the invention of any religious founder. It was not at first part of any system of religion, but an entirely independent institution. Very definitely it is presented in Genesis as the very first institution, inaugurated by the Creator himself. It was purely religious, wholly moral, wholly spiritual. It had no prescribed ceremonies, no sacramentarian significance. It required no priest, no liturgy. It was for man as God's creature, steward and friend."—W. 0. CARVER, Sabbath Observance, p. 41. Copyright, 1940, by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Used by permission.

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