The Beginning of a Day of Rest

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Exodus 20:8

New automobiles usually have a booklet of instructions in the glove compartment.  A man is foolish if he says, “This is mine now and I don’t care what the manufacturer says about greasing and oil; I’ll run it the way I want.”  After all, the instructions are just good advice on the part of the people who made the car and who know best what it needs.

The same may be said of all the laws and rules which the Lord has laid down for us in the Bible and in the world at large.  Often we have the idea that they are just arbitrary and restrictive rules that take all the fun out of life and destroy our freedom.  To the contrary, every one of them has been spelled out for our own good by Him who made us and knows perfectly what is best for us and what will do us harm sooner or later.  We can disobey any and all of God’s good laws if we want to, for God gave us the power to make up our own minds in these matters, but then we must expect to suffer the consequences of our lawlessness and disobedience.

All this is especially true of the proper observance of a weekly sabbath.  God did not have to “rest” at the conclusion of His creation, as through He were all worn out from making the universe.  But God changed His activity and “rested” from the special task of bringing the world into being, in order to set us an example that we do well to follow, and that we ignore to our own hurt.  “The Sabbath was made for man,” said the Lord of the Sabbath when He was here upon earth.