The Sabbath: God’s Seal, Ensign

closed blue gate

“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: 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 KJVSD).

The Sabbath and God’s Seal. A seal imparts authority and validity to a document. It contains the name of the ruling power and the territory over which he rules. In the very heart of the law of God, in the Sabbath commandment, is enshrined the name of God, expressive of His authority, and the territory over which He reigns – His name, ‘the Lord thy God,’ the Creator; His kingdom, ‘Heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.’ Ex. 20:10,11. This is God’s seal with which He seals His law among His disciples. Isa. 8:16.

“God commemorated His work of Creation by resting on the seventh day. This made it ‘the Sabbath (the rest day) of the Lord thy God.’ ‘Therefore (because of His own act of resting on this day), He blessed the Sabbath day (a special blessing given to no other day,) and hallowed it (made it a holy day).’ Ex. 20:9-11. Then He ‘sanctified it;’ Gen. 2:3; that is, He set it apart from all the other days to be used for sacred purposes. No other day received this honor, God had made it holy and sacred; He made it not for the Jew only, nor any one class of men, but ‘for man,’ for all mankind. Mark 2:27. Then to man He said, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ Ex. 20:8.

“Every precept of God’s holy law is a divine requirement for which there is no substitute, for the Holy Spirit through James says: ‘Whosoever shall . . . offend in one point; he is guilty of all . . . he is a transgressor of the law. . . the law by which all shall be judged.’ James 2:8-12.

“The Sabbath commandment as God’s seal makes the law of God ‘a perpetual covenant’ between God and man ‘forever,’ Ex. 31:16,17, having the authority of the Creator of heaven and earth and sea. As a seal ratifies a document, so the Creator’s seal ratifies His law. Without this, none of His law would have any divine authority. Without the fourth commandment the law being without God’s seal, would lose its validity.

“The Holy Spirit is the instrument that stamps the seal of God on the heart. Eph. 4:30. Without this, the Sabbath loses its sacredness and becomes merely a day of physical rest and recreation – not a holy day. If we keep the Sabbath ‘holy,’ the Holy Spirit will place the seal of God upon us, and we shall have ‘the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.’ 2 Cor. 1:22. The Holy Spirit is the ‘earnest,’ the pledge or the assurance, whereby we obtain our divine inheritance. No one can
truly keep the Sabbath ‘holy’ without the Holy Spirit in his heart.

The Sabbath, God’s ‘Ensign.’ The Sabbath is also called God’s ensign. Isa. 11:10-12. An ensign is a banner, a standard, a flag, “the colors,” indicating nationality. When one nation is victorious over another, the conquering nation sets up its ensign, its ‘colors’ in the conquered territory, as evidence of its victory. If one should tear down this flag, or ensign, would the deed be passed by as of little consequence? We all know that the offender would be considered a rebel, and be severely punished, perhaps even put to death. Instead of thus disregarding the nation’s banner, every loyal citizen will honor his country’s flag. He will also protect it, and display it on every proper occasion. Because the Sabbath of the decalogue points out the true God and His dominion, it is His ensign, which ‘He will lift up . . . to the nations from far.’ Isa. 5:26. Shall human beings treat it without due respect and reverence?” PTG 138, 139

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your holy day of rest and sacred pleasure. Please bless me to truly understand the significance of Your command to keep it holy. Please bless me to obey in spirit and in truth and be sealed in righteousness. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed a few weeks ago (Feb 2023). Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who wants to receive them and to her family in honor of their mom. First, I pray and look for a Bible verse or passage and find a suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song. If you agree to receive them, then this way I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss. My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift. So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.

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