“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.”-Exodus 31:13-14
In the midst of all the busy instructions the Lord is giving Moses, the Lord pauses and then in a most solemn gesture tells Moses “You are to keep my Sabbaths”.
In verse 13 most Bibles will say “however“, “surely“, “verily” or “nevertheless“.
However, the Hebrew word being translated is “AKH”.
A better word that more effectively captures the sense of this Hebrew would be “above all”.
The point being made here is that it doesn’t matter how busy you get with all of the construction duties of the Tabernacle.
ABOVE ALL, there is nothing more important than keeping the Sabbath.
What I find interesting is the rationale being put forth to justify this command has nothing to do with the Covenant of Moses.
Take a look at verse 17.
“It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
The Lord is connecting the importance of the Sabbath directly to the creation narrative in the opening chapters of Genesis.
The point here is that the Lord has ordained one day of the week when men are to cease from all of their normal WORK activities and rest.
As a SET APART people, we are to be an example of what people should be doing or maybe I should say NOT be doing on the 7th day Shabbat.
The Lord is saying “Once you get started with your building program, don’t get overwhelmed to the point where you forget about my commands”.
I’ve seen ministries get a calling from God and then let their passions go hog wild to the point where they start acting as if their obligation to obey the Lord’s Laws and Commands have been put in a state of suspension.
The “importance” of the project begins to supersede the Lord’s regular commands.
Isn’t it profound that of all the principles and observances the Lord has now established, He commands Moses to put the Sabbath above EVERYTHING else?
I mean it’s THAT important.
In spite of all these constant reminders about the importance of the Sabbath from the Lord, where in the world do believers today get the idea that the Sabbath has been turned into an obsolete and worthless observance?
Or where in the world did we get the idea that we’ve now been given the latitude to change the Sabbath to whatever day we want?
Where does this idea come from?
It come from the false notion that the Old Testament is “Old” and the New Testament is “New”.
I’m telling you, folks have got to read the Sermon on the Mount again but it is in those verses where Yeshua said the EXACT opposite.
Yeshua said that not ONE JOT OR TITTLE, not even one of the smallest of details would pass from the Torah until heaven and earth passed away.
And there is hardly a more central teaching to the Torah than the Shabbat.
And don’t think you can get out of the Sabbath issue by making the ridiculous claim that you’re a gentile believer and the Sabbath was only a perpetual covenant between the Lord and Israel.
I’ve already said this a million times and I’ll say it a million times again.
The New Testament is ABSOLUTELY clear one point.
Once you accept Messiah Yeshua, you become grafted into the covenants that God has ONLY made with Israel.
You become a spiritual seed of Abraham and once you become joined to Israel’s covenants, you also become joined to Israel’s blessings and obligations.
These aren’t my words folks.
This is the plain, direct, AND literal teaching of Scripture.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.
I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”