Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. Nehemiah 8:8

February 14, 2006

Volume 5 Number 4

Today is the Day of Rest

When we look at a painting, we can focus on the brush strokes and fail to see the larger picture that the artist intended to show us. Although the minute detail of the brush strokes is very important, they are placed on the canvas in very specific patterns and colors so that we can see and understand the larger picture.

Yahweh commanded Israel to do very specific things, such as to build the tabernacle, build the temple, perform sacrifices, keep feast days, and keep the sabbath. He showed them earthly types, or models, that were to help reveal the heavenly pattern of the true. Although many could not understand it, the types were pointing the way to enter into His presence. They were not the way, but they were showing the way.

After Israel had been in the bondage of captivity in Egypt for four hundred years, Yahweh told them to put the blood of a lamb over their door posts. He told them that if they did so, then He would spare them from the death that would come upon each household in Egypt that was not protected by the blood of the lamb:

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. -Exodus 12

This event became known as the passover, which Yahweh commanded must be kept forever:

14 And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. -Exodus 12

The feast of the passover was to be kept as a memorial of the miraculous event that happened in Egypt. It also served as a type of the miraculous event of the sacrifice of Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) as the Lamb of God. His blood would save from sin and death those who believe God. Peter explained:

18 Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of the Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: -1 Peter 1

The type that was shown by keeping the passover is Yahshua the Messiah. He is the true Lamb of God, who is our passover. Paul wrote:

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even the Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us: -1 Corinthians 5

After the first passover in Egypt, Yahweh led Israel through the wilderness toward a land that He had long before promised to give to them. He had told Jacob that He would give him and his seed a land:

12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to you I will give it, and to your seed after you will I give the land. -Genesis 35

If Israel believed Him, then they would obey Him and could look forward to entering into the land that He had promised to give them. If they did not believe Him, then they would die without entering into the promised land.

Yahweh gave Israel a command to remember and keep the sabbath while they were on their way to the promised land:

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahweh your God: in it you will not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:

11 For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. -Exodus 20

God demonstrated a pattern of the sabbath when He rested on the seventh day after He had created all things. Then He revealed that Sabbath to Israel as a sign:

17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. -Exodus 31

Jeremiah prophesied to Judah, warning them that they would be destroyed unless they repented from false worship and trusted only in Yahweh. He told them that their willingness to keep the sabbath would spare them from destruction:

24 And it shall come to pass, if you diligently listen to me, says Yahweh, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein;

25 Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain forever. -Jeremiah 17

On the other hand, failure to keep the sabbath would bring about their utter destruction:

27 But if you will not listen to me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. -Jeremiah 17

Keeping the sabbath was a demonstration of trust in Yahweh. Those who were willing to keep it demonstrated their trust in Yahweh and obedience to His word. Those who refused to keep it showed that they had an unbelieving and unrepentant heart.

The sabbath was given as a law for man. However, many are tempted to also try to put God under the law. This was shown when Yahshua healed a woman on the sabbath:

10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

12 And when Yahshua saw her, he called her to him, and said to her, Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.

13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. -Luke 13

The ruler of the synagogue condemned the action:

14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Yahshua had healed on the sabbath day, and said to the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. -Luke 13

The miracle was a clear demonstration of the power of God over Satan. Yahshua explained:

16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? -Luke 13

Unfortunately, as with so many other types and signs that Yahweh gave to Israel, the Jewish leaders often used them to place people in bondage. The outward keeping of the sabbath assumed greater importance to them than a believing and obedient heart.

After Yahweh miraculously freed Israel from their bondage in Egypt at the passover, He led them on a journey toward the promised land. When He revealed to them the sign of the sabbath, He showed them that they will enter into the promised land, into His rest, if they believe Him. This is explained in the Book of Hebrews:

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. -Hebrews 4

The sabbath was given by Yahweh through the law, which was fulfilled by Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), who said:

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. -Matthew 5

The purpose of the law was not the law itself. The physical practices served as continual reminders that God will keep the promises that He has made. They were fulfilled through Yahshua, who explained:

27 And he said to them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. -Mark 2

Indeed, Yahshua is our sabbath. If we believe in Him, then we must cease from our works and enter into His rest:

9 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his. -Hebrews 4

Today is the day of rest.



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