Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Today’s faith lesson comes from God’s lessons on the Sabbath Day as He provides for the nutritional needs of His people.
Exodus 16:22-26 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much – two omers for each person – and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”
This is the first time in Scripture that we read about a Sabbath day. At creation we were told that on the seventh day God rested, but until now there has been nothing said about the people doing the same. God has not yet given Moses the Ten Commandments, which included a command to honor the Sabbath day. This is the introduction of the principle of Sabbath rest to the Israelites and to all of us.
God makes it possible for the people to be nourished and supplied with all of their physical needs for a period of two days so that on the second day they do not need to labor. The manna of one day would be sufficient in supply to cover the needs of the second day.
What an incredible picture of our salvation, and the permanence of it. As we discovered previously, manna is a symbol of the covering of sin God provides for us every day in the Person of Jesus Christ. But God wanted it to be clear to us that we do not need to pick up the manna of salvation every day. It is not necessary to be saved from our sin repeatedly. He showed us this in the creation of the Sabbath. Look carefully at Hebrews 4:9-10, which says, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”
The teaching of Hebrews 4 can be summarized this way: once we realize that it is not by works that we are saved, and we, by faith, receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are covered by His blood. We enter the permanent rest of eternal security. In the provision of manna for the sabbath, God was illustrating to the Israelites that one day His mercy and grace would cover permanently all sin and there would be no need to work for it any longer. Once the gift of grace was given on the day before the Sabbath it was sufficient for all the needs of the next day. Once the sacrifice of Jesus was given it was sufficient for the spiritual needs of the whole world, and anyone who collects that gift enters into the permanent rest of salvation.
I know this is a little more theological than most devotionals, but it is important for us to understand that the Old Testament gives us the pictures of New Testament salvation. The institution of the Sabbath day was not intended to be a legalistic demand on our lives, but rather to be a picture of the completeness of our salvation by faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Sabbath was instituted to show the people they can totally depend upon God for their lives. When we totally depend upon the gift of God in Jesus Christ for our salvation, separate from any work of our own, we enter the permanent rest of eternal life. We do not need to obey the legal demands of the Old Testament Sabbath to be a recipient of the blessings of salvation. In fact, the blessings of salvation allow us the freedom to celebrate every day as a Sabbath, for we are at permanent spiritual rest with our God.
I challenge you to study Hebrews 4 today, and let its truths touch you. You will discover true salvation by faith and not by works. Spend some time today celebrating the permanence of your salvation!