A Special, Distinguishing Sign
The children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. Exodus 31:16, 17.
In this scripture the observance of the Sabbath is specified as a special, distinguishing sign between God’s people and the people of the world. This gives to parents a most solemn work—the work of teaching their children to obey the Sabbath commandment, in order that they may be numbered among the people of God.
In Exodus 19 we read: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bear you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
Wonderful condescension is this! God offers to make the Israelites His peculiar treasure, if they obey His law and glorify His name. Observe the response they made to these words:
“Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.” All this instruction was placed by the elders before the vast multitude assembled. “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord”.
We cannot overestimate the value of simple faith and unquestioning obedience. It is by following in the path of obedience in simple faith that the character obtains perfection. Adam was required to render strict obedience to God’s commandments, and no lower standard is presented to those who desire salvation [today] [Christ] says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive” (John 14:13-17). The world is leagued against the truth, because it does not desire to obey the truth. Shall I who perceive the truth close my eyes and heart to its saving power because the world chooses darkness rather than light?
The sacred statutes which Satan has hated and sought to destroy, will be honored throughout a sinless universe