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 2. Was the Sabbath to be a “sign” between the Creator and His people? Verse 12-13, 17. Would he sanctify – set apart for a holy use – the Sabbath keepers? Verse 13, last part.
COMMENT: A sign identifies. A sign may advertise a business’s name and the nature of the business. A sign may also proclaim certain other information. What knowledge does the Sabbath advertise? “That ye may know that I am the Lord” who “made heaven and earth” (Ex 31:13, 17). The Sabbath identifies who the true God is. It is a reminder of the Creator of the heavens and earth!
God wanted ancient Israel to be sure to remember that He is Creator, Sustainer and Supreme Ruler over all His creation. So He singled out Sabbath observance as the one great sign by which they would always be reminded of who He is.
But this special Sabbath covenant of Exodus 31 reveals that the Sabbath does more than identify the Creator. It is also a sign that identifies the true people of God: “That ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you” (verse 13). The Sabbath was to point out who they were – His chosen people. It was the one commandment that would make Israel especially stand out from all other nations.
As stated earlier in this lesson, most people do not want to be identified as being different from the world. Most simply will not keep the Fourth Commandment unless they truly want to obey all of God’s commandments. Therefore, it is the crucial test of obedience today, just as it was for ancient Israel (Ex 16:4), because it identifies those who have surrendered to God – who obey ALL of His commandments!
And so God doubly commanded Sabbath observance by making it a separate covenant with His people after the covenant commonly called the Old Covenant (which included the Ten Commandments) had been completed, ratified, and put into force and effect.
This special Sabbath covenant was to be an everlasting agreement. It was to be the sign that would identify the people of God of all generations, including “spiritual Israel” today – Spirit- begotten members of God’s Church.
3. Does the Bible reveal that a real Christian, regardless of race or nationality, is one who has become a spiritual Israelite – one of Abraham’s “seed” through Jesus Christ? Gal 3:28-29; Rom 4:16; Eph 2:11-13, 19.
COMMENT: God made the special Sabbath covenant with Abraham’s physical seed – the nation of Israel. It was to be obeyed throughout their generations. Today, all Spirit-begotten children of God – true Christians (Rom 8:9) – regardless of race or national origin, have become Abraham’s spiritual descendants, and therefore keep God’s Sabbath! They have been set apart (“sanctified” – Ex 31:13) by God as His people.

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