In speaking to Moses of the coming plague that would destroy the livestock of Egypt, God instructed him to tell Pharaoh, “Jehovah appointed a set time, saying, tomorrow Jehovah shall do this thing in the land.” And what happened? We read, “And Jehovah did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died.”
We do not live in a random world of chance. God is never surprised by events that happen. God has appointed events to occur. He has ordered the universe, and He has perfect knowledge of all that is going to happen, and when it will happen. He is not surprised. It is comforting to know that God has everything under control, even when we look around and think the world is “spinning out of control.” In fact, God knows all about it. He knows all our days, even the appointed hour when we will depart this world and pass into eternity. It is all part of His perfect plan.
God has also appointed times for us, as those who worship Him, to stop and reflect upon what He has done. When God instructed Moses about how the Passover Feast should be kept, He said, “You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.” By doing so, we are grafted into God’s timetable, and we are in harmony with His plan for this world.
Likewise, God has set aside the Sabbath as an appointed time. At the very beginning, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy.” He made the Sabbath one of His “appointed times,” as a time for rest and for worship.
In Deuteronomy, when Moses is repeating God’s law to the children of Israel, He adds this parenthetical note, tying the Sabbath to the Passover. He said, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there with an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.” (5:15) Presumably, as slaves, they were made to work seven days a week and were not able to keep the Sabbath. God reminded them that there was a time of rest appointed for them that He made holy from the first week of creation, and now they were free to keep it as He intended from the beginning. Likewise, before we were saved, we were all “slaves to sin.” But as regenerated creatures, reborn to serve God, we are no longer slaves to sin, and we are free to keep and remember the Sabbath day.
Being in harmony with God’s timetable by keeping the Sabbath is a wonderful way to stay connected with His plan. It is a time each week when we can be sure that we are doing exactly what He intended from the beginning. We can literally rest in the understanding that we are doing exactly what He wants us to be doing, by taking a day each week to rest and to remember what He has done for us. How often do we pray when faced with difficult situations, “Oh Lord, what am I to do?” Well, there’s a time each week when we can know exactly what He wants us to do. And that’s a comforting thing.
God bless you all, as you keep this Sabbath.