BE HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY
“…keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God” (Ezek 20:20 ESV).
How serious is GOD about His image-bearing creatures keeping His Sabbath? We are reminded again and again of GOD’s holiness in the Old Testament law books and how He commanded His chosen people to be holy as He is holy.
“You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine” (Lev 20:26 ESV).
“Holiness…refers first and foremost to the essential nature of God. The term holy means ‘set apart, unique, and distinct,’ and holiness in humans ordinarily refers to their being set apart for service to God…Human holiness is the imitation of God, i.e., becoming and acting like Him” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p242, [Lev 19:1-4]).
Starting with the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 all the way to the end of Deuteronomy the Holy GOD lays out, at length, commands for His set-apart people to follow. He is very serious about His people keeping His commands. This included keeping the Sabbath. So how serious is He?
“While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day….And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the LORD commanded Moses” (Num 15:32,36 ESV). “The mode of his execution underlines the importance of observing the Sabbath” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p290, [Num 15:32-36]).
Is the New Testament as serious about keeping the Sabbath? CHRIST is called holy. And GOD continues to call Christians to holiness:
“…in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy…” (1 Pet 3:15 ESV).
“…it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16 ESV).
How set-apart, unique and distinct are we? On Sunday are we seen as different than the worldly people around us? How can the worldly ones tell we are holy?
“So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God” (Num 15:40 ESV).