It was on this day, according to tradition, that Israel observed their first Shabbat in the wilderness. This is recorded in Exodus 16:
“See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore, He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” So, the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:29-30)
It’s unclear whether or not Israel observed the Sabbath before the Exodus from Egypt. They may have but there is no mention of it. The only other reference to Shabbat before the Exodus account is in Genesis 2 when God rested from all of His work. So it seems possible that it was not until the Exodus that God instructed His people that they were to work six days and to rest on the seventh.
Since then, Shabbat has been an integral part of life for God’s people and it remains so, today. It’s so important that the Creator determined that it would serve as a sign between Him and His people.
“Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31:16-17)
According to Scripture, the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people that designates us as His people, both to Him and, perhaps just as importantly, to the world. Scripture also reveals that the signs between Him and His people can, at times, save someone’s life. God told Israel that the blood of a lamb placed upon the doorposts of their homes would serve as a sign between Him and the people. As the Hebrews ate the Passover, the firstborn of Egypt were struck down demonstrating that signs between God and His people can mean the difference between life and death (Exodus 12).
Because we are living in very perilous times, it’s important that the signs He has ordained are present in our lives. As things continue to deteriorate all around us, we want to make sure that we are His, and that He recognizes us as His. Just as importantly, the world should know that we are His. So first and foremost, we must make sure that the blood of the Lamb is upon the doorposts of our hearts. And because of our unique relationship with Him through the Son, we must be faithful to keep His commandments (John 14:15), which serves as a sign between Him and us.
In the life of a believer, these two things combined, is a grave threat to the dominion of the Adversary. Because he views obedient believers as a threat to his kingdom, he seeks to make war against them.
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17)
Satan hates these people because they bear the sign that they are God’s people. And if we bear the sign that we are His people, He has promised that He will shelter and protect us from the Adversary and the fiery darts that he would hurl against us. If that sign is going to be exhibited for all to see, it’s my responsibility to make sure that I do my part. In short, stay committed and faithful to walk in obedience to His Word.