King David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, sung of the glory of God revealed in the creation all around him.1 The apostle Paul spoke of how the nature and attributes of the invisible God could be grasped through the visible creation. 2 Paul even told the citizens of Lystra long ago that God never left mankind without a witness of His personal love for all mankind. He always wanted us to know of His goodness and care:
He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. (Acts 14:17)
Indeed, the rainbow has ever spoken to sensitive men of the unseen yet very real God.3 Only fools have ever said in their heart, “There is no God”4 — yet how many of the world’s most outwardly religious men and women have walked as fools, denying in their hearts that there is a God who expects them to obey Him?5
Yet all too often men have gone on in life assured of their righteousness by faith before God while looking down on the “sinners” around them who obviously disobey their conscience. But which is worse, to disobey conscience (God’s quiet voice within each man) or to disobey His very Word? Let God be the judge! Even as the Savior said using the “fire and brimstone” proverbial lesson known to all:
It will more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”6
And “that city” was full of religious Jews who rejected His preaching and miracles He did.7 Sodom and Gomorrah rejected conscience, loved pleasure, and hardened their hearts to the sufferings of the poor.8 But the Son of God said more mercy would be shown to them in the judgment than to those who ignore and disobey His word.9
So what of the great sign of the Sabbath? Shall we esteem it very highly or set it aside? Far from being the least of the commandments, it is the longest,10 often the subject of prophecy,11 and even more often the reason for prophetic rebuke to the people of Israel.12 Therefore, anyone seeking to be great in the kingdom of heaven will keep it and teach others to do so as well.13 It is the one commandment the Savior highlighted above all the rest by saying, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”14 So, did He then come to set aside the observance of that day of which He especially is Lord? Was that really the reason He made a point to do good on the Sabbath, setting men free from the bondage of sin and sickness?
And remember, the Master’s commanded His disciples who would be alive at the end of this age to pray that their flight “would not be in winter or on a Sabbath.”15 Will you be one of the people fervently praying this prayer as the day draws near? It’s a hard prayer to relate to from your pew on Sunday, isn’t it?