How Long Will You Refuse To Keep My Commandments


And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. Exodus 16:5. 


The Lord suffered His people Israel to go into bondage in Egypt because they did not walk in His ways but dishonored Him by their continual transgressions. Here, subjected to oppression and hard servitude, they could not keep God’s Sabbath, and by their long mingling with a nation of idolaters their faith became confused and corrupted. Association with the ungodly and unbelieving will have the same influence upon those who believe the present truth unless they keep the Lord ever before them so that His Spirit shall be their shield. . . .   Pharaoh saw the mighty working of the Spirit of God; he saw the miracles the Lord performed by His servant; but he refused obedience to God’s command. The rebellious king had proudly inquired, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” And as the judgments of God fell more and more heavily upon him, he persisted in stubborn resistance. By rejecting light from heaven, he became hard and unimpressible. . . . Those who exalt their own ideas above the plainly specified will of God are saying, as did Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” Every rejection of light hardens the heart and darkens the understanding; and thus people find it more and more difficult to distinguish between right and wrong, and they become bolder in resisting the will of God.  

The Lord brought Israel from Egypt, that they might keep His Sabbath, and He gave them special directions how to keep it. The instructions given to Moses were recorded for the benefit of all who should live upon the earth to the close of time. God has spoken; let us listen to His words and obey them.  

When the manna was given, the people were tested upon God’s law. Then said the Lord to the children of Israel through Moses, “I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”. . .  

Notwithstanding this special direction of God, some did go out to gather manna on the seventh day, but they found none; and the Lord said unto Moses, “How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” That there might be no mistake in the matter, the Father and the Son descended upon Mount Sinai, and there the precepts of His law were spoken in awful grandeur in the hearing of all Israel.   

Israel’s Experience Reminds Us Of Sabbath Importance

See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath, therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day. Exodus 16:29, 30.  

Before the law was given from Sinai, God wrought a miracle each week to impress the people with the sanctity of the Sabbath. He rained manna from heaven for their food, and each day they gathered this manna, but on the sixth day they gathered twice as much as usual, according to the directions of Moses. . . .  

“And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” Thus for forty years God worked a miracle before His people each week, to show them that His Sabbath was a sacred day.  

God directed that a tabernacle should be built where the Israelites, during their wilderness journeying, could worship Him. Orders from heaven were given that this tabernacle should be built without delay. Because of the sacredness of the work and the need for haste, some argued that the work on the tabernacle should be carried forward on the Sabbath, as well as on other days of the week. Christ heard these suggestions, and saw that the people were in great danger of being ensnared by concluding that they would be justified in working on the Sabbath so that the tabernacle might be completed as quickly as possible.  

The word came to them, “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep.” Though the work on the tabernacle must be carried forward with expedition, the Sabbath must not be employed as a working day. Even the work on the Lord’s house must give way to the sacred observance of the Lord’s rest day. Thus God is jealous for the honor of His memorial of creation.  

The Sabbath is a token between God and His people. It is a holy day, given by the Creator to us as a day upon which to rest, and reflect upon sacred things. God designed it to be observed through every age as a perpetual covenant. . . .  

As we refrain from labor on the seventh day, we testify to the world that we are on God’s side and are striving to live in perfect conformity to His commandments. Thus we recognize as our Sovereign the God who made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. . . . The true Sabbath is to be restored to its rightful position as God’s rest day.  1902  CTr 109-110