Chapter 3: The first mention of Sabbath.

The first mention of the Sabbath can be found in Exodus 16, right after Israel was delivered from Egypt. Please notice how the concept of Sabbath seems so new to the Israelites. God had to carefully explain that concept like a teacher carefully explaining the concept of addition to a young child. Could it be that this really was a new concept to them? Could it be that no one in their day kept the Sabbath day of rest? Why is the Bible so silent about this?

Let's look at Ex 16:23-30: "This is what the LORD commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'" So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. "Eat it today," Moses said, "because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any." Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the LORD said to Moses, "How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out." So the people rested on the seventh day." NIV

The first instruction about keeping the Sabbath day rest was concerning food. Don't collect food on the seventh day. God will provide a double portion on the sixth day. None will be sent down on the Sabbath day. On any other day, if an Israelite kept some manna until the next day, the food would rot. But not on the Sabbath day! From this, the Israelites learned that God is a provider. In other words, you can really trust in God. Your can really depend on Him and rest in Him. In other words God wanted a relationship with His people, a relationship based on trust!

Click here to go to: Chapter 4: The Sabbath in the 10 commandments.