Sabbath Meditation #35 – The Testimony of God
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
“And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of the testimony [EDUT], tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”
“The law [TORAT] of the LORD is perfect [complete, whole, sound], converting [Shuv – to turn, return] the soul: the testimony [EDUT] of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple (simple, naïve, foolish).”
“Thy testimonies [EDOTEKA] that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful [vemunah].”
When God gave Ten the Words (or what we commonly call the Ten Commandments), on the tables of stone, they were given another name: The Testimony or Testimonies. The Hebrew word translated as testimony is eduth; the plural form is edah. These words mean a testimony or witness of someone or something.
The Ten Commandments are a testimony or witness of God and His character. They provide for us a perspective of how God views the world and people, including how we should honor God and treat others. Below, I have a summary of at least one way that each commandment reflects Him. At the end, we will look more specifically at how the Sabbath testifies of God.
1) “I brought you out of Egypt. You shall have no other gods before me.” – He deserves our complete attention/total focus and all our worship because He freed us. No other god could free us or even come close to Him.
2) Commandment against graven images/idols – God wants us to seek Him from within. In turn, this reflects that He wants to know us individually and personally and transform us from the inside out. The God of Israel does not want to know you impersonally through an image/statue.
3) Do not take His name in vain (said another way: do not lift up or bear His name in vain). God does not want His name placed on causes, purposes, and events that do not align with His character.
4) Sabbath – We are going to examine this one in just a moment.
5) Honor your father and mother – God values the importance of the family unit. Children should show respect to those who brought them into this world (they likely will be parents one day too).
6) Do not kill – God values the life of every human being.
7) Do not commit adultery – God honors and values the covenant relationship between a man and a woman.
8) Do not steal – God recognizes and values private property rights and the labor it takes to honestly accumulate it. This means that He wants us to respect the property of others. Moreover, He wants us to recognize ownership and hard work.
9) Do not bear false witness – God values truthfulness and an accurate account of events that we see and experience.
10) Do not covet – God wants us to learn to be content and satisfied with what we have and respect the ownership/hard work of others. Covetousness is an attitude that will lead to destructive behaviors. It will keep us dissatisfied and cause us to harm others and self.
There are many more lessons we learn about God’s character from Ten the Words, but this gives us an overview. What about the Sabbath? What does it testify concerning God’s character?
On the Sabbath, we are reminded that fulfillment in life cannot come merely through material means or through work. In other words, the seventh day is a testimony to how God established other things in life to focus on besides work, such as our relationship with Him and others (family, the fellowship of believers). God wants us to be part of a plan and purpose greater than ourselves or our personal ambitions for life. God does not want us enslaved to our work or the work of others – we must be free every seventh day to learn these lessons about His character.
The Sabbath testifies that there is a fulfillment that comes through rest and necessary a focus on other things in life. One lesson of the Sabbath is that God teaches us to trust in the unseen.
Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President – www.biblesabbath.org