February 19

Exodus 31:13 13"Say to the Israelites, 'You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.

The Israelites had weekly Sabbaths (a day of rest), but they also had new moon Sabbaths and other special Sabbath days related to their feasts. On those days, there were restrictions as to how much they could do and how far they could go. All these were designed to have them take time to contemplate the God they served. They were to be still for a day to focus upon God. The above verse teaches that the reason for the Sabbath was to know who the LORD is and that He is the One who makes us holy. It seems that they missed the whole point of the exercise and concentrated on the rules surrounding the Sabbath instead of the purpose. They thought that keeping the rules made them holy, when it is clearly the LORD who makes us holy.

They had the example in Abraham who was declared right with God by simply believing in God before he had done anything the Lord asked. They also had the example of Moses, the man who recorded this passage. He was a murderer and failed miserably when he tried to do it his own way. But when we know we can't do it ourselves, that holiness is unattainable by our efforts, we finally look to the LORD who makes us holy. Though at that time they did not understand how, they simply needed to believe He would. It is the trust placed in God, not a detailed understanding of the process that makes men right with God, both then and now. He makes us holy. His work will transform our lives when our trust is placed in Him.

Meditation: It is the LORD who makes you holy when your trust is in Him to do so.